Search this blog

Thursday, 4 May 2017

All white people look the same

When I see a group of white girls, I can barely tell them apart. In my head I call them White Girl 1, White Girl 2 and so on. They all have the same blonde or brown shoulder-ish length hair, thin lips, physical shape, and for gods’ sake the same skin tone. They’re all white so how am I supposed to tell the difference? How should I know if they’re called Monica, Erica, Rita or Tina? (Or more to the point; Charlotte, Emily, Alice or Rachel). With white boys it’s even worse; I just sort of go ‘hey Sam/Joe/Jack/David/Mark’ and hope for the best.

In case you hadn’t realised, I’m being sarcastic. Since I was a kid I have heard people go on and on about how all Oriental people (or, to be less politically correct; Chinese people) look the same. AH MAN, THEY ALL GOT CHINKY EYES AND BLACK HAIR! YIKES, I CAN’T TELL THE DIFFERENCE MAN! THEY ALL RELATED OR SOMETHING! There was some tweet I once saw; ‘God made us all different and unique, apart from when he got to China, he just went copy and paste, copy and paste...’ yeah it’s pretty funny. But in all seriousness, it’s pretty stupid. Chinese people look the same no more than black people or white people or Arab people or mixed raced people do.

There are seven billion people currently populating the planet, and billions more have come and gone. There can only be so many genetic variations for our species the homo sapiens, and we’re been the dominant human species for 100,000 years. Clearly we’re going to look similar, particularly within clusters of us who come from similar parts of the world. If you take a group of humans of a range of ethnic backgrounds, and put them in a row together, already they’ll look pretty similar. We all have two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two ears, a forehead and hair (well, most of us have hair). Physically we have the same features; arms, legs, stomach, butt. Then you get to differences in height and weight; men and women, and then skin complexion and different sized eyes or lips or noses. But to an alien species, we all look like homo sapiens. We all bare some resemblance to one another in terms of how we look. Just like all cats look more or less the same at first glance. Once you get down to it you see some are ginger and some are black, some have long hair and some have short hair, some have patches on their fur; short tails, long tails, fat, thin, sharp teeth, brown eyes, yellow eyes, and so on. But they all look like cats, just like we all look like humans.

For gods’ sake, I know Chinese people all look similar. But white Anglo-Saxon people all look similar. Black Nigerians all look similar. People from similar regions tend to look similar. It’s a fact of life and it’s not unique to ‘Chinese’ people. So sure thing, Cho, Chin and Chinny all look the same, but so do Joanne, Kelly and Natasha; Latoya, Shaniqua and Shontelle, and Mohammed, Mohammed and Mohammed.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, it tends to be that people have an easier time telling the difference within their own race and/or races that they grew up around. Sort of like when you can't tell twins apart, until you get to know them better and they suddenly start looking different to you, even seemingly becoming obviously different. It shows you how relative "similarities and differences" really are.


I've published three YA fiction books and two poetry volumes. To check em out, copy and paste this link into your browser: