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  • NicL
  • Adventurer

    • 25

    • December 19, 2012, 06:24:04 pm
    • Gimhae
Appearances - Colors of skin
« on: July 26, 2020, 08:52:45 am »
Hey guys!
Hope everyone is doing well and being safe in these weird days.

So my school has decided to do a camp and we are doing a Detective camp. One of the days we will focus on the appearances of suspects etc.
but I am stuck with using the correct words for skin color? I know it's something people stay away from but being from South Africa I always get the question " Why are you white?". SO I wanted to use the lesson to also teach them the correct terms.... so I wanted to know if using.... dark skin, light skin or what can I do to be not offensive but also teach them correctly. I am really mixing it up and not using just one group of people to be the suspect.
What words would you use for grade 5 & 6 that are correct and not too difficult but also correct.Please don't crucify me for asking or being dumb but educate me. thanks so much!


Re: Appearances - Colors of skin
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2020, 10:42:43 am »
People are always going to take offense to something as arbitrary as describing the degree of melanin in your skin as a colour, the world is a crazy place.

fair, tan, brown or dark complexion. You could add 'very' or 'light' e.g. 'light brown' or 'very fair', if the person has a noticeably striking skin tone.

White and black work, but I suppose that could also an ethnic or cultural identity. E.g. Some Indians or Sri-Lankans aren't 'black', but their skin is darker than many black people. As a South African, you're aware of the term 'coloured', which refers to mixed race and plenty of coloured people are fairer than most caucasians or darker than many blacks. 

Don't take it too seriously, they're all misnomers anyway (blacks aren't technically black and whites aren't actually white, my bedsheets are white). I'd just use fair/light, tanned or dark, with the adverb 'very', as you've got more versatility in actually describing the complexion.


Re: Appearances - Colors of skin
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2020, 07:51:49 am »
People are always going to take offense to something as arbitrary as describing the degree of melanin in your skin as a colour, the world is a crazy place.

fair, tan, brown or dark complexion. You could add 'very' or 'light' e.g. 'light brown' or 'very fair', if the person has a noticeably striking skin tone.

White and black work, but I suppose that could also an ethnic or cultural identity. E.g. Some Indians or Sri-Lankans aren't 'black', but their skin is darker than many black people. As a South African, you're aware of the term 'coloured', which refers to mixed race and plenty of coloured people are fairer than most caucasians or darker than many blacks. 

Don't take it too seriously, they're all misnomers anyway (blacks aren't technically black and whites aren't actually white, my bedsheets are white). I'd just use fair/light, tanned or dark, with the adverb 'very', as you've got more versatility in actually describing the complexion.

I second this advice. I, personally, find no offense in terms used (besides the obvious racial slurs) because the fact of the matter is.....It's the color of our skin, we see it. I would let the kids that no matter what your skin color is, it's normal and should never to make fun of anyone. I would also let them know that your skin color is not an indicator of what your nationality is.

When I first came to Korea, the students (and even some teachers) were so confused when I told them that I'm from the States. "eh? She's Korean though. (I'm not)./ She doesn't look like an American. / Why is she Asian?" =.=' I've had new kids coming into the English room and asking "Where's the Foreign teacher?" lol The classmates got my back though "She IS the foreign teacher" lol.

Even now, when I've taught them about appearances, they still forget and it comes up time to time. Luckily, I've had great co-teachers who explain it in detail to the kids time and time again.

- Wow. I just kept blabbering. lol Sorry! but the advice that Aristocrat gave is great.


  • stoat
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1708

    • March 05, 2019, 06:36:13 pm
    • seoul
Re: Appearances - Colors of skin
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2020, 09:46:29 am »
Just make sure your unconscious bias doesn't take over and you end up making the majority of the suspects of the darker skinned variety  :wink:


  • Colburnnn
  • Hero of Waygookistan

    • 1183

    • August 10, 2015, 05:52:37 pm
    • South Korea
Re: Appearances - Colors of skin
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2020, 10:42:00 am »
Just make sure your unconscious bias doesn't take over and you end up making the majority of the suspects of the darker skinned variety  :wink:

But that's equality, isn't it?
Haven't you got some pictures of birds to be jacking off to, son?

Colburnnn: Complains a lot, very sassy. Has a loudmouth.