Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Gringa Am I

When in England I am, frankly, just another pasty highlighted blonde, but in Peru somehow I manage to achieve a sort of 'Goddess of Gorgeousness and Symbol of Western Wealth' status with exactly the same look. It really makes me very conscious of my race, and that's not such a great feeling. In fact, it's precisely the same feeling I used to get in Japan after a day of pointing, whispering, intense staring, and obvious giggling (and that was just the teachers at my visit schools). No, seriously, brown haired people of any shade will never know what it's like to be a blonde in the world today. Of course I realise that I bring it on myself by travelling... and that even the men who leer in Peru and the old ladies who stared in Japan don't really mean to cause offense... I nonetheless sometimes crave desperately for anonymity. Perhaps people feel fascinated, intimidated, horrified, or stimulated by the colour of my hair, eyes, and skin. Fine. It's just strange to think that my appearance gives people the right to regard me as a non-human object. Think I'm being dramatic? Well, just imagine the sensation that a Asian, African, or South American would cause by walking down the street in Europe or America. Picture it, an Asian walking down the street brazenly in full daylight... would anybody turn a hair? I really don't think so. For a blonde abroad things are still rather different. People stare, shout, whisper, leer, follow you. People treat you like you are thick and can't believe that you can speak a word of their language even if you are speaking it to them. They think that you are loaded, gulliable, and a total whore. (I saw a bumper sticker in Lima that said: 'Better a Peruvian Girl than a Gringa With Aids'). Believe me, by all this I am not meaning to make light of Western racism or problems minorities encounter; rather I believe that I can understand it all the more accutely now I have been very much on the receiving end.

You're not a pasty blond!
I hear ya buddy! Being the devilishly handsome quintessential English gent that I am I often attract the stares. And refusals to join video rental shops on account of being a gaijin. I also have to pay extra to live in my apartment coz I`m not Japanese. What occurred to me however is that since I am living in a severely monocultural country, this is to be expected. It just makes it even more sickening to me how much racism we have in the homeland, despite constant exposure to other races and cultures.
Conclusion, racism is SHIT!
...but then...if everyone was treated the same, I guess I wouldn`t be such a hit with the Japenese chicks now would I...?
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?