Friday, June 22, 2007

Beauty; Ethnic Identity Bunkum

Look at what a pretty woman, and an apparent pretty person, Jessica Alba is.

Photographs of beautiful women are more about make-up, composition, lighting, and even air-brushing; and less about the women themselves. Proper packaging can attract a viewer's interest.

It's not that the photographed women are not beautiful. It is, rather, that the "average" women walking amongst us, or sleeping next to us, are also extremely beautiful. The "average" women simply haven't been photographed and airbrushed by beauty industry professionals.

Most celebrity women barely interest me. I am more attracted to a typical librarian. Still, I have, amongst celebrity women, some favorites. Ms. Alba is one. She is from a good family, and she seems a decent girl. I saw her on a reality episode about a woman construction contractor in California. The woman contractor loved Alba, b/c Alba was down to Earth - and, when presented with options about how to renovate a kitchen, for example, Alba would make decisions without excessive dithering.

Alba was recently involved in controversy, after being quoted in Para Todos magazine:

Alba is my last name and I'm proud of that. But that's it. My grandparents were born in California, the same as my parents, and though I may be proud of my last name, I'm American.
I had a very American upbringing, I feel American, and I don't speak Spanish. So, to say that I'm a Latin actress, OK, but it's not fitting; it would be insincere.

She never felt connected to any race, specifically, but she always felt American. That doesn’t sounds like a bad thing, does it? And yet, it is, in the eyes of many activists.
One blog post on the comments remarks, “Guess sell-outs come in all races and sizes.” Another calls it a “disturbing hoard of quotes.” Another claims she “hates Mexicans.”
Alba wasn’t trying to make a political statement. Instead, she sounds like she was trying to avoid speaking for an entire ethnicity and many recent immigrants when she barely speaks Spanish, and identifies as an American first. But because she didn’t reflexively take upon herself her ethnic mantle and collective responsibility, she’s bashed as a traitor to her race.

MKH also discusses recent comments/controversies involving immigrants Arnold Schwarzenegger and Al Pacino.

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