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Is this offensive? Would it bother you

(24 Posts)
Meanandlow Wed 10-Jun-15 06:30:08

Every time the sun comes out someone will make a comment similar to this " I will soon be as brown as you" and "if your skin peels you will go white"
I was shocked however when a friend said the above and then nudged me like when you are joking. She said it in front of another person and I laughed too, but felt humiliated. Couldn't sleep last night as it bothered me.
Not sure if iabu as have had a bad time with my mh recently

Collaborate Wed 10-Jun-15 06:32:23

Was she poking fun at people who make such crass comments?

nooka Wed 10-Jun-15 06:35:27

Do people really say such stupid things? I don't think you should feel humiliated OP - feel angry instead. What tossers, I think you should seriously think about finding some new friends.

I was always teased as a kid for being incredibly pale (I don't really tan at all) but that didn't have the same racist overtones. It's so hard when people say abusive things and then laugh as if it's a joke you should join in with. Really nasty.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Wed 10-Jun-15 06:40:34

If it upsets you it's a problem. I think it's crass but doubt she intended it maliciously. I'd calmly tell her to stop, perhaps preemptively. if she continues then she's an arsehole.

Meanandlow Wed 10-Jun-15 07:39:09

Thanks for replies. Don't think she meant to offend but I was offended and embarrassed

DressMeHeadToFootInTommy Wed 10-Jun-15 07:44:46

I take it you're not white?

It wouldn't offend me, but I do hate people 'telling' me I'm short. I think 1) I know that & 2) I'm closer to the average than you are Ms Five Foot Eleven so stop looking at me like some kind of circus act.

I agree with telling her to stop. I have done that with the height thing. With a grin staple gunned to my face I've said ''but I'm closer to the average height for a woman than you are, so can you really be mentioning my height to me again? really!?" Keep the grin in place!

TheMoa Wed 10-Jun-15 07:47:11

The 'I will be as brown as you' thing isn't so bad, so many pale people want a tan, it's kind of a compliment.

The peeling skin thing is weird though, and not nice. If the comments are from the same person, I'd think they were a bit thick and irritating enough that I'd steer clear of them.

Whathaveilost Wed 10-Jun-15 07:51:43

Hmmm! I don't know because context , tone and friendship dynamics can make something offensive to one person but the same thing could be a laugh to someone else.

I live in a large Asian area and I am white. In fact very very pale white! A lot of my colleagues are Asian and this is the sort of thing that is said, both ways to each others nd nobody bats an eye lid. The Asian girls will say things like, stay out in the sun much longer and you'll look like me!

Samwaygangeee Wed 10-Jun-15 08:01:28

I say this to my mixed race husband and kids all the time! His relatives make me a special "whiteygirl" curry when we visit! I'm a ginger so I'm extra white! My lovely dad calls one of my kids "our little Hovis." ("Don't say brown, say Hovis"!grin)

Untwist thy knicks, OP!

Awadebumbo Wed 10-Jun-15 08:22:53

I understand what you mean OP as I get it sometimes as well. I don't think that people mean it to be offensive but I know it can jolt a little.
I think sometimes its the pointing you out as other/different that makes you feel that way.

ApeMan Wed 10-Jun-15 08:55:15

Why be offended? Brownness is lovely and I expect most people commenting like this in a friendly way, think so too.

I wouldn't see malice in this, it can be adequately explained by people's clumsiness/incompetence in expressing themselves.

Shakey1500 Wed 10-Jun-15 09:02:06

I am super white, as in I NEVER tan. Not even a hint of beige. I have been the butt of jokes since as far back as I can remember. I used to get really peeved, but more because I used to really want to tan.

I stopped being bothered when we went on holiday for 9wks to Greece. I was lying on one of those white plasticky sunbeds and made some comment or other. One of our party said "Did someone say something then?" I repeated it and they came back with "Oh sorry Shakey, didn't see you there, you just kind of blend in with the bed"

I had to concede it was hysterical and decided not to be bothered any more.

Sorry you felt offended OP, I guess it's down to you whether to mention it or not thanks

ilovemargaretatwood8931 Wed 10-Jun-15 09:13:27

I know where you're coming from OP. I remember at school (very white area), it was not 'cool' to be Asian or part Asian and brown because of that, but some of my friends suggested that I tell people I was Italian or Spanish with my colouring, as it would be more 'cool'.

I'm mixed race (Asian and white), and get lots of enquiries about 'where I'm from'. (answer- City in midlands. next question- No, I mean, where are you 'actually' from etc)

I am absolutely sure that the majority of people asking this don't mean to be offensive in any way, and are just being genuinely interested and also friendly. But it gets a bit tedious, and no one seems to ask my white family and friends the same question.

VacantExpression Wed 10-Jun-15 09:18:24

First comment seems ok to me (but then its something I would have said to my mixed race friends especially when younger) but the one about the peeling is a bit weird!
If you are offended then you are offended OP so YANBU but the comments don't sound like they have racist undertones to me?

DressMeHeadToFootInTommy Wed 10-Jun-15 09:20:55

My mum (who is Welsh but looks Spanish) used to work in a place where there was another woman her age, this woman was Indian. People knew that one of the staff was Indian and they'd come in, see my Mum and assume it was her. She used to consider that a compliment. She's lucky she's not like George Hamilton now.

I'm laughing at whitegirl curry. Is that the same but with extra coconut milk?!

ragged Wed 10-Jun-15 09:22:04

I don't hear anything about brown skin being bad there, so I wouldn't be offended at all by the first comment. Appropriate reply is "In your dreams, Sunshine."

Skin going white is kind of weird, mostly because it's untrue & irrelevant. Why are people so insecure about being pale?? confused That comment would make me suspicious of whatever else weird they were going to say.

Custardcream14 Wed 10-Jun-15 09:22:06

I'm really pale and to be honest I am so fed up of people making comments about it. When I was at school it was people not believing I could have been on holiday and some really nasty comments. As an adult, rather foreigners on holiday have told me to put suncream on (of course I already was!) and generally made comments about how I should stay in the shade.

DressMeHeadToFootInTommy Wed 10-Jun-15 09:24:42

Yes, I'm like that, and after a few weeks away, with careful use of sun screen, I have a freckles have moved really close together sort of tan.

My children are so golden brown. I envy them. Their Dad gets the "where are you from?" questions and he says "berkshire". Then they say where is your............. mum from?

ilovemargaretatwood8931 Wed 10-Jun-15 09:25:58

Sorry OP, I rudely didn't even answer your question!

Am sure it wasn't meant offensively, but it was a rather thoughtless remark. I can totally understand you feeling confused and offended and embarrassed. I'm also sorry to hear that you are having a hard time with your mental health. flowers

Sunnyshores Wed 10-Jun-15 22:09:59

I think the comment about brown-ness should be taken as a compliment, most people are desperate to look darker skinned (fake tan, sunbeds, sunbathing), the second comment, if by the same person is odd. I guess though the point is, that you were offended and therefore its not acceptable. Perhaps have a general chat with her about hating the attention, feeling different, upset by ignorant comments. I wouldnt accuse her directly of racism as I dont think she meant it that way.

Silverdaisy Wed 10-Jun-15 22:40:08

I can read this post 2 ways, either the person was talking about your natural dark skin? Or are you white with a heavy tan, hence the comment about going white if your skin peels?

Either way it could be considered rude to comment on someone's appearence.

Barbadosgirl Wed 10-Jun-15 22:43:45


LokiBear Wed 10-Jun-15 22:46:50

YANBU. Why draw attention to the colour of your skin? What people are saying is they want a nice tan. There is no reason to bring your skin into it at all. I'm sure it wasn't meant offensively but it must be upsetting when it is something that happens a lot. It happens to me too, in reverse. Every one always compares tans with me so that they can be reassured that, compared to me, they look tanned. Every summer I get comments about how, looking at my legs, people would never believe I'd been on holiday. It's annoying and uncomfortable. Leave me and my paleness alone!

Cheesenredonion Wed 10-Jun-15 22:47:42


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