Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Illusion of Appearances

Painting in Process- Sketch

I dislike stereotypes and generalizations. I try to eradicate my vocabulary of anything that stinks of such. Yesterday, however, I was hit right in the head as I talked to my neighbor and she did not "suspect" I belonged to a certain group of people when she made a comment. She asked me if I was "one of them", as I believe my face was pure shock. I replied yes. Her reply: "but you are so different, not like the rest of them."

My reply? "There are jerks in every group of people."

Adding color to canvas

But in all fairness, how many times haven't I generalized? How many times haven't I made a joke in regard to a certain group or perpetuated a stereotype? I remember a time when I did not think about people's skin color and did not even know what religious group my friends were affiliated to. What was important to me was how much I liked them and how good they were.

In a world where we kill each other in name of patriotism, religion, race or whatever else excuse we can find, I want to revert to a time when I was colorblind.

30 comments:

turquoisemoon said...

AMEN!!! Great post and ooh my what a beautiful piece of art!!! Love it!

Lynn Fisher said...

I find the same difficulty in being with people who make sad comments when they think they are in "safe company". It, in fact, bothers me that I am perceived as someone who would reflect such vile words or thoughts.
Hoping for a new day hun, until then, taking great pleasure in communing with friends who have dear, kind souls.

Lynn Fisher said...

...and the art....beautiful!

Jane said...

I oh so wholeheartedly agree! There are jerks and wonderful human beings in every 'group'. Really love this piece.

June said...

This really hit home with me, because it has happened to me a few times in the very recent past.

Your reply was perfect. Nothing more needed to be said after that.

It's sad that there are so many closed-minded and tunnel-visioned people out there, still.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and expressing yourself, both with your words and your beautiful art.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Beautiful post and art!

Sasha Fitzgerald said...

Gorgeous artwork & fantastic post!

I remember my first experience with racism. I was about eight or nine, and I was over at a neighbour's house, playing with their kids.

The kids suddenly told me that I had to leave. I asked why, and they said because their parents said so. I asked why did they say so, and the response was because I wasn't Korean. I left, and was extremely confused. My parents tried to explain racism to me, but I didn't get it, and to a great degree I still don't.

- Sasha
www.lacewinged.com

Sherri B. said...

How true it is that there are bad apples in every group...I also hate generalizations, but like you say, it's sometimes human that we do this. What a thoughtful post...and more beautiful art work!

Scarlet said...

Beautiful, thought-provoking post, and I am in total agreement with your last paragraph. I try to know people through their words and actions (the way they interact with me...and others), but sometimes I catch myself assuming things because I notice certain characteristics in a particular person that will remind me of someone who's let me down in the past...and oftentimes it's just that air of familiarity that hits me and nothing more behind it. This kind of person could actually turn out to be a good friend if I stick around and give him/her a chance.

Francie said...

Interesting post, thought prokoking! But being colour blind would be so boring! Better to celebrate our differences (but ditch the sterotypes!)

Debra said...

Ana, you are amazing. Your work is colorful and deep as the beautiful artist that you are.
No stereotypes for me either. Who needs to keep up appearances anyway?
Did you ever see that movie, Before Women Had Wings, or read the book by Connie May Fowler?
The mother, at first, was all about appearances… until she saw what was underneath her fa├žade.
Sometimes it takes an earthquake…

Jacquelineand.... said...

Thoughtful and thought-provoking.

I was raised in a very judgemental and racist atmosphere and have found myself fighting it every day. It is, in my opinion, a spiritual, intellectual, and emotional laziness based in fear which perpetuates prejudice. If I dislike someone (or, rather, their actions) it is because of something they themselves have done not because they have been arbitrarily assigned to such and such group.

Outwith that, this is a stunning piece, vibrant with colour and with the passion you've put into it. I absolutely love it.

La Dolce Vita said...

I love your creation of the lady in a pink background. Quite interesting !
And about cultural and/or color bias- I am always unbiased and extremely sensitive to others. My parents being very humanistic might be the reason, but it was not taught to me by my parents. I was born and brought up in a multicultural/multi-religious/multi linguistic country and from a very young age, I refused to see the difference and accept everybody as equal for which I had to face the ire of my own community at times.

Jo said...

Personally, I think it's human nature, and a mix of nature and nurture, directly and indirectly. I've encountered this in my time living overseas in the US and UK when I was quite young. I told myself that I will try my best not to discriminate against anyone who's not of the same skin color or culture or religion as me. Because inside, we're really all the same.

Sulky Kitten said...

It amazes me, the things people come out with. Sometimes, I don't know which I'm madder at - their ignorance or their rudeness. Loving your new artwork.

Arkansas Patti said...

I really dislike it when people start in on a group thinking I am safe. I often falsely state that I am of that group just to quiet them. It is very effective and so far I have claimed to be shades of black, jewish,mormon, Jehovah's Witness, muslim, and mexican. I don't change anyone's mind but I am pretty sure they are not so quick to publicly condemn in the future.

NatashaMay said...

Great background color and I'm loving the face. :) I'm trying really hard not to judge but sometimes it happens.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

A lovely post and beautiful art, Ana. There are good and bad people in every group, and we should always try to keep an open mind. It's hard at times, but necessary.

Lois said...

Ugh. Trying to think of a witty remark, but just sitting here shaking my head. People are so stupid. She will probably think twice before blah-blah-blahing again. Lovley picture!

Red Shoes said...

Hi there... thank you for coming by my place!

I like the painting!

In the material that I teach, the concept of 'generalizations' arises quite often. I do tell my students that a generalization is just that... a statement or comment that may hold true for a great part of whatever it is that is being discussed. I also warn them that just because something is a generalization, that doesn't always make it true for the entire population.

~shoes~

Almost Precious said...

We enter into this world fresh and pure, untainted by the bigotry of humanity. Isn't it sad that we cannot stay that way?
We are influenced by our parents, relatives, and even our friends.
The color of one's skin, their cultural background, their religious beliefs should not be placed on the scales of judgment. Scientifically, Humanity's genetic code, our DNA, is 99.5% identical - that means we are 99.5% alike "genetically". So the color of our hair, skin eyes does not matter ... where we were born, our culture, our religion is moot in the eyes of Mother Nature.

Ola said...

thanks for following, if you wish, I would like to invite you to my second blog also, you can find it here:

Blog about life and travelling

When it comes to generalzation and stereotypes, I think that people like to have order in their world and generalizing help them in this...

Almost Precious said...

I'm thinking; "What lovely little note cards this art would make". Perfect for women that like to send off those sweet thoughts to their friends. :)

CraveCute said...

Found your lovely blog through Jane's Jewels. Love your colorful art and good luck with your Etsy shop. I have a shop on Etsy also.

Regarding your post, at least you know where the neighbor stands now. It is always a shock when you learn something like that about a person. Maybe by just knowing you, it will help them change their own thinking. You know what they say, "Lead by Example."

Diane

The Roof said...

it shocks me sometimes when some people just totally refuse to treat other people with respect based on their own (often false) perception of others.
It's sad, but it happens every day, somewhere in the world. I do hope that we can keep an open mind, and treat others with respect no matter what.

Shaharoh said...

I have never been colorblind but that is because at a very small age, I was made aware that I was "different" than other people. I think what I've tried to do as an adult is to always expect the worse from people and the best. People surprise with the things they say all of the times and I surprise myself sometimes by what I say and what is in my mind. Constant battle.

Naquillity said...

i've always tried to accept people for how they treated me and not by the color of one's skin. i have many friends from different nationalities and wouldn't change that for anything. they gave me so much in return for my friendship. may everyone have at least one friend like this to help them see that differences can be wonderful.

Sandi said...

I loved your reply. I wonder if I would have thought to say that. I would hope so... because it is true. And here is to 'colorblindness' when it comes to people. :)

Buttons said...

Oh that makes me so sad. Colour blind is what everyone should be. B

An'Angelia Thompson said...

Hi, Ana! I had an amazing journey here. Love the photos of Key West and Paris, and that darling little teaspoon is precious! The food pics are amazing - I'm not hungry but I think I drooled a little :o) I enjoyed looking at all of your brightly colored artwork, too. Thanks for stopping by - I'm happy to meet you :D xoxox