Friday, May 7, 2010

embody the fairest of them all

Here's a shot of Friday goodness, an infauxmercial sent in by James Yamanoha (who's half of the HabuNami Media collective). James also said that this short had its world premiere last night at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival; I hear the audience fell into helpless heaps of horrified laughter.


Politicians, police officers, and right-wing pundits all agree: White On™ is the best solution to the race problem since Jim Crow! Never sit through another one of those boring “racial sensitivity trainings” ever again! Give them the gift of White On™ and watch your fears boil away!

[Trigger warning for some violent imagery]

White On™ Infomercial from HabuNami Media.

Here's HabuNami Media's blog, Okinawa Notes, and here's more on the LA Asian Pacific Film Festival.


  1. Hm...I wonder if they sell this at my local Walgreens.

  2. that was soooooo freakin hilarious! i can't stop laughing.... take that, FAIR 'N' LOVELY!!!

  3. Meanwhile, who decided that "fair" means (a) just/moral (b) beautiful AND (c) light-skinned/haired?

  4. @ Willow,

    Yes, this post's title reflects my recent wonderings along those lines. (The easy answer -- white people did.)

    In Snow "White" and the Seven Dwarfs, the mirror-mirror on the wall has this to say, in reply to the question about who's the "fairest of them all":

    "Lips red as the rose, hair black as ebony, skin white as snow."

    And the envious queen gasps in reply: "Snow White!"

    Is the description of a just, even-handed, equitable person as a "fair" or "fair-minded" person actually akin to saying, as (white) people still sometimes say in some parts of the U.S., "That's mighty white of you?"

    (It's interesting --ironic? -- that on this Wiki page, "That's mighty white of you" is interpreted to mean . . . "Thank you for being fair.")

  5. Is the description of a just, even-handed, equitable person as a "fair" or "fair-minded" person actually akin to saying, as (white) people still sometimes say in some parts of the U.S., "That's mighty white of you?"

    Ugh, that's one of those things that just bugs the crap outta me when it's used ambiguously - most days, I can take "fair" to mean "equitable" or "just" with little to no issue, but there are just times (as in "fairest of them all" where "fair" is used to indicate beauty) when I grit my teeth at it and wish our language didn't have this ridiculous habit of using the same damn word to mean three or four different things. Great for entendre but shitty for the purposes of successful communication between speaker and listener.

    And you see this reflected in all kinds of metaphorical dichotomies, particularly regarding lightness and darkness where light/day is typically representative of goodness, justice, purity, and order and darkness/night is representative of evil, atrocities, corruption and chaos. One of the interesting/wonderful things about The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (wonderful epic fantasy by N.K Jemisin - GO READ) was the approach she took to this mythical representation in her gods **POSSIBLY SPOILERY** are Itempas the Bright (order/daylight) of ebony skin and white hair and Nahadoth the Nightlord (chaos/night) of whitewhite skin and black hair - it thrilled me to see them fitting together like the yin/yang symbol and overall just WONDERFUL. And this in a book that is otherwise excellent in terms of racial inclusion.

    I am rambling now, and I'll stop, but basically "yes" to the whole conundrum re: "fairest of them all." And it's bloody obnoxious.

  6. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

  7. This was too much, I am dyin of laughter here LOL.

  8. Most of the video was fun, however, you might want to add a trigger warning. I felt that the scenes where the young woman is screaming and has her skin pealing of are quite triggering.

  9. Sorry about that, Louna.

    Any suggestions about how to phrase such a warning?

  10. From the online etymological dictionary:

    fair (adj.) Look up fair at
    O.E. fæger "beautiful, pleasant," from P.Gmc. *fagraz (cf. O.N. fagr, O.H.G. fagar "beautiful," Goth. fagrs "fit"), from PIE *fag-. The meaning in reference to weather (c.1200) preserves the original sense (opposed to foul). Sense of "light complexioned" (1550s) reflects tastes in beauty; sense of "free from bias" (mid-14c.) evolved from another early meaning, "morally pure, unblemished" (late 12c.). The sporting senses (fair ball, fair catch etc.) began in 1856. Fair play is from 1590s; fair and square is from c.1600. Fair-haired in the figurative sense of "darling, favorite" is from 1909. First record of fair-weather friends is from 1736.

    So yeah, it reflects the beauty standards of the mid-16th century, when being fat and pale meant you were rich enough not to need to work outside. Oh, and fair as in a carnival is apparently Old French.

  11. @ macon

    I would think a trigger warning for "violent imagery" would be sufficient.

    I really did enjoy the video. Frakkin' hilarious. I laughed hardest at the outtake of the man with hand cream, or whatever it was, all over his face.

  12. The Chemist: Thanks, I'll add a line to that effect.

  13. Good stuff. I especially loved the faces of the POC when the announcer was talking.

  14. I thought this ad was absolutely hilarious.

    If they had products that actually worked 100% like this, people would use them, too. I know about bleaching creams... but I mean exactly like this.

  15. Why did they film someone pulling her own skin off? Who thought it would be a good idea to include that? I need brain bleach.

  16. Hold on, hold on. Are you saying that making your brain white with "brain bleach" causes mental purity?


  17. sometimes you to laugh to keep from crying

  18. Ben, I think they meant to bleach the memory of the whole skin-ripping scene.

  19. In many places, people just put [Trigger warning] before whatever could be triggering, here the video. If you want to be more specific, you could write [Trigger warning for violence/self-violence], because although she does not tear off her own skin, it looks awfully like it.

  20. Oh, I hadn't noticed that you already added a trigger warning. Thank you.

  21. This video is pretty eye opening, but I'm sure most white people will see it as, "They want to be just like us."


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