I wanted to post about the variety of colouring that occurs naturally in humans. Eyes, hair, skin – textures, hues, shapes. I searched the Internet. I was a bit disappointed.
In order to get reliable photographs of natural beauty I have had to rely on the kids. So here is a selection of pictures of children, which as far as I can tell, are not too edited. Search for “green eyes” and many of the models are actually wearing green-coloured contact lenses. And of course “brunette” mainly brings up pictures of women using more than their fair share of Clairol. In providing photographs of beautiful children I know I am at risk of parodying the Benetton advert, slightly sensationalising (black kid/blonde hair), or maybe celebrating diversity at a moment when many aspire to national and ethnic uniformity (in the week when United Kingdom Independence Party got its first MP).
What was shocking to me, looking for pictures of African kids in particular was:
- how many included Madonna
- how few included a single child
- that many were of food stations, refugee camps, medical facilities including white helpers
- their clothes were well-worn European cast-offs
The white kids were easier to find as the internet is owned by white people and ordinary folks are keen on photographing and publishing pictures of their little poppets. Although there is widespread alarm about photographing children these days it surprised me that:
- many have been styled by parents to look like they are models
- their clothes are new and often carefully chosen to coordinate
- quite a few of them are a little too “sexy”
And I admit I have struggled to find great pictures of Chinese or Japanese children.
- this is probably a search engine issue
- many of the pictures are watermarked and for sale
- several children are very formally dressed, often in fancy nationalist outfits
- putting make up on small children, and even colouring their hair for photographs is not unusual
Maybe this post will offend, or provoke. I hope not. The diversity of humanity – different hair types, skin and eye colour, different builds, shapes and sizes, and abilities – is endlessly fascinating. I can’t say this without also remarking that where you are born and your resources will have more impact on your life than any of these gorgeous children yet know.