Re: Musings on race, informed consent and the nature of henna

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Posted by Maureen on May 29, 2002 at 17:34:41:

In reply to: Musings on race, informed consent and the nature of henna posted by Kenzi on May 29, 2002 at 15:04:27:

Let me see. Are you saying that when you are dealing with issues of
skin color that you don't understand that you are also dealing with
issues of race (especially here in the U.S.) I don't believe that.

If a race card was pulled, it is because it was in your deck. But I
decline the notion that I pulled one.

Hear are two of the statements I have comment on:

"Also- I just wanted to comment that I agree totally with your
assessment re henna on darker skinned people. No matter how dark the
henna gets, on ebony skin henna is just not going to look the same. I
understand that in some countries like Senegal and Mali people use
henna totally differently - not elaborate tiny designs, but thicker
bolder, simpler designs that make the burgundy/black skin look like
watered silk in the sunlight - but definitely not visible from a


"That's fascinating! I think it's possible that this is true; I think
most Moroccan women seek to have lighter skin as it is
considered to be more beautiful. And in general, the people in
Marrakesh tend to have darker skin than the people of the north.
Just the fact that there exist all these methods for making the
henna dark or black goes against what you report. it makes me
think that some people do want black or dark henna. Because
they tend to be dark skinned they want their henna to be darker
so it can be seen more easily."

If you do not see the implication in these statements can draw one to
conclude that on dark skin there is a problem with the pure and
natural henna being seen on there skin...well, maybe you just don't
want to see it.

My statements have been and continue to be that pure and natural
henna can be seen on dark skin and using something to get a black
stain or some skin harming chemical to push the stain darker is not
necessary for dark skin people to have stains that can be seen on
their skin...even from a distance.

It is interesting to me that you would make, support or not comment
against a racially insensitive comment and then wish to say I "pulled
the race card" when I do.

Imparting information to customers so that they can make informed
consent is a very good thing to do. But if the information being
imparted is similar to what is above, then it is based on a faulty
premise and is therefore not good information to impart.

The measure of what is a "good" or "not good"...or a "dark" or "not
dark" stain on dark skin depends on what yard stick you are using for

That you don't make the comments above to a customer is good. My
posts are about the comments in the posts that have been made here
that would make people of color with dark skin believe they could not
get "good" and "dark" stains on body parts other than hands and feet.
What is good or dark is relative...and subjective...and can be laden
with political and cultural significance. And anyone needs to take
care with how such statements will be heard, read and interpreted.

You may not say it to customers, but you wrote it here. That last
quote above is yours. And I repeat what I posted before, if people
of dark skin may use something to push their henna darker or to black
is because they want it to be seen better on their skin. Why do
people of lighter hue do use something to push their henna darker or
black. Is it because they want it to be seen better on their skin as
well. If so, the the skin color is a nonfactor. If not, if it is
because they have choice and choose, then perhaps dark skinned people
do the same...then it is a nonfactor. That statement is reflective
of your own personal view about what would be needed to make the
henna visible on dark skin. It certainly is not based upon anything
else but your view point. It was indeed made in disagreement to the
point Efran made explaining the reasons he was "told" why dark
skinned people desired the red stains in the political and cultural
context of the people he was describing. You can have your opinion.
I have no problem with that. My point is that it is just an opinion.
And happens to be one that I would not want other people to use when
choosing what is required for them to have excellent and beautiful
henna stains on dark skin...that can be seen very very well indeed.



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