Sunday, September 16, 2007

La Femme Negrita

In certain circles in Los Angeles, you can get tarred and feathered for merely whispering about stereotypes. So imagine my shock (and truth be told, curious delight, because after all this is why I expatriated, to revel in what I like to call the jolt of being not-home) when I spotted a little brand called Negrita in the aisles of my local Coto. I just had to buy a Negrita anything so I could stare into its awesomeness: the charcoal skin smeared with thin, white dust, and those fantastically engorged ruby red lips.

The Negrita brand. It's just the Argentines’ way of worshipping the exotic, no? When I asked my Spanish teacher why her fellow countrymen had such a penchant for black caricatures, she replied nonplussed, "because we don't see a lot of them walking around." Duh!

So imagine my giddiness--the kind that sneaks up on you when you know you're about to do something naughty--when not too long after this sighting, I happened upon a bakery in Palermo full of negrito fudge balls. There they were on display, a whole tray of googly eyes. How could I refuse such cuteness? Trust me, dear readers, they were muy deliciosos and with nary a touch of dulce de leche, making them a dessert anomaly here.

My flippancy aside, the reason negrito fudge balls can exist here, whereas in the US such a bakery would be deemed the scene of a hate crime, is that for the most part black latinos just aren't present. Thus, we're left with an age-old sugary koan ... if there's an offensive tasty snack in a bakery but no black people to object to it, does it make it racist?

4 comments:

William Bixby said...

Racism never looked so delicious!

miss tango in her eyes said...

Everytime I see the negritos they bring me such joy!

The first doll I purchased for Tango Baby was a little stuffed Negrita. I don´t think it is racist at all. My skin may look as pure as snow, but my Grandmother was half black. She bought me a Gollywog, which was my favourite doll. North American society can be soooo politically correct, when really we just need to start laughing at ourselves for being so absurd, and just enjoy our differences instead of tippy toeing around them which I think sums up PCness.

theshortestfuse said...

i agree that it's not racist either. personally, i'd love to see a fudge head of short asian girls with chubby cheeks...

i saw the cutest rastafaran doll holding weed at tigermarket here once. wish i'd bought it.

miss tango in her eyes said...

the rastafarians that move to music?
we bought one on florida 25 pesos.