Being different in a society full of standards and stereotypes is not an easy task. A guy needs to be tan and muscular to fit in the Brazilian standards of male beauty. So, anything different than that may be used for bullying and shaming. Skin color and body shape are the most common sources for bullying. However, different from body shape, skin color is associated with race. The Brazilian beauty standard is to have dark tan skin. Thus, both white and black guys hear insults related to their skin color.
For me, insults such as, white rat, white candle, Caspar the friendly ghost, transparent, Dalmatian, Gringo, etc, were really common. Believe me, I’ve even heard things like “Oh God, look how white that guy is” (with a disgusting intonation). It might sound impossible for an American to believe, but that’s what happened to me throughout my childhood and adolescence.
Of course this kind of bullying and insults also happens to black guys. And based on my life experience, it is even worse for black people because these insults follow them even in adulthood. Although I still feel like people look at me and judge me for my skin color, I do not hear those kind of insults anymore.
Brazilian media shows these verbal insults against black people as the worse form of racism. But the same media does not show the same kind of verbal insults against white people. That kind of bullying is a traumatizing experience for both white and black people. I’m 25 years-old and I’m still embarrassed to be shirtless in a crowded beach.
So, Brazilian media reduces racism to discrimination. It does not help people to see how big and complicated racism is. By only showing and discussing verbal insults suffered by celebrities and soccer players, Brazilian Media induces people to create a concept of racism totally different from the real definition. It makes the race problem in Brazil much smaller than it really is. That’s probably why so many people in Brazil say that there is no racism in our society.
Racism is not only that prejudice against skin color showed by media. Racism is a whole system that sets one race as superior or dominant. It affects people in many different ways and levels, mainly in the social-economic aspects. Has Brazilian media ever discussed racism deeply?
Civil Engineer and Technician in Civil Construction from Brazil. Loves learning more and more about Civil Engineering and dreams about giving his contribution to improve Civil Engineering. Favorite hobbies are travelling and solving puzzles that involve science. Believes that we should be the change that you wish to see in the world.