Good news! Eddie Bauer has found a way to end racism. Too often labels such as black and white limit us, even if they might be preferable to antiquated terms. Fortunately, with the help of an Eddie Bauer catalog, you no longer need feel inadequate in describing a person’s pigmentation in lieu of guessing their ethnicity and country of origin.
Just as it would be unfair to call both the Na’vi and the Smurfs ‘blue’ instead of employing adjectives like ‘nordic’ or ‘cadet’, real people deserve distinctions.
‘Black’ feels too austere, and ‘dark brown’ too clinical. Instead, think of a person as ‘cognac’ (the label will be twice as clever if the person is inebriated). ‘Saddle’ will work well for a person who might have a color, or might merely be back from a week on a dude ranch. ‘Picante’ works equally well for victims of tanning salons or people who spend too much time south of the border, possibly eating Taco Bell. And who could be offended by being described as ‘taupe’? It has all the class of beige without the monotony, and eschews the dark intonations of ‘fossil’.
Even white people, whose previous best bet has been from a box of crayons with labels like ‘peach’ or ‘flesh’, can benefit from Eddie Bauer’s system of classification. To avoid the stigma of ‘albino’, say ‘bone’. To add a touch of the exotic to your ordinariness, say ‘mist’. To soften your pallor, say ‘buttercream’.
So whether you’re a ‘light olive’ Greek or a ‘sandstone’ Roman, this simple guide will help you avoid potential embarrassment. But, if you find yourself blushing, instead of blaming it on sunburn, think of yourself as ‘tea rose’ and let the world drink you in.
Matt Kolbet has published satire in Clockwise Cat, Defenestration and The American Drivel Review. He teaches and writes near Portland, Oregon.