• Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

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It May Not Be Racism, But Race Does Matter

race and racism www.janeanesworld.comNot everything is racism, but some things really are about race.

Today a Facebook “friend” was upset about an article from Right Wing News about nude-colored bras. The gist of the article is that stores stock nude colored bras for white people but not black people. The author of the piece could not “comprehend the stupidity of this.” The Facebook “friend” went on and on about how ridiculous this whole idea was and how everything is not racist. According to this Facebook “friend” if we just “Stop making everything about race and guess what? It won’t be.” I was drawn to respond to her Facebook status.

I wrote this blog article rather than respond to her Facebook status. I believe that things are not about race merely because we are “making everything about race.” Some stuff really is about race and some people can’t see it because of their perspective, position, and privilege. Everything is not racist, but a lot of things are about race and are examples of white privilege that are so pervasive people get a bad attitude if you attempt to address them.


A thing doesn’t have to be part of an evil plan for it to have a racist impact.

I do not think mainstream bra manufacturers are racist or plotting the downfall of the black race by failing to produce bras that or nude for blacks or Latinas or Asian Americans. It is not racist, but it is a race issue.


According to Webster’s Dictionary, racism is:

a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human racial groups determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to dominate others or that a particular racial group is inferior to the others.


This business decision to make nude colored bras that do not match the skin tone of people of color has a disproportionate impact on people of various races. That is a fact. It is not racism, but it is a fact and it has to do with race. No matter how much people hate to make everything about race, some things are about race. However,  just because it is about race, doesn’t mean there is racism. Some things are just about business and money, nothing to do with racism. At the same time, manufacturers are recognizing that nude comes in more than one color. Upscale shoe designer, Christian Louboutin, released a line of nude shoes for a wide variety of skin tones. Clothing designer Nubian Skin has released a line of undergarments and hosiery for a variety of black skin tones.


When black women say they want nude pantyhose, bras, and shoes that represent their shade of nude, it is not racist, it is reasonable.  It sends a message when a person of color walks into a store for pantyhose or bras and the only nude-colored items are not meant for people of their color. Even if people don’t want to admit it or think it is frivolous when your nude color for sale, a message is sent. Manufacturers who understand this and provide it will capture some of the $ 1.1 trillion Consumer Reports African-Americans have in spending power.


As an entrepreneur, you must pay attention to the results of your actions. Appearance matters. Results matter. If your business actions appear to be racist, there may be a negative impact on your bottom line. It is not mere political correctness at play. If you care about your company’s bottom line, you need to care about how people are treated.

So approach things differently the next time you see or hear people of color talking about their desire for nude colored items.  Instead of getting upset, step away from white privileged view and recognize that there is nothing wrong with that desire.


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34 thoughts on “It May Not Be Racism, But Race Does Matter”
  1. Everyone certainly needs to be represented and heard, no matter what your background, culture, or skin color!

  2. I don’t like to call it race but perhaps different. I wish people would just understand that we really are all just different. We can impose our feelings and beliefs on others and we shouldn’t. It’s what makes us all different, isn’t it?

  3. I never really considered this topic until you blogged. It’s good to put this topic out there so folks can discuss and think about things they may not have.

  4. Our differences and unique characteristics are what make us special. The world would be better if our differences were celebrated instead of treated like something we should be ashamed exist.

  5. I appreciate you sharing you opinion. I think these types of articles can divisive. I wished we did more to say how we are alike than trying to pick apart our differences.

  6. Race and racism are serious and important issues. They could use some heavy thinking. You can’t “overthink” issues that are that serious. And you are absolutely correct, when you know better you do better. If we want to know better, we have to talk and learn from each other so we can do better.

  7. You made several good points here. The thing that first put a bad taste in my mouth is how dismissive she was about the cares and concerns of a whole group of people.

  8. You made several good points here. It was her dismissive attitude towards the concerns of others that initially put the bad taste in my mouth.

  9. As the day went on, her comments and those of the people commenting with her grew increasingly offensive, hateful and dismissive of real issues faced by millions of people in this country. I was forced to “unfriend” her. I am sure I will not be missed.

  10. I think everything was and will always be about race. people are just now more vocal about it which makes “everything about race”. I get the point about the nude bra b/c on a darker skin tone it would not be nude

  11. It is a matter of privilege when you think shopping for things in our skin tone is a silly or trivial matter. When you cannot find things labeled “skin” toned in anything like your skin, a message is sent. It is not something you are doing as a person of color. It is a fact that happens in drug stores and department stores every day in this country and it is real. It is not something people of color are making up so they can have a race problem to talk about.

  12. One of my readers commented that people are making everything about race lately. It must be nice to live in a world where racial issues and racial conflict did not exist until recently. Race has been an issue all my life, whether I make something about race or not.

  13. Maybe it’s because privileged people rarely have to deal with these issues so they assume they don’t exist. Certain colors and cultures are constantly left out and it may be hard to tell if you’ve always been represented.

  14. I have not noticed people “make so many things about race lately.” I have noticed people denying things are about race lately.

  15. I am pasty white and can never find a nude bra that matches. My thoughts – this “friend” must have the PERFECT nude skin tone! Her reaction really shows her true “colors”

  16. In other news….the flag has been taken down in my current state South Carolina, but that has not changed the hearts of some racists living here. Now they just buy humungous Confederate Flags and fly them on a pole on their pickup trucks. Racism is a very important issue that some still want to ignore.

  17. Oh my word. Bra color, really? To be honest I believe some things are about race yes but I also think people really think it is often, when it isn’t. I know to me I don’t care about race. People are people, if you treat me right I’ll treat you right. I guess I’m just a bit more sheltered then some people, but it bugs me that so many people make so many things about race lately.

  18. Yes, you are right about this. I think we need to have open, honest conversations about race. Our pastor just preached a message about this on Sunday. We need to focus on reconciliation, not division.

  19. There are a million skin colors in this world, and not as many great bras. It seems reasonable to me that they’d make a lot more “nude” colors, because nude means many beautiful things to many beautiful people.
    I think it is a race issue, as are many in this country. I think we’re learning how to adapt, but at a very slow pace.
    I love your post.

  20. I have always thought that Nude as a color… I am as white as white can be and I have never found one to match my skin tone.
    Personally I prefer colors. The brighter and bolder the better.
    I can see how this would be a touchy subject and am glad you are speaking up!!

  21. I don’t know about skin colored bras – I only wear black ones 🙂

  22. Barbie had to adjust to survive. These companies who only cater to fairer skin tones will learn too. As the demand rises they must quickly adapt or die out.

  23. Hi, It caught my eye with all of the ladies having bras that matched their skin tones. So beautiful. What’s so hard about manufacturers making more varieties of colored bras. After all, women don’t have turquoise, lavender or polka-dot skin, but bra companies make those colors, just sayin’.

  24. It’s not racist, it’s reasonable. <<– I love this. Sums it all up perfectly!

    That attitude that people are overthinking the race issue really ticks me off. In my opinion, we've all been underthinking it for a very long time. When you know better, do better, right?

  25. Thank you very much for posting this very important article about how race is an issue with the very basic and legitimate need for African-American, Latina, and Asian women to have bras and pantyhose that easily blend in with our skin tone. You are right that from a business perspective it behooves the fashion industry to meet this unmet need.Some people who are members of the privileged race will say we are exaggerating matters and drawing the race card. Good for you for speaking up. I hope that the ones who are members of the privileged white class will do self-introspection, and really seek to understand our perspective and not be dismissive of us which feels horrible and tends to shut us up.

  26. The fact that she was so upset over another race of people having the same privilege as her speaks a lot to her character. It was great that you wrote this response. Hopefully she’ll see it and have a better understanding of why this product is necessary.

  27. The fact that she’s never had problems finding “nude” bras means she’s privileged enough that bras are made in her skin tone. I have never ever been able to find a nude bra that matches my skin tone. Would she she say the same thing about how a peach crayon used to be labeled “skin color”? I’m glad you are speaking up!

  28. my gut feeling tells me that people who are not marginalized do not understand when those of us who are omitted from things feel slighted. It’s great if you want to reduce racism but I don’t feel as if your voice in this argument counts. Everything is for and by and about Caucasians. While the pantyhose may not be your exact shade, you must admit that there are more shades available to Caucasians than for darker skins of any race. If NOTHING looked like you, talked like you, or favored you and your people in the least, you might begin to understand.

    Nothing is about race when you are the majority. If you want to help us see your side of things, don’t belittle or take away our agency. We have a right to our feelings and you can best believe if there comes a time when you feel slighted for being a minority in any kind of way, we would join you in support, because we know what it feels like to be slighted.

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