Or it says, “Good for you for not conforming to the standard beauty norm. I, for one, admire that and find it attractive.”
Brownfemipower clearly stated that the reason she was labeled exotic was because of her black hair. The person wasn’t admiring her refusal to conform to beauty standards, she was making a point of bfp’s other status.
I quite often wish I could be “exotic” instead of “ordinary white girl.”
People of color quite often wish they could be treated as fully human. You can make this statement and take this perspective because you have the privilege of being an “ordinary white girl”. It’s easy for us white people to think and say things like this because we can afford to think about looks while ignoring lives.
When people say “exotic,” it’s not a label of Otherness insofar as it’s spoken reverently. People don’t call homosexuals “exotic” — the word isn’t used interchangeably with “different” or “odd.” It very obviously has positive connotation. Now, we can vivisect the semiotic, but I’m quite sure that there’s no inherent racism or sexism here.
Bullshit! It is entirely possible to be reverent, or think you’re being reverent, while still being racist. You’re putting a woman of color on the spot and announcing that she doesn’t fit the standard. You think you’re admiring her. What you’re actually doing is making a big deal out of her difference from you. You may say that her difference is good/neat/wonderful, but you’re making that difference central to your interaction. By labeling a woman of color “exotic” you are separating her from the standard, which is whiteness. After all, you can’t have an exotic without having a standard.
It’s amazing that the third commenter is quite sure there’s no racism or sexism in this situation. What does it take to make one think she can make pronouncements about people she’s never met and a situation she didn’t experience? Bfp, you can just relax, because total strangers have decreed that a) exotic is a compliment, and b) there was no racism in the remark.
I guess there’s nothing to worry about.