Changing Race: White to Black, vice versa

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by cslewis, Mar 5, 2006.

  1. cslewis macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #1
    I'm extremely interested in a new show, Black.White, which switches the skin tones of two American families. Essentially, a Caucasian family, the Wurgels, take on an African-American appearance. At the same time, the Sparkses, an African-American family, take on a Caucasian appearance. The whole idea is to let the families explore the social predjudices, differences, and stereotypes that affect each race. The transformations are amazing:

    [​IMG]
    (Wurgels, naturally white)

    [​IMG]
    (Wurgels, newly black)

    [​IMG]
    (Sparkses, naturally black)

    [​IMG]
    (Sparkses, newly white)

    There are far better pics on the website: the changes look iffy in the group shots, but individually... only the fathers are a little bit unconvincing.

    http://tv.yahoo.com/feature/blackwhite.html

    So, what do you guys think?
     
  2. bobscliff macrumors regular

    bobscliff

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    #2
    It confused the hell out of me at first, who had changed into who, but i guess that's the website's fault. It looks intriguing to me.
     
  3. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #3
    Thats tech and makeup for you...you can do so much more than you could of 15years ago...remember those movies that tried this and you could see right through the makeup.



    Bless
     
  4. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

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    #4
    You want the original, look up the book "Black Like Me" in the library
     
  5. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #5
    Those white folk are gonna be in for a real surprise. :p
     
  6. cslewis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    cslewis

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    #6
    Well that's the point, isn't it? :p

    If the option came up, would MR members 'switch' races? I'm white, and I think it could be a really interesting experience. I guess you'd have to have the right facial structure, though... someone like my friend Antonio wouldn't be very convincing.
     

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  7. Piarco macrumors 68030

    Piarco

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    #7
    Its based off a British TV series called Race Swap. Interesting they also had a couple of follow up programs called Age Swap a another hose name escapes me where the people were given facial/physical disfigurements. All were interesting and often the experience really affected the people involved. I think it was only done with "celebrities" over ere.. is the US version doing it with Joe Public?
     
  8. thedude110 macrumors 68020

    thedude110

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    #8
    The bigger question, as far as I'm concerned, is whether they will also be swapping socio-economic classes.

    Or will the kids be going from suburban school to another?
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    Jul 4, 2005
    #9
    Early attempts at the show were not as convincing.....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #10
    Eddie Murphy did a spoof of this experiment when he was on Saturday Night Live, and poked fun at racial stereotypes on both sides.

    We see one scene where he goes in to the bank for a loan and the (white) banker just hands over the money to him, without asking for a signature or anything. In my favorite scene, he's at a newsstand and when he attempts to pay for the newspaper the white newsstand owner says, "Just take it. It's OK, go on, just take it." Murphy's comment in voiceover: "I was beginning to realize that when white people are alone, they just give things to each other."
     
  11. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #11
    So did anyone else watch this Wednesday night? It was on late and so I'm not going to remember everything, but here's my take on it.

    To answer thedude110's question, I didn't hear them say much about the socio-economic status of the two families, and they definitely didn't play up that aspect of it in this first episode. The black family (the Sparks) are from Atlanta and the white family (the Wurgles) are from the Los Angeles area; based on what little is said about them on the FX site, both appear to be middle-class families.

    To me (a white guy) the make-up job for the Wurgels was a lot more convincing that the make-up job for the Sparks. That is, if I had nothing other than their appearance to go on, I wouldn't suspect that the (made-up) Wurgles weren't black. The Sparks family's make-up job left them looking biracial or something, in my opinion.

    OK, let's just get this out of the way: The Wurgels' daughter, Rose, looks a lot prettier with the make-up than she does without it. There, I said it. ;)

    This first episode seemed mainly to focus on the experiences of the two fathers, and the Wurgels' daughter Rose. Rose seems to be fitting in really well with her black peers, and we had one part of the episode focused on her attending a "slam" poetry workshop. I do wonder if we will see the two teenagers adapting better to this change than the adults do as the series goes on.

    The two fathers appear to have the greatest differences of opinion about how black people are treated.

    Mr. Sparks made a big deal about the fact that the first time he went shoe-shopping as a white guy, the salesman was very attentive and offered to measure his feet, place the shoe on his foot with a shoehorn, etc. He said that this was the first time he'd ever been treated that well in a shoe store -- he said that the salesman would go fetch the shoes for him, but that's where the service ended.

    There's also a subplot where Mr. Sparks goes and applies for a job at a bar in an all-white neighborhood. He gets the job, and we see him talking with one patron who goes on and on about how this neighborhood is one of the last "safe" neighborhoods left. I don't remember if the patron explicitly says that it's safe because there are no black people there, but it's definitely implied.

    Mr. Wurgel keeps trying to make the case that if he just goes into a store and treats people with respect, that they'll do the same to him. He believes that Mr. Sparks is so conditioned to seeing the world as racist, that he interprets any slight from a white person as racially-motvated. For example, in one scene both men are walking down a sidewalk side-by-side (Mr. Sparks without his "white" make-up). They are taking up most of the sidewalk, and when a group of white people steps aside to let the two men pass, Mr. Sparks attributes it to racism.

    Anyways, it was kinda interesting. There are plenty of cringe-worthy moments, but the show didn't come off to me as a purely exploitative thing. They aren't putting the two families into goofy stereotypical situations to see how they react; it all seems pretty genuine. I'll definitely watch again.
     
  12. Peyton macrumors 68000

    Peyton

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    #12
    Just another reason Michael Jackson is a true pioneer :rolleyes:
     
  13. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

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    Portland, OR
    #13
    Sad thing is, I don't think the make up tech has really changed all that much from Eddie Murphy's SNL skit, or even from terrible movies like "Soul Man".
     
  14. Lyle macrumors 68000

    Lyle

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    #14
    Yes. Actually, Mr. Sparks' "white" make-up job reminded me very much of Eddie Murphy's make-up job in that SNL skit -- right down to the completely fake looking moustache.
     

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