Oh for goodness sake. Where will this all end? Halle Berry has had to issue a groveling apology because when she was shown a distorted image of herself where her nose was over-sized she exclaimed “I look like my Jewish cousin.”
“She must be punished,” says one reader in reaction to the article about the incident on the Daily Mail website. Oh please.
I am half-Swedish and half-Italian. Almost every time I tell people this they say (with an air of unconcealed disappointment) “oh, you don’t look very Swedish.” It is true, I don’t look remotely Swedish. As my Italian father pointed out when he first saw me after 12 years: “You’ve ended up with my looks and your mother’s brain; a most unfortunate way for things to turn out.”
But do I get offended if someone tells me I look Italian? I have brown eyes and brown hair. That is the Italian look. And no, it really doesn’t bother me if people point out that I look like an Italian as opposed to a Swede. It is true, just as it is true that a lot of people of Jewish descent have big noses. When did you ever see an actor playing Shylock with a small one? What is wrong with people? What is there to get offended about here? Why is having a big nose such a bad thing?
I despair at the political correctness we are forced to live with. It makes the world a really boring place where people are too frightened to speak for fear of upsetting someone. Halle Berry made a joke. But even she knew she would be in trouble so got the TV station to edit the word Jewish out of her sentence. Still news spread that she said it and everyone went crazy. How did we get so po-faced?
I’m with Peter from London, who also left a comment on the website. “Get over it. Nobody died.”
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007
This is political correctness gone crazy. But let’s remember it’s by and large an AMERICAN disease. When you meet americans one on one, they are charming and intelligent and great company. However as a nation they are bigotted, stupid, insular and selfish.
Oh sorry….. is it politically incorrect to say that?
You’re half Swedish, half Italian? Oh my god, I had no idea. Oh well, at least you’re not Welsh…
Actually, not all Americans are charming and intelligent and great company. It took me (an American) a really long time to understand that attributing personality traits to an entire nation or ethic group is boorish and nonsensical. For the nearly 25 years I spent living abroad, I heard otherwise charming and intelligent people say ridiculous things that always began with the words “Americans are so” or “The English are so”, or “The Chinese are so,” or “The French are so,” etc.
So while it is not politically incorrect to say that Americans are (fill in the blanks), or to note that political correctness has reached absurd proportions, it is rather silly to make blanket statements about a nation, especially when the statements are just tired stereotypes. They say more about the speaker than the subject.
Also, I agree that raising such a fuss over a remark made in jest about a nose is a waste of time. What is odd, though, is that if the speaker had been Jewish the remark would have been politically correct but not funny. And ironically, the speaker is a member of an ethnic group that can also say things about its own group that outsiders to the group apparently are not allowed to say without being accused of racism or insensitivity.
Within two days of my arrival in China, and armed with all of the prejudices of my American upbringing and education, I thought I could write an entire book about China and the Chinese. After six months, I was less sure and it seemed more realistic to envisage a long article. And after two years, I had seen enough of China and the Chinese to realize that both were far more complex than I had imagined, and that once I had discarded my sweeping generalizations there was not much left to say about “the Chinese” as a faceless horde but lots to say about the individuals I met.
So, what is Barbra’s picture doing here then? Are you insinuating something? I suppose Ms Berry could come from the lost tribe! I know exactly Helana. I am half of everything (inclusive the big nose) and raised in Sweden . Another dissaponting Swedish brunette. Life would be much easier if we were blond, don’t you think? Rather not. I have heard that blonds are really thick……
This doesn’t look like Halle Berry at all! When I saw a picture of her the other day, it wasn’t the size of her nose that struck me, but a couple of different parts of her anatomy!
I’m half Welsh, half Irish with a “strong” nose. Does this mean that an ancestor of mine fell for a nomadic Jew whilst tending her leaks?
I presume Rupert is a thoroughbred.
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