I’m watching The Food Network and there are 3 chefs, left from what I believe was originally 4 chefs. All are competing for an executive chef position at a Cuban cuisine restaurant in New York City.
One chef was a lady who spoke very clear and quite articulate English, meaning filler-words along the lines of “like” and “um” were sparse if they were at all present. Indeed, she had an audible Spanish accent when speaking. Regardless, I was confident that anyone could understand her speech.
With that said, I was taken aback and infuriated that the television network felt it necessary to include English subtitles on the screen for someone who was speaking English as it should be spoken.
Only a couple of days afterwards, I zapped on my DVR-saved Four Weddings. On the show, 1 of the brides’ husband was Iraqi. For the less than 2 minutes that he was featured speaking on-air, there were English subtitles projected on the screen of him speaking English. Again, I was outraged. Sure, he had an Arabic flare to his speech, but his English was perfectly comprehensible.
Middle America speakers’ English is far less eloquent than both of the persons I mentioned above.
For those who believe ain’t and y’all are a culturally-appropriate dialect that, is in essence, an evolved version of English: I’m not buying your sorry excuse for botching the English language.
I am not even referring to race in my argument. Forget the majority and minorities argument: Let’s take Heidi Klum for example. Heidi, apparently, has been rumored to have such a thick German accent to her English, that she is being reconsidered for a position as judge on America’s Got Talent.
I personally feel that Heidi is akin to Hilary Clinton; In other words, she is a woman who has done well for the XX-chromosome. She possesses business acumen, she is charismatic, is a dedicated mother, was a doting wife, has impeccable fashion sense, and is aging gracefully.
Watching 10 seasons of Project Runway and only recently claiming proficiency in a language other than English, I have never had a problem understanding what she was saying. In fact, her wit and apt analogies are hilarious.
Let’s speak to America and the majority/minority now:
In the May 2013 issue of Marie Claire magazine, the perfect segue way from the aforementioned Project Runway which is closely affiliated with the magazine, there is a section called: “What I Love About Me.”
An avid reader of fashion magazines, one of the reasons I had decided to subscribe to Marie Claire instead of Vogue, was this human interest section that succeeds in reflecting the internal dialogue that transpires in women’s heads, however, I was saddened by this issue.
31-year old Anna G. professed to loving her “mahogany hair and eyebrows” because they make her “look exotic.” Say what now? Yes, she believes dark hair is exotic, as opposed to what exactly, blonde hair?
Mahogany, another way of saying dark brown, is the same color hair that I possess. Maybe if my eyes were blue like yours, I’d look “exotic” too.
Dark hair juxtaposed with not dark skin is apparently, abnormal in our country.
Then again, the May issue’s section was profiling residents of Charleston, South Carolina; so yes, now I can see you haven’t been exposed to loads of diversity. I won’t say you’re forgiven, but I will say this: you’re a small town gal who doesn’t care to visit wikipedia once in a while.
Maybe South Carolina has not been visited by the Wi-Fi fairy yet.
Then we have the urban-Californian family, who have also spent time overseas: The Kardashians. As I’ve said before, I am a fan of the show. I’m anxiously awaiting the new season to start as well and I could care less if you judge me.
Still, I will not forget 2 quotations stated by Kim. One of the quotations pertains this post and I will list it as the latter.
1. Kim said Indian food was not only not to her fancy, but is bad in general. Let it be known that I boycotted the show for the rest of that season. No one talks badly about my India - no one.
2. *Pertains to this post*: On the Oprah Network-aired show, Oprah’s Next Chapter, Winfrey asked the 3 Kardashian sisters why they perceived themselves to be so popular. Kim immediately quipped, “Oh, you know, we have dark hair…”
This exoticism of having dark hair annoys me to no end. If eastern-ethnicities, for whom dark hair is natural, were to be perceived as beautiful, as they truly are, in general Americana, life would be significantly different than it is now.
Subtitles, exoticism, and the such: Tis’ an unfortunate commonality in the Western hemisphere.