On Poetry and Culture Shock

Racism and jewelry


This happens every once in a while, although thankfully not as often as it used to. The other day I took my jewelry out and I showed it to a number of people who of course loved it and bought tons of it. Except one woman, who held an earring or two close to her ear and said "I like them, but I can’t wear dangling earrings. They make me look gypsy". Looks in horror at my portable mirror, makes a half-hearted tasteless joke about gypsy stereotypes (flamenco singers, this time), tries another earring that lightens up her sad sallow skin, gives up.

I have never understood these women. You don’t like dangling earrings, you think they don’t look good on you, fair enough. But this stupid, racist, "looking gypsy" nonsense, I don’t get it. What the hell is wrong in "looking gypsy"? And the funniest thing, real gypsy women don’t wear colourful, original, inexpensive dangling earrings. They wear very conservative designs, in gold.

There is a whole bunch of stuff that some Spanish women won’t wear or do for fear of gypsiness. I wonder if other cultures have similar arbitrary, racist fashion rules.

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