“Indigenous

The Internet is Racist

Rebecca Wong found out that a picture is worth 250 words.

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Blind people have really niche pastimes. Last week, my friends and I discovered an online service called ‘Describe!’. For $6, it offers three 250-word descriptions of an image—seemingly a fair price to pay for vicarious sight. Eager to find out what everyone else looked like, we each submitted a photo of ourselves for examination. Here’s what the internet thought of me.

Description 1:

This room is quite dark: a single table lamp throws light up behind the woman standing before the camera’s lens. There is a couch and some chairs along the wall arranged in a conversation group. Large paintings and a mirror are hung on the walls in the gloom. To the right of the image, one mirror catches a distant window covered with a long sheer curtain and other furniture.

The petite Asian woman in the center has the brightest of smiles covering her entire face. The outer edges or her black hair are absorbed in the darkness but the glow on her cheeks cannot be missed. Even her eyes are alive with the joy that she feels. Her left arm is relaxed at her side. Her nails are painted a soft blue and she has a large exquisite ring on her index finger. Her right had rests gently on her right hip with her fingers coming forward, and a bluish bracelet is partially visible on her wrist. Her legs and feet are not visible on this picture.

Under her soft wrap she is wearing a simple sleeveless yellow shift. It has a large scooped neck and reaches almost to her knees. The soft layered wrap itself is two-tone with ties at the waist. The orange panel is on the left and the peach is on the right. Where the ties come at the waist the wrap touches and the whole garment is likely tied toward her back. The material of the wrap is quite soft with the top layer reaching her waist and the under-layer reaching gracefully to the floor. Indeed she is a woman who catches your attention.

Description 2:

A young woman is posing for the picture in a formal living room. She is oriental with short black hair. She has a big smile. She is wearing a short yellow dress that is performing the function of a shell. It is covered by loose fitting lounging pajamas that are pink on one side and a muted orange on the other. The pajamas reach to the floor. Her right hand is on her right hip while her other arm hangs loosely at her side. She has baby blue nail polish on the nails of both hands. Her arms are quite thin and her figure is neither too thin nor too heavy. The room is dimly lit by a single table lamp that is behind the woman and not fully in view as a result. There is an oriental flavor to the decorations with a large oriental statue on a shelf as a focal point of the interior design. There is a simple white fireplace, a sofa, and chairs. A large mirror is mounted on the wall behind the sofa. The entire scene communicates to me a woman who is living well and who fully enjoys it. She doesn’t appear to have any current major problems or challenges in her life. She has every expectation that tomorrow will be as good as yesterday and today for her.

Description 3:

The picture shows a radiant young woman standing in a living room smiling at the camera. She is in her late teens or perhaps twenty years old. She seems to be of Asian descent. She is wearing a very lovely long flowing silky dress of bright colors, orange, yellow and salmon. She has short brown hair. Her dress has a low neckline, revealing the skin of her upper chest. Her arms are bare as the dress is also sleeveless. She has beautiful skin. She’s wearing very little jewelry, nothing around her neck or on her arms, but she is wearing a large ring on her left hand which rests by her side. Her right arm is bent at the elbow and her right hand is on her hip, as she is posing for the camera. She has light blue fingernail polish on. The flash from the camera has made the young woman stand out from the relatively drab background of the living room. She is so beautiful and happy she is positively glowing in this moment. There are some clues in the living room that she is Asian. We see a large Asian statue in the background and a small Asian style end table with a tea pot or incense pot on top.

Other than those items, however, the room is furnished American style with 2 chairs, sofa, lamp, large mirror and a fireplace in the background. This girl is very happy and is dressed for an occasion. We speculate where her family is from, perhaps Nepal. But she was born in America and lives here now. She is about to go out on an important date with someone she is fond of, and who has captured this moment forever in the picture.

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