Aboriginal elders dye their hair blonde and the tribe gets a big kick out of it


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/17/aboriginal-elders-dye-their-ha.html



Watching the clip I felt joy, shame, confusion, racist by proxy, and joy again. What a ride!


Quite handsome those two Vanuatuan chaps.
Like Herbie Hancock’s slightly more rugged cousins.


So you’re feeling shame, and seeing racism, on behalf of a couple of people who have seen someone else do something to themselves, and they have chosen to try it out?
Yeah, a rather typical Caucasian attitude, feeling shame on someone else’s behalf when they couldn’t give a shit.
It’s fine to feel that when a people are being genuinely hurt or having their way of life taken away and dispossessed of their property and lands, but these guys are having a laugh, at themselves and probably whitey as well, and there’s nothing wrong with that.


I think the shame comes from the exploitative nature of the television program. Let’s look at and laugh about the strange habits of these people.

I don’t think this specific clip is all that bad, although the breakdown in communications doesn’t do the aboriginals any favors, but the concept of the show, “let’s drop a few westerners in a aboriginal village and laugh about it”, does rub me the wrong way.

The Dutch term “aapjes kijken” (literally “monkey looking”, think: looking at monkeys at the zoo) fits this well. It is really hard to translate, but maybe “peeping in on someone with dubious or no consent” comes closest. Or “holding someones daily life up as something to laugh about or be amused by”.


The Gods Must be Crazy.


Those crazy kids and their hairstyle fads!


This made me smile more than anything all day. The sheer joy of the two gents when the see themselves is priceless!

The only shame I have is when I post this clip to my social media, that not enough people will click and enjoy.


Honestly just reminds me of the shock and laughter when I first saw my hair after I bleached part of it. I have curly black hair and I suspect I have my mother’s red hair underneath, all those traits are known to not take bleach as expected, so as a result I got the most amazing dark neon yellow color. Banana peel rather than banana flesh.

In my case though I immediately drowned it out with purple. Kinda miss that now, come to think of it. Wild hair colors are fun.


I think it depends on the particular tone of how a film crew decides to approach a particular topic/subject. But independently it also depends on the viewer and what they choose to take from the clip. On my end i would look at this particular video as living vicariously through those elders and them having a bit of fun doing something totally out of the ordinary. Some people might see the video and laugh at them, but i don’t see it that way :slight_smile:


Hmmmm…I noticed that the two elders went from, “What are you doing?” to “I want some” instantaneously when Freddy said, “That’s what the ladies like to see.”


I definitely understand the problematic nature of what you’re describing, and the show probably is like that, but this specific clip, there’s no judgement or derision of how they live. No one’s calling them savages or laughing at them because they don’t know what hair dye is. We’re laughing with them because they’re discovering something and having a great time with it.


If the clip were to feature some older gentlemen from a western culture, and they went through a similar order of events i would have still immensely enjoyed it. So definitely the aboriginal part of it isn’t what i’m focusing on, but it does give the video an additional layer of color (pun intended).


I’m curious what they would have thought had they had their hair dyed some other wild color like blue or pink.


The beautiful laughter is a joy to hear.


I think the reaction would have been EXACTLY the same. Describing each other’s hair as ‘Banana Yellow’ shows they don’t consider it at all a reasonable, expected color.

ACK! I just remembered a horrible ‘Team Leader’ I had once. Behind her back, a fellow co-worker and I made fun of her fried hair as a banana split. Banana Yellow with Chocolate Fudge roots and Whipped Cream white split ends.


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.