Unwelcome or self-conscious
Umbrella entry: the body, sex, and gender

Revisiting the nail salon, the toy store, and the private home

Last week, I posted an entry showing photos that flip the culturally normalized positions between white girls and women and girls and women of color in three U.S. contexts: the nail salon, the toy store, and the private home.

Take another look at those photos. The original entry was about race and ethnicity. Now, think about these images in terms of sex and gender.

  • What do these photos suggest about the intersection of race and ethnicity and sex and gender?
  • Why focus these photos on women and girls? How would you do a similar set with men and boys?
  • How do these photos emphasize the different ways that power and privilege work through different forms of identity?


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Matt Herbert

It is interesting to look at these pictures in terms of sex and gender in addition to race and ethnicity. If I were to have seen that nail salon photo without the context that there was going to be some sort of 'difference', I would probably not have picked up on the role reversal. (I think this is because I have not been to a nail salon before so I don't really know what is expected there.) The picture also only includes women. This is because nail salon's are usually stereotyped as places that only women go to because it is a "feminine" place.

 McKenzie Brown

I think the reason to focus these photos on women and girls is to point out the difference in power between races of the less privileged gender. If one was to focus this stereotypical racial role reversal photography project on men, perhaps they would use a white man landscaping a Latino man's lawn or an African American police officer arresting an impoverished white man.
Though there may be small instances where these photos are true, they emphasize the reality of power roles that most people live in. The fact that we can easily recognize these photos as abnormal, only proves that the opposing power and privilege these photos are illustrating, actually exists.

Moana Gianotti

I think these photos are of women and girls because the actions and things they are doing are considered feminine actions. At first glance you only notice the race reversal because these acts are usually committed by women, you only notice the race reversal because you normally associate the women in power to be white and the people serving them to be people of color. So I think that even though these photos are trying to show power privilege by race they are also still supporting the patriarchal power in place.

Peggy Smith

The photos of these reversing of roles show how the mainstream of white races are predominate in different cultures. These photos should not be viewed as unconventional and I find it distressing that people would stereotype race to their position of occupations. I wish that everyone would be allowed the luxury of living their dreams without the barriers of race, color or age.

Kamalei P.

I agree with Moana, that the photos of these women and girls are considered feminine actions. At first glance, you naturally know that what these women are doing are feminine or girly, so you'll think about the next thing possible which is, what is different or what is off in the photo? Then you'll find yourself categorizing it to, it's an 'off' photo because the people in it are not playing the 'correct roles'. This shows that power and privilege work through our own stereotypical beliefs of what we grew up believing was the more 'powerful' sex or gender and who should do what role based on what we believe is normal in our society today.

Jeanette Betancourt

These photos were very interesting to look at because as we are not use to seeing these kind of images. We are more use to seeing the roles being switching between the different cultures. And how opposite it seems like for example in the toy store, I remember since I was younger I would want a doll and they were mostly always white dolls not color dolls. But over the years there's more variety's to choose from in picking a doll not just white. Over the years it seems like the varieties has expanded. It shows how our society has changed as well which is good because there's more options.


I agree with Peggy, at first glance the first thought that comes to mind is labeling the pictures as a reverse in stereotypes. These is the kind of ads that should start to be circulating the media. Showing that a certain race and ethnicity determines your work field and way of life. Also the pictures focus on women because these are stereotypically the "feminine"hobbies and ways of lives. If the pictures were to be men instead society would have places them at the gym, sporting events,working on cars or in working in a business office.

Yifan Lu

I think there should be no difference between the different race. There should be no stereotypical impression of the colored people. From the picture of the private home, I can see that a white woman is serve for a colored women. Probably this is the race reversal. So race does not completely determine your position. The reason why these photos focus on women and girls is that the things they are doing is women's behavior.

Samantha Sanchez

Socially the actions that they are participating in tend to be associated as more of a "feminine" norm in this society(although men are nail technicians as well).As McKenzie pointed out there does seem to be a trend associated with power based on one's race and ethnicity as well as gender culturally. Reversing the roles in terms of race and ethnicity in the image would emphasize that people are not used to seeing this and perhaps may be considered novel. Reversing the roles in terms of gender (and men and boys were in the image instead of woman) would emphasize the same thing as well. It would also emphasize the dynamic of power in this society.

Jiayue Wang

These photos are different from my imagine before I open it. The nail salon and toy store are almost for female,but men and boys can also appear in these place. And for private home picture, though there are two women, but I think there is no gender distinction in private home. The playground and game center maybe more suitable for man and boy.In addition, these photos suggest about the intersection of race and ethnicity and sex and gender, and emphasize the different ways that power and privilege work through different forms of identity.


I think when talking about sex and gender all those 3 photos are pretty much labeled as things that girls/women do in those settings. Girls like falls, women go in nail salons, and maids are also women. Its the “norm” you wouldn’t see males in those settings. A mail can be in a barber shop, a boy can be in a shopping isle with you cars or superhero stuff. And a mail can be working in construction. Those would be the “norms” for a male you wouldn’t typically see women doing those jobs. I think the photos pertain to power and privilege work through different forms of identity because if the original photos were flipped it is how the world is today. We have the Americans who are always in power and are privileged and that leaves the other races doing “the dirty jobs”. I think that’s what the pictures could be trying to emphasize.

Yazmin Hernandez

The images inforce what the gender norms are in this society. In all three images you do not see a single male. This is due to the fact that these are things that “girls do” men shouldn't be seen in these scenarios. This is just enforcing that only girls do things like play with dolls and get there nails done. It brings light to the fact that women of certain race do certain things. A Latina women in expected to be the maid and when we see that this is not happening we begging to question things. These images help to question our society and what is expected of certain cultures and genders.

Emily Miller

The "in the home" picture is interesting because it is portraying the worker as the white person, and the wealthy person who can afford help in the home is of a racial minority. The picture doesn't seem too odd to me in terms of sex and gender . In the image of the toy store, the image is essentially saying that of course a little girl is going to be feminine, wearing pink and a dress, and of course wants to play with traditionally feminine toys, such as dolls. I think that the image of the toy store also gives a great example of how there is a racial under representation of dolls and other toys. Commonly a white child can go into a store and find a toy that "looks like them", which likely may not be the case for children of other ethnicity groups. The nail salon image portrays the idea that women are the only people that it is acceptable to work in a nail salon, or get services from a nail salon. It also is saying that traditionally you would expect only people of various Asian ethnicities to work in a nail salon, and that white woman are the group of people that commonly get there nails done.

Sam Combs

To start, I think it is really important to include women in racism. That might sound weird at first, but the fact that white men are typically seen as the most racially- attached people due to their involvement in the KKK and organizations such as is awful. White men against the colorful world is not how it is anymore. As a part of being treated equal, women should be seen as equally bad to if that be the case. Anyhow, the stereotype of a woman is projected in all these photos. Not all women get their nails done or do nails; not all girls like shopping for dolls - and dolls project this stereotype of what to wear and how to do your hair and makeup onto children at a young age; not all females own toy dogs, wear high heels, mini skirts, or act posh; and most importantly, some boys do any or all of these things.

John Stone

These images express the gender norm, as well as some race stereotypes. Focusing on the gender norms however, it's easy to see that all of these pictures feature things that are considered feminine. It's "normal" for women to go get their nails done and work as maids, as well as girls being interested in dolls instead of race cars or action figures. If a man is getting his nails done, buying dolls or working as a maid, it can be seen as pretty weird. Each picture shows feminine acts, so The Oprah Magazine is kind of killing two birds with one stone by showcasing racial stereotypes as well as feminine ones.

halie Korff

I think they focus on girls in these photos because, its what sells and its the stereotype. So when you place women that's what is appealing. I relate this to when I went to Atlanta for the summer, and in Oregon salons of all sorts have all white women on the big builtin board and covers for everything. But in Atlanta, African American women are the ones that need the most attention for population wise and and just with their hair type, and if they had a white women advertising they would not be going to that salon because they wouldn't feel like it represented them.

Ana Bautista

What do these photos suggest about the intersection of race and ethnicity and sex and gender? These are gender norms as you would. In all the photos there is not a single question of should that girl really be there. These are all feminine things so it would not be normal if a guy were to be in any of these pictures, but in reality there are. When it comes to race the one where the little girl is staring at all the dolls, there is something wrong with it, usually the race is completely the opposite. It is normal to know that there is something wrong with that specific picture, but its not normal to think it is wrong.

Christian Hammerich

In the pictures they are generally showing acts that are considered feminine. It's the stereotypes that people mostly refer to those particular jobs. Like John said, It is not considered to be normal for man to be getting his nails done or buying a doll.

Madison Overholser

I believe these photos connect sex, gender, ethnicity, and race because in each of the photos there were set reversed roles going against the expected stereotypes of these woman based off of ethnicity, gender, sex, and race. The photos focus more on women and girls because they are more often objectified or analyzed in comparison to men and boys. These photos shed light on the power and privileged (or lack there of) depending on a woman's sex, gender, ethnicity, and race.

Ming Ng

From the photos, the people in it looked like women and girls. As we looked at roles being switched it showed white people who are usually know to have power in roles that show that they arnt in control. However, looking at the photos again at the genders, it is females. Females are targeted and seened like objects that can be fooled into thinking or wishing that they could be more. I guess that it is easier to manipulate females than it is men. Men still have the power no matter the race.

Maria Regalado

looking back at these pictures i find them interesting looking at them as 'sex and gender' i think it was all created with society from the beginning with the "pink is for girls, blue is for boys" i think is the same thing with the pictures. those events and places are just for girls and thing women would do, not for men.

Moe Tobiyama

When I saw these pictures, I was kind of impressed because these were different from my images. I don't know if the image of stereotype is different by each race or not. Actually, I didn't feel anything as a perspective of gender. I think it is because the idea that nail salon, playing with dolls, serving, these three things are woman's habits is rooted in my mind. I know that it is not good idea to determine or distinguish our habits by gender or sex, but if I saw the nail salon filled with a lot of women, I wouldn't feel that scene is unnatural.

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