Last week I was teaching a kid's class and we were doing some colouring.
One of my kids asked me if I had 'skin colour' (肌色)
My first thought was 'What is skin colour?'
Whatever colour 'skin colour' is, it certainly isn't the colour which is called 'skin colour' in Japan, which is a mix of brown, orange and pink.
I have never seen anyone in my life with skin that colour!! If I did I would probably tell them to go to the nearest hospital!
Later I was thinking about it some more and remembering some of the differences between Japan and England.
In England, where there are so many people of different ethnic origins living together, it is definitely NOT OK to say skin colour...it would be considered racist, or offensive to anyone whose 'skin colour' is not the same colour as the resulting crayon.
England is the land of pc (politically correct) language. A place where it is not OK to sing the children's song 'Ba ba black sheep' for fear of offending people of African origin. A place where it is not OK to say 'policeman' because it may offend women.
The phrase 'politically correct' means language which cannot be offensive to anyone, or group of people, and I couldn't help but think that 'skin colour' could be offensive to most people...
Today I was surfing the web and came across this image which I think sums it up better than I ever could...true 'skin (flesh) colour'
The next time someone says '肌色', stop to think 'Exactly whose 'skin colour' is this?'