Am I the only one who sees Sebastian Vael as a brown-skinned man? Most of the fan art I’ve seen depicts him as white but if you look at screenshots like the one I reblogged earlier (or play the game), he looks pretty dusky to me.
By contrast, everyone seems to paint Fenris as being brown but he seems squarely on the white side of the spectrum to me, with a tan at most.
Maybe being brown myself in a country full of brown folks of all hues gives me a different scale of measurement.
He’s not typical white, but i doubt he’s really POC. He’s really tanned, yes. Not every tanned person is a POC, he could be white.. a tanned white. Do you know what kind of people run around in germany? They aren’t really ‘white’, it’s not typical to be white like most people interpret a white skin.
I am so white that a doctor said i don’t look healthy two days ago. I always was like that.
My brother is really tanned, or brown. It’s hard to tell he’s my brother. But that doesn’t make a poc out of him. He’s a tanned white while i am really white. Well…
But yes, saying Sebastian is really brown is correct. And we call tanned white people also like ‘you’re really brown’. Uhm.. xD
I’m not arguing with you here, just bringing up some further points for discussion. :)
I guess whether or not he’s a “person of colour” or “white” as we define them in our world is up for interpretation. (My belief/hope is that Thedosians don’t make those distinctions because skin colour is a non-issue when the sentient world is divided along lines like elves, dwarves, kossith, human, and who knows who else we haven’t met yet.)
I think the larger point to be made here still stands, which is why a character is assumed to be white unless explicitly defined otherwise (which, by the way, his concept art does) and sometimes even then. And there is no reason apart from “that’s how it is, how it’s always been, and we’ve never thought to question it”.
As a counterpoint to your example of Germany, in India there are a lot of Indians who are naturally extremely fair - sometimes to the point of being pink-tinged. They’re still Indians. Why do we not assume Varric or Merrill represent extremely light-skinned Indians? Does it seem implausible? Consider that Merrill’s clan members, the ones whose bodies you find dead in the Varterral’s cave, have Indian-origin names - Radha, Harshal, Chandan.
The fact that we don’t immediately make that connection is not based on fact or truth, it’s because that’s just not what we’re used to, plain and simple. We’re only used to assuming whiteness. And my point is that those unquestioned assumptions should be examined.
taffyratt replied to your post: “Am I the only one who sees Sebastian Vael as a brown-skinned man? Most…”:So true! Americans particularly like to think there’s either black or white; and if they’re not black, then they can’t be poc. I can’t help but imagine Sebastian to be psuedo-european because of his accent, but his skin is pretty damn not white. A lot of fanart shows him…
Aaahh sorry this is late! >_<
That’s a really interesting point. As an outsider, I can’t comment on that either way of course.
I think what happens with Sebastian is that there’s such a strong mental correlation with Scottish brogue => Scottish => White but a.) that’s not necessarily true, even in our world, b.) this ISN’T our world! It’s Thedas! A fantasy! There doesn’t have to be a reason why someone has a particular skin colour even if they don’t bear the cultural markers we (stereotypically) associate with it.
But for people who STILL need a reason he could “realistically” be brown, there is one: Thedas is in the southern hemisphere with Starkhaven closer to the equator than Kirkwall or Ferelden i.e. more direct sunlight = naturally darker skin for people who evolved to exist in that latitude.
I personally don’t need a reason.
And oh, look! His concept art!
msbarrows made an excellent post, like, a year and a half ago, in which she took screenshots of all the companions in the same place, to avoid the usual but BioWare’s terrible lighting! argument that comes up a lot, and it’s really clear with a side-by-side comparison that while the actual shade is different, Fenris and Sebastian both have skin tones noticeably darker than everyone except Isabela.
And considering what a narrow range of skin tone is possible within DA2, that’s a hugely significant difference.
BESIDES, even if Sebastian does code as Northern European to people because of the accent, it’s not like Northern Europe is completely homogenous racially, and never has been, so that’s a specious argument at best.
That’s an excellent post! Thanks for the link!
The point about expectations is spot on. As an interesting example of that going the other way than usual, I played through Origins twice fully believing Morrigan had brown skin. I mean, she lives in a forest, she’s outdoors all the time. There’s no way she’s going to be pearly white. The thought never even crossed my mind. I literally didn’t see it. It was only when I found the fandom (like, a year later) and started seeing screenshots and art work that it struck me. :P
But you know what? I’m keeping that image of her in my head because why the fuck not. Maker knows we need more people of colour represented and if I’m not given that, then the least I can do is make it happen for myself.
i was supposed to catch up on work over the weekend but i spent all day watching porn and reblogging naked men and now it’s night and i’m out of time help
almost 10 years out from formal education and i still haven’t learnt how not to save my homework until sunday night