When was the last time you were asked about your race? What was your reply? I am sure that many of us, including myself, have come across this question a number of times. Some may have a clear-cut answer, while others are left confused with what to choose as their race. We are usually asked about our race when filling out questions for a job application, a survey, or the census. Sometimes the given choices for race are not enough to fit your exact race. You are left to either select something close enough, or just “other”.
Race is generally how people group themselves based on physical appearance, ethnic background, and which part of the world they stem from. It is apparent that people have different perceptions of themselves and others around them. It would be quite difficult to list all of the different racial categories because there are just so many combinations.
For example, I consider myself to be “South Asian”. However, so far, I have never seen this specific category on any form or survey that I filled out. It always bothered me to check off just “Asian”. It could mean any Asian, I would never be counted as “South Asian” under this category. This category is too broad, and does not give much information about my race, other than the fact that I come from the eastern part of the world.
Knowing that many of us come across this dilemma, I am excited to share with everyone that race is not a factor that accounts for our differences in genes and phenotype. Our perception and society are what creates race and the definition of race. In the past, I have seen an advertisement about something called “The Human Race Machine”. You may have heard about it before or even tried it out for yourself.
The Human race machine is a similar to a photo booth. You sit inside of it, and in front of you, there is a camera and a screen that takes a picture of your face. The machine then displays your photo on the screen as different races. You can choose options to see how you would look like being from a different race. I haven’t tried this machine myself, but I would definitely try it if I get the chance. It is a fun experience, and it gets you to think differently about how we really differ from one another.
Here is the link for more information, if anyone is interested: