On this issue of using food words to describe skin color, has anyone read The Colors of Us by Karen Katz? The back of the book promises a “tasty tale that showcases the many shades of the skin we’re in,” and GoodReads says it gives children a “positive and affirming look at skin color, from an artist’s perspective.”
Here’s the Amazon page for it. Check out the “Look Inside!” feature to read the similes the author uses for skin color. They include many references to food, a practice usually vehemently rejected by writers on Tumblr. What do you think?

On this issue of using food words to describe skin color, has anyone read The Colors of Us by Karen Katz? The back of the book promises a “tasty tale that showcases the many shades of the skin we’re in,” and GoodReads says it gives children a “positive and affirming look at skin color, from an artist’s perspective.”

Here’s the Amazon page for it. Check out the “Look Inside!” feature to read the similes the author uses for skin color. They include many references to food, a practice usually vehemently rejected by writers on Tumblr. What do you think?


  1. lookatthewords answered: IDK why ppl keep saying DON’T USE FOOD. I’m black and I don’t mind food comparisons. I don’t. Just don’t be cliche or fetishize comparisons.
  2. yourantagonist answered: i think it’s mostly so that kids can actually relate to the descriptive word? like what kid is going to know “ecru” or “taupe” or etc?
  3. life-in-the-margins reblogged this from writeworld and added:
    I honestly would say it’s a culture thing and an individual preference. I think the argument saying that if you compare...
  4. quadzombie said: In this case, I think it’s a difference between teaching young children to love their skin with simple comparisons they are familiar with and can understand (food), and adults describing colors with a different purpose and a much larger vocabulary.
  5. nesiresi reblogged this from writeworld
  6. aquilaswing reblogged this from writeworld
  7. pastelkhaleesi reblogged this from geekymisadventures and added:
    On this issue of using food words to describe skin color, has anyone read The Colors of Us by Karen Katz? The back of...
  8. apollyna answered: I think people should use words they’re comfortable with. I am caramel colored. Who wouldn’t want to own that??
  9. geekymisadventures reblogged this from writeworld and added:
    As a woman of color, a food lover, and a writer who writes tons on both food AND fiction, I’ve never understood the...
  10. pastelkhaleesi said: Not a fan of the food descriptors. POC get fetishized enough without being compared to chocolate and caramel in every single book that we appear in. Some POC refer to themselves that way but that’s up to them.
  11. allthebristory reblogged this from lovedbythestars and added:
    What it is that you aren’t seeing are the years and years of people of color being treated as less than human that is...
  12. geekymisadventures answered: As a WoC, I’ve often used food (in particular, different types of coffee drinks) to describe my own skin. It doesn’t bother me.
  13. kudipeaches said: I think why some people don’t really understand why many POC don’t like having their skin color described as food is b/c within history that was 1ofthe many ways society fetishized us.We’re guilty of doing it but there are other words we should try.
  14. allthebristory answered: I think I wouldn’t let my kids read that if I have any…I’d prefer my skin not to be likened to an inanimate object (or animals actually)
  15. lovedbythestars reblogged this from writeworld and added:
    I don’t personally understand why so many people are so hateful toward the idea of using food to describe skin color....
  16. thesavagegirlwonder reblogged this from writeworld