Meaning: “skin color, complexion,” from Anglo-French culur, coulour, Old French color “color, complexion, appearance” (Modern French… See more definitions.
Wonderopolis.org says: “There are no people who actually have true black, white, red, or yellow skin. These are commonly used color terms that do not reflect biological reality. Skin color is due primarily to the presence of a pigment called melanin , which is controlled by at least 6 genes.”
I remember, as a very young child, looking at the skin colors in my own family, and wondering why they were all different. The most noticeable difference was in my little brother, who had very pale skin, big blue eyes, white blond hair. Mom and Dad both had brown eyes, different shades; my sister has blue eyes. With two brown-eyed parents, I was the only one of the three of us children who got their brown eyes. My sister’s skin is quite fair; I tanned easily but still have what is classified as fair skin, just a little less pale than my sister’s.
All of this fascinated me, and I started paying more attention to other people. Siblings, their parents. People who were of different nationalities, but had skin, hair and eyes like mine. All the different hair- and eye-color combinations. As I grew older, I began to be curious about obvious combinations of so-called white traits with other nationality traits. White skin, dark curly hair, liquid brown eyes. Sometimes a slant of the eyes that was different from what I was accustomed to seeing. I loved the glossy, black hair a Chinese friend of mine had, way back in second or third grade.
How did all these differences happen?
And then, in high school, I took biology. We studied genes, and learned that their are dominant and recessive genes. Brown eyes, for instance, are dominant to blue eyes. So what happened in my family? Obviously, both my parents had a recessive blue eye gene, and they got together for my sister and brother. Since all my four of my children have brown eyes and Terry’s are blue/grey, I’m guessing that I got both my parents’ dominant brown eye genes. But apparently my four kids got a recessive blue, because only two of my nine grandchildren got brown eyes. Their moms all have shades of blue.
Isn’t all that interesting? I’m still fascinated by the whole topic.
The more international travel, jobs, general contact there is among different races, nationalities—the more genetic mixing there is, and the harder it will become to figure out origins.
The bottom line, though, is that we all bleed red.