27 June, 2008


Complexion refers to the natural color, texture, and appearance of the skin, especially that of the face. The word is derived from the Late Latin complexi, which initially referred in general terms to a combination of things, and later in physiological terms, to the balance of humors.

Four Temperaments is a theory of psychology that stems from the ancient medical concept of four humors, or "humours" in UK English.

For the first time in my lifetime, on an official government application, race is absent, and in its place, complexion is there--hue or appearance of the skin and especially of the face.

blond, fair, pale, pallid, ashen, waxen, white, sallow, sickly, dark, olive, bronze, sandy, rosy, red, ruddy, florid... in some lists, the traditional race classifications are still there: Negroid, Caucasian, Nordic, Aryan, Melanesian, Malaysian, mulatto, Oriental, Semitic, Amerindian... it seems out of place to say that someone has a blond complexion or an Amerindian. Would those be hair color or nationality?



Are we over the racial quotas that began in the late 1960s, discriminating on race who must be hired?


Will we now discriminate on complexion? Should "ruddy" be a classification?


Will temperaments be classified and quotas enumerated on that psychological quality? (choleric, melancholic, sanguine or phlegmatic) Which is more desirable? Which would be the "preferred minority"?


Will complexion be a hidden or code word for race? I hope not, but wonder why even put complexion on an application?