this moving photo essay flips the script on race expectations

May 17, 2017
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In a feature titled “Let’s Talk About Race” for O, the Oprah Magazine‘s May 2017 issue on race, photographer Chris Buck published a photo essay reversing the roles of women of color and white women. Buck, who is white, was commissioned by the editor-in-chief at O, Lucy Kaylin, who curated the feature to encourage more open conversation about race. Kaylin told Mic News that the concept came out of a meeting with Oprah Winfrey herself.

In the first photo, white women give Asian women pedicures at a nail salon while the Asian women talk and laugh among each other.

The second photo shows a young white girl staring at shelves of Black dolls, a commentary on the lack of racial representation in the doll industry.

In the final photo, a Latina woman sits in a lavish apartment holding a small dog and talking on the phone while a white maid pours her a cup of tea. The Latina woman doesn’t seem to acknowledge the presence of the white maid.

The series resonated with many viewers, going viral on Sunday when a Filipina-Chinese American with the handle @jaeralde posted the photos on Twitter:

Banner photo via O Magazine