BLACK VOICES
11/12/2013 01:18 pm ET

Swedish Teen Accuses Paint Company Of Racism For 'Skin-Color' Paint

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People come in many shades, so naming a beige paint hue "skin color" could easily leave out a large number of individuals. But unfortunately, a Swedish paint company ignored that minor detail.

But a local teenager has filed a complaint against the company, saying the name is racist and discriminatory against those whose skin color doesn't fit that particular description.

"By renaming beige to skin color they show that there is a whiteness norm in society," the 14-year-old, who has only been identified as Thyra, told a local newspaper. "It is completely sick that they just rename beige to skin color when black and brown are also that."

The teen took her complaint against the paint producer, Universal Color and Chemicals, to the Equality Ombudsman, a government agency that aims to promote equal rights and regulate discrimination. Throughout her pursuit, Thyra has gained the support of both her family and her school and encouraged a conversation about race in the classroom.

Her father, who said his daughter was motivated to take action by her sister, added that he didn't think the company had racist intentions although they could in fact be offending a number of people.

"Her little sister has brown skin but according to the paint manufacturer she has no skin color," he said. "I think [the company] just looked at themselves and imagined that's what skin was."

The complaint comes amid multiple discussions of racism in Europe ranging from Oprah's highly-publicized experience in Switzerland to criticism of the Dutch "Black Pete" tradition.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Instances of Accidental Racism
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