Racial Camouflage

For this weeks project, I did one small experiment and one larger one.

The Maxi-Pad Wallet


I found this idea online a long time ago and I wanted to test it out. To create this wallet, I found an unused a large maxi-pad and removed the pad, but kept the wrapper. I then added some paper inside to hold the money, and added some tape to put under the flap to hold it together. This made a wallet that held money tight but camouflaged it to look exactly like a pad. I wanted to see if anyone would actually believe it though. After handing it to some of my (especially male) friends, I found it extremely effective. My guy friends didn’t even want to touch it while my girl friends didn’t seem to care, it looked like a regular pad. The only flaw to this design could be that I might accidentally throw it away!


Racial Profiling Camouflage

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This was my main experiment since I personally find racial profiling to be a very big current problem. Since I am Japanese, Indian, Belgian and Spanish, not many people know what my ethnicity is on site. Not only this, but also depending on the season I wear a completely different set of colored make up. So I already had all the supplies I needed to wear as many types of skin color I could just by using my year-round stock of make up! The goal of my camouflage was to mask my ethnicity, so that no one who did not know me would know what race I was. I researched what facial features were most defining in determining what race a person may be and found that the eyebrows, nose, eye shape, mouth and facial structure all contribute to the appearance of a race. With this in mind, I experimented… I placed black along my eyebrows so it was very difficult to see what shape they are. I also placed black around my nose so from farther away, it would be hard to see the shape and size. I also pattered the stripes in a swoop fashion, to obscure my facial structure. There wasn’t much I could do for the mouth and the eyes. So I did my best with blacking out one eye, and making the other as light as possible, along with placing stripes down my mouth. I also places a robe around my head and neck, so it was impossible to see another skin tone and what hair I had. I suppose this could also be accomplished with a hat and a scarf or a hoodie. After showing this design to my friends they all freaked out, they couldn’t even tell it was me! After presenting this design in class, my professors suggest I upload it through my Facebook account to see if it could tell that it was me. Turns out it couldn’t! Facebook’s facial recognition algorithms couldn’t even tell that this was me! So in conclusion, I think this pattern was a success. Cons include, lots of makeup, strange looks. However pros include looking like a star wars character for a day!

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