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'Correct' and sensitive way of asking the race of a baby for baby shower

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Hey all,

 

Got a question which I'm hoping someone may be able to advise me on.  It's kindof sensitive to many people so I would like to say in advance that I am not trying to cause any offense to anyone...but I am really stumped on how to approach this one.

 

Over Christmas, a good friend of mine got engaged...she is white and her finace is very dark skinned.  I thought nothing of it until a few days later when I was asked to do a baby shower cake where the event is being organised by the sister of the Mum-to-be.  I know the Mum's family but it occurred to me, that I knew nothing of the father-to-be.  In the past I have only done baby showers for friends so it has never come up but if it is a customer where I just met the Mum (or met a friend/spoke on the phone), how would you ask what the race of the baby is?  I'd hate to offend anyone by asking "am I correct in thinking that the baby is white/coloured?" - but at the same time, I'd hate to make a cake for a mixed race couple and produce a very 'white' baby topper!

 

Have any of you come across this?  How have you approached it?

 

Apologies if anyone thinks I'm making a big deal out of this...if someone asked me what race my baby would be, i wouldn't care but my mother-in-law was taken to an employment tribunal accused of racial discrimination for asking a dark-skinned colleague if her husband was white (after the colleague mentioned he got sunburned on holiday).  It's kind of made me a little paranoid about such things!

 

Many thanks in advance... :)

post #2 of 16

This kind of stuff is a big deal because people make it that way.  You wouldn't hesitate to ask the hair color for a figure. I don't see how skin color is any different.  Just ask.

post #3 of 16

I would say, "what do you want the baby topper to look like?"  Then you could ask about what skin tone she prefers.

post #4 of 16

I have had to ask this before and I try not to make a big deal about it. I'm black and I know there are a gazillion colors this baby could be. I usually just ask which shade of brown or beige. If you're uncomfortable doing that, just you use your judgement and go somewhere in the middle.

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill View Post
 

I would say, "what do you want the baby topper to look like?"  Then you could ask about what skin tone she prefers.

Exactly. If you're matter of fact about it and don't act all nervous it will just be you trying to be accurate, not racist! I've been in the same situation too, and you do have to ask for accuracy.

post #6 of 16

I agree with PearlyDots. My family consists of three different races, a  "rainbow family," as my grandson likes to describe us. Skin tones run the gamut regardless of their race. So, asking about skin tone should be a service and not offend anyone. Of course, there are some people who will be offended by anything or everything. You just can't worry about those types.

post #7 of 16
I had this exact situation about a year ago. The girl booking the shower cake was black so I made a beautiful milk chocolate baby mold character. It hit me like a ton of bricks a few days before that I might be assuming too much with this so I frantically called the hostess of the shower and sure enough the father was black and the mother was white. I remelted the figure and added half white chocolate and it was perfect! Always ask!
post #8 of 16

When it comes to babies and figures, I always list it in my questions with color choices, cake flavors, size, servings, and budget.  This way, it is more about the accuracy of the invoice.  Most clients do not think twice about it.  

There are times when I think I can help. Other times I think, given an already shallow gene pool, I am doing more for humanity by just letting go...

 

www.brendabakes.com

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There are times when I think I can help. Other times I think, given an already shallow gene pool, I am doing more for humanity by just letting go...

 

www.brendabakes.com

Reply
post #9 of 16
I just ask. What color do you want the baby. And then I ask what shade of brown, like milk chocolate, dark chocolate, caramel. And then I tell them it sounds delicious, haha.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your comments everyone - very much appreciated and gives me much more confidence.  As you say, if you ask as though it's just another question then hopefully they will think nothing of it... I like the words 'skin tone' - will definitely use those :-)

 

I did a test with the mould a few days ago just after it arrived and had some blue fondant left over...took it out and burst out laughing after realizing I had inadvertently created a perfectly formed smurf-baby.  Hehe.

post #11 of 16

See, problem solved.  Just make a blue smurf baby for a topper or a green alien one.

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazza1 View Post

See, problem solved.  Just make a blue smurf baby for a topper or a green alien one.

Better watch out, you are going to offend the purple aliens icon_smile.gif
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #13 of 16

Ahh, the wrong color baby skin...it has happened to us!  So now we have a skin-tone chart.  Essentially we got 5 paint chips from the home improvement store, and mounted them from lightest to darkest on a laminated page.  

When they order in person and skin color is a factor, (with ANY cake that has people/skin, not just for babies!) we whip that thing out and say, which skin tone would you like?  And then we mark it on the order "skin tone #3" for the decorator's reference.

If you take the order by phone, we say, "we have a skin tone color chart here, but since you're ordering by phone, could you please describe the skin tone you would prefer for the fondant baby?"

 

People always say they hadn't even thought about it, and what a great idea...then they will go on to say things like, pale, white, caucasian, mocha, or chocolate.  Let them describe it in a way they are comfortable!  

SuzyXD
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SuzyXD
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post #14 of 16

SusyXD, very clever idea with the chart.   I like it.

Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyXD View Post

Ahh, the wrong color baby skin...it has happened to us!  So now we have a skin-tone chart.  Essentially we got 5 paint chips from the home improvement store, and mounted them from lightest to darkest on a laminated page.  


When they order in person and skin color is a factor, (with ANY cake that has people/skin, not just for babies!) we whip that thing out and say, which skin tone would you like?  And then we mark it on the order "skin tone #3" for the decorator's reference.


If you take the order by phone, we say, "we have a skin tone color chart here, but since you're ordering by phone, could you please describe the skin tone you would prefer for the fondant baby?"


 


People always say they hadn't even thought about it, and what a great idea...then they will go on to say things like, pale, white, caucasian, mocha, or chocolate.  Let them describe it in a way they are comfortable!  


 



What a great idea!
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