Hilton Als' White Girls is not about white girls. Sure, they feature in the American writer's book — a collection of 13 essays covering fiction, cultural commentary and memoir — but they aren't the focus. Instead, Als uses the "white girl" as a handy device to discuss race, gender and sexuality. For instance, in one essay, Als talks of black gay men who jokingly identify as white girls — the exact opposite of who they are — because it gives them a sense of freedom. In others, he turns the lens onto performers whose careers have been tied to race in some way: in "White Noise", Eminem earns the title of "white girl" because of his relationship with his mother; in "Michael", Michael Jackson is given the moniker because of his inability to be at one with his true identity.
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What Is a 'White Girl'? - VICE
First, some history: When I was a child, watching my pops get ready to go out was something to behold. He would spend hours preparing his mask every morning for whatever crowd, person or community he faced. Even years later, my pops still took longer to get ready than my mother and sister combined, delicately taking a black Sharpie to any stray grays that might pop up in his goatee. My pops would explain that as a young man in the Dominican Republic, you had to work so hard perfecting yourself, preparing your mask, so that when a young European or American woman came through, she might choose you, as he would put it, might take you home with her, like that was your only way out.