Snowflakebunny23 Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 5:13pm
post #1 of

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... :)

15 replies
klan30 Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 5:41pm
post #2 of

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.

AnnieCahill Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 5:45pm
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I would say, "what do you want the baby topper to look like?"  Then you could ask about what skin tone she prefers.

PearlyDots Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 5:49pm
post #4 of

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.

costumeczar Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 6:23pm
post #5 of

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnieCahill 
 

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.

Carrie789 Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 7:17pm
post #6 of

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.

JanDunlevy Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 8:43pm
post #7 of

AI 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!

brenda549 Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 10:43pm
post #8 of

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.  

Annabakescakes Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 11:25pm
post #9 of

AI 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.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 10:08am

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.

cazza1 Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 12:12pm

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

Annabakescakes Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 1:43pm

A

Original message sent by cazza1

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 :-)

SuzyXD Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 2:20pm

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!  

MsGF Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 2:40pm

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

Crazy-Gray Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 2:43pm

A

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!

cakebaby2 Posted 27 Feb 2014 , 7:23am

AJust ask the customer. We only make race an issue by making a big deal of it. I am a florist to trade and recently advised a very dark skinned bride to go for super colorful orchids in her bouquet and groomsmen's boutouneires (he was Caucasian) The flowers set off her wonderful skin and she wasn't least offended that they were better than a pale cottage rose.

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