Let me divert this by sharing a story many of you have heard...
I worked briefly for a costume guy. If that guy were alive today, he'd be over 100. He was a part of the Interbellum Generation, which was 3 generations before Baby Boomers. He made costumes his entire life, and took pictures of these costumes for his portfolio, often using his kids as models. He had decades of costumes he'd made.
This guy was preparing a portfolio to show a big theatre guy, and his employees were helping. Two sets of images, one being the only (or one of very few) pictures to feature a woman of color and the others with his adult kids in Blackface, caused problems for him and his employees.
The woman was in a costume from a show which featured 'African Savages' and the costume used fur and feathers and showed a lot of skin. It was a hard costume for him to make, because working in feathers is a pain. His portfolio page included the sketches he'd designed from, and the name of the play and when it was done. The Blackface images were, well, Blackface images.
Costume guy was not what any normal person would call a racist, and in fact he pointed out that if someone wanted him to recreate those costumes (and a few others with less well known stereotypes) today (over 20 years ago), he would outright refuse. He had a pretty good grasp of the meaning of these costumes decades before you could look something up to find out how it offended people. He felt it was important to include those costumes to give a feel for his history with the theatre. His employees felt that these images would insult the prospective employer, and tried to get him to remove them.
His theory was that since these images were not taken with the intention to be racist, and since they represented the same stuff his peers were doing, 'only a fool' could possibly be insulted by them. They weren't intended to be racist, therefore, in his mind, they were not racist. In addition, he pointed out that since the photos were dated and showed the name of the shows, his prospective employers would automatically understand the context and have no problem. It was just history, and history is not always comfortable,
The client tended to cast women in roles with a lot of skimpy dresses, and eventually his daughter convinced him to use costume images with skimpy dresses and featherwork, images that were more up the client's ally, and ones that no one who worked for him considered problematic. He got the job, and everyone lived happily after.
I probably don't do this story justice, because one of his reasons for wanting these images is that if you scrub things out of history kids will not understand the context of the things, and he was sort of right, in that we get dumb kids that do Blackface almost every year, and some (but not all) of these dumb kids lack the context. His employees understood the portfolio was about landing the job not educating anyone. We were never able to convince him that a 'normal' person might take offense, but in the end it didn't matter.
There is a modern trope that some people literally do not see. You can point it out to them and they will literally not see it. It was common in exploitation films in the 1970s and 1980s, but it still pops up pretty much everywhere on a regular basis. This trope has few different names, one of the more complicated names is the inverse correlation between skin tone and amount of clothing lost in the film. I've also heard it called "White women use the gentle cycle" (to indicate that when you march through the forest, etc, the clothes treated gently beforehand last longer) and when the removal of clothing occurs from an explosion or from ammunition, those are "racist explosions" and "racist ordinance." (Racist windstorms, etc.)
WHY this happens is actually a matter of a lot of debate, some people say it is a reflection of audiences being "more upset" by white women being degraded (racism), and some say it's a reflection of audiences preferring "exotic" half-naked women (still racism). Others have postulated that it has to do with the literal color of people on camera and things like white-balance (but come on, it's racism) and some trot out the idea that it is about protecting actresses from sunburn (even in animation...)
Regardless of why it happens, it comes down to the fact that when multiple women are on screen in the same position (members of a tribe, prisoners in a prison, etc.) and of a similar body type (because even curvy amazons hide their bodies in shame, I guess), the woman with the lightest skin (or hair) gets the most clothing, and the woman with the darkest skin (or hair) gets the least, often with a literal curve being able to be drawn. This happens even when the lightest skinned character is NOT the star.
And it's not always white women and black women in these scenes. If the scene is exclusively women who have similar skin tones, the curve will often still hold. Lemme tell you, finding images that are all at least pg13 was hard...
|2012's Inara the Jungle Girl. One of the tribesladies has a skirt. Guess which one. You can also get dressed if you have curves.|
|1971's Women in cages. Tee shirts will be handed out in order from lightest inmate to darkest, sorry we only have one.|
|The Big Bird Cage: Do blondes have belly buttons? Also, can you tell which three of these women have 'parts' vs who is set decoration?|
|Paris, why do I end up running in my undies in this whole movie? I'm on the center of the billboard. How do YOU get clothes? also do these smudges make my boobs look bigger?|
|Really, Walt? REALLY? Now there is a minimum level of paleness to earn sleeves? Really? And this works even with the last 5 Princesses? (two not shown) REALLY?|
Just like my boss literally could not see that the images he had could be seen by normal people as racist, there are people in this world who literally cannot see that this is a thing. As costume makers, though, it was something we got called on when we did it EVEN NOT ON PURPOSE. Because intent matters, but reaction can matter more.