JUBA, South Sudan — Even by the standards of fashion models, the women teetering in their high heels on the dirt catwalk here were remarkably tall and slender. But judging by South Sudan’s many towering inhabitants, they were hardly out of the ordinary in the young nation’s capital.
I always thought that it was a mistake for sympathetic journalists to skip over how distinctive looking southern Sudanese tend to be in the interests of not offending modern customs against Noticing. Without a visual hook for readers to hang the story upon, the long struggle of southern Sudanese to be free of the brown northern Sudanese just sounded like More Bad News Out of Africa.
Fashion folks aren't necessarily the most likable human beings in history, but they do feel themselves exempt from the taboo against seeing with their own two eyes.