View Full Version : Olive complexion?
05-06-2005, 12:33 AM
What is an olive complexion? The only olives I've seen are either black or green. Black people are never referred to as being olive and there are certainly no green human beings, so just what is an olive complexion?
05-06-2005, 01:30 AM
I've always been under the impression that someone with an olive complexion has a very, very deep tan.
05-06-2005, 01:39 AM
Olive complexions come in variations, but generally denotes a yellow undertone. I am olive-complected but stay out of the sun; I do not have a "deep tan" although many olive-complected persons do.
05-06-2005, 01:47 AM
Well, you know that caucasian people can have either "ivory" (yellowish) pale skin, or more pinkish pale skin, right? Olive complexions have olive green undertones to them, at least IMO. Not enough to call them green skinned, but enough to subtly show in some lights. It's not so much a deep tan, (though it is more noticeable when the person has tanned) because tans can also be reddish or coppery, it's the tones of the skin which give the complexion it's name. Here, I'll try to illustrate what I mean. This (http://puffin.creighton.edu/fapa/aikin/Web-files/ART219%20Webfiles/weeks/pictures/models-carolina_oyster%5b1%5d.jpg) model has what I'd call an olive complexion. Now, take a look at this image (http://www.advweb.com/greek/swimsuit/images/8_5_group3.jpg), the woman with the darkest tan is olive complected, but see how her skin has a faint olive cast to it in comparison to the other tanned lady, who has more red in her skin, look at the best tanned lady's arm near the grass, then look at her shoulder near the other tanned lady. The paler guy in that image is more of an ivory skin tone, while the blonde in the blue bikini is more of a pinkish pale. (Which looks paler to most people because quite a few have "golden" undertones when they tan, so an ivory person can look faintly sunkissed by comparison.)
05-06-2005, 01:50 AM
Adding, that people with olive complexions are sometimes also in the "caucasian" ethnic catagory. People from Greece, or India can have olive complexion, as can people from places like Israel IIRC.
05-06-2005, 02:05 AM
Hmm, now that's a way to explain what I mean. If the tan looks more like new copper, the person doesn't have an olive complexion, but if it looks more like aged copper or bronze, it is what I'd call an olive complexion.
05-06-2005, 06:00 AM
You've obviously never been to Rumania. Many of the people there have what is called 'olive' skin. It's not green, but it's less dissimilar to green than any other of the world's human skin colours.
If that makes sense.
The word's also used to describe the tone of some Hispanics, Italians, maybe gypsies, etc.
05-06-2005, 06:05 AM
When describing a complexion as olive, it means there is a hint of olive, not that they are truly olive colored. Very common around Greece, the Balkans etc.
05-06-2005, 06:09 AM
I'd also wondered why the adjective 'olive' (which as you say are either green or black) and satisfied myself with the idea that people with olive skin in the 'old world' often live around the mediterranian (southern Spain, Italy & France, Greece, Turkey, North Africa etc.) where the climate is suitable for olive cultivation. It's just an idea.
Either that or we are meant to picture the colour of olive oil rather than the fruit.
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