I’ve wondered about this study too. Seems to me that most people would be reluctant to make dramatic physical changes to themselves, especially for free.
But if someone asked me how much money I’d need to go from 5’ 7’’ to 5’ 11’, I’d only ask for enough money to replace my current wardrobe. I think I’d either love being that tall or I’d be neutral about it–the same as how I feel now about my height. It wouldn’t cost me anything (though I might feel differently if I was on the hunt for a man).
But to be white? Assuming I looked like a normal white person with the same level of attractiveness that I have now*…I don’t know. I mean, I know it would be disorientating and weird at first. But what would I miss out on? What would be my out of pocket expenses? What special challenges would I need to be prepared for? There would be some initial awkwardness with my family, but I’m sure they’d eventually understand that I was just a subject of a grand experiment.
Put me in a fat body or one that’s physically or mentally disabled, and I’m going to need some decent money to compensate my losses. I also wouldn’t volunteer to swap my English surname to an Arabic one for less than a whole lot of money. I’d demand money for going male, just because I’d have a lot of on-the-job training to go through. I don’t know what to do with a penis, and I know having to deal with one would freak me out. Plus, I think I’d miss the kind of experiences that only women have access to.
There are perks that come with being a black American, I guess. But even though I’m fine with my racial identity and wouldn’t have it any other way, I can’t romanticize it too much. It’s not the worse thing in the world to be black. But I can’t think of anything I enjoy as a black person that can’t be enjoyed by whites. The converse doesn’t hold.
*I don’t want someone to just dip me in bleach and make my hair straight and blond. Because then I’d look like the Wayans did in “White Chicks”. My bone structure needs to be Europeanized too, or else I’m afraid I’d make a bizarre-looking white girl.