I'm tagging a collection of photos of people for artistic inspiration as I learn to draw and I need some guidance on selecting tag names that are both useful and inoffensive.
In addition to tagging the individual features I find particularly compelling (e.g., eyes, legs, clavicle, color palette, etc.), I'd also like to tag people by gender (e.g., women, men, genderqueer), age category (e.g., infant, child, young adult, mature adult), race/ethnicity (need advice), and body type (need advice).
I'm doing this because I want to eventually write and draw a comic (as a hobby) and I've taken everything I've learned from MetaFilter about underrepresentation to heart. So I'm collecting and tagging these photos to ensure that I learn to draw a diverse variety of ages, race/ethnicities, and body types.
For race/ethnicity, I'd like to use two tags when possible, one for a specific ethnicity (when known) and one for a broader racial category. So, for example, I'd like to be able to categorize black Americans, Jamaicans, and Ethiopians under those individual tags but also all three under a broader tag reflecting their common physical features. However, I'm uncertain what would be an appropriate tag name for the latter -- "African" to reflect geographic ancestry, "Negroid" from physical anthropology, "Black" from the colloquial description of skin color, or...? Meanwhile, the colloquial "Asian" racial category is pretty useless since physical features vary pretty drastically from one part of Asia to the next. Etc.
My initial searching for scientific racial categorization hasn't been helpful. While there are charts like this
, they put (Asian) Indians and Danes into the same broad category (Caucasoid), which may be true for DNA similarities but not for what they look like. (Let's not go into the "race is just a social construct" argument from academia -- while I appreciate that perspective, it's not very helpful for the sort of visual sorting I need to do for this project.)
Body types is a whole other can of worms. I'd like to categorize people by apparent size (i.e., width/height) while also distinguishing differences in apparent fitness because a slender person with muscle tone looks a lot different than a slender person who is "skinny-fat." I have no idea where to begin here since most of the colloquial terms for some body types are pretty insulting.
I don't care which set of terms I adopt as long as they clearly map to specific visually identifiable physical features and aren't demeaning. If there's an existing system in place used by a particular academic field or business industry (modeling or casting, maybe?) that already does this that I could just adopt wholesale, that would be ideal.
Please advise, thanks!
P.S. I know this is a touchy subject and that I don't know the right words to use (hence this question), so if anything in my post or follow-up comments is offensive then I apologize in advance and request that you please let me know what I did wrong and how to do better in the future. Thanks.