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"mixed kids are cuter" ?! - Page 6

post #101 of 158

I know this is an older thread but still wanna respond!

 

I'm white and my hubby is Filipino and we are ttc #1. Everyone, especially family, has been telling us we'll have cute kids ever since we started dating! I'd like to think that it has a little to do with us cause I don't think we are that bad looking ourselves, but I know it has to do with the fact they will be mixed race. But I don't think it's any different then if we both had red hair or blue eyes and they said "oh your kids will have the prettiest blue eyes" or "they will have awesome red hair."

 

I worked in a Nursery for 4 years and I think that people just find a feature on a kid to complement, for example OMG look at those dimples, she has so much hair, look at his curls, I just wanna squeeze those cheeks, look at those rolls. I think it is just a go-to cause they want to complement your kid and don't just wanna say "oh how cute."

 

I have heard of people getting upset when esp. stragers ask "she is so cute, what is she?" and I think that would bother me as well but we'll see if that is ever an issue since I don't get offended when people ask what race my hubby is.

 

I agree there is still a lot of raceism out there, I see older people staring at me and my hubby sometimes when we are out and we just hold hands and walk right by with our heads held high because we love each other and who cares what they are thinking. BUT no one is "color blind" our kids will always be asked what races they are and will most likely be told they are beautiful, I don't think that is too bad. :)

post #102 of 158

AH LIGHT BULB!    I don't think mixed kids being cuter is even worth delving into.  What about mixed kids being beautiful because it's so much more common now?  They are a product of something more.  When I see a mixed baby/kid/adult I'm exhilarated to see that so many walls have been knocked down.   A friend of mine always says he'll rejoice the day when the lines are so blurred that all we see is the beauty that is before us.  And what he means is we don't see race we see people.  Though I understand his stance I still love to see real love transcending into so much more. 

 

I'm mixed with a very racist family... one side only.  It's very sad that they are still in that "place".    When I married DH, he was excited to see what we could make.  What we could blend together.  And that is beautiful.

post #103 of 158

With the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor on the news so much I can't help but lament the tragedy so much emphasis on physical attributes has wrought. I remember the Jacksons as children and how wonderfully talented they were (are). The faces God gave them were beautiful. Yet Michael felt the need to have repeated plastic surgeries to alter the way he looked. There were comments by people I worked with at the time about his getting "the perfect nose." My thought at the time was that he already had the perfect nose-the one he was born with. But there were medical "professionals" happy to take his money and do whatever he requested. He ended up a grotesque deformed caricature of who he really was. Devastating.

Kids are beautiful because of who they are; not because of any particular physical features.

post #104 of 158

I wish this multicultural families forum was more active.  It seems like it has been awhile since anyone has been here.  I have a 5 year old and another on the way.  My husband is biracial (African American and Eastern European Jewish) and I am mostly European multi-ethnic, but look Mediterranean (suggesting the southern age-old mixing with North Africa).  I guess we are sometimes not considered a mixed couple, since we could both me many different things, so we have not really gotten too many people commenting on the "mixed" status of our daughter.  However, we both have been asked "what are you?" and called "exotic" in our lives.  This is not always a comfortable position to be in.  I know my daughter will get this same kind of curiosity and questions and I am not sure exactly how we will prepare her for that.  We live in the SF bay area, so she has a good number of peers with mixed heritage.  I am hoping that it will just become less of an event in her childhood, but I know there is still lots of ignorance around. My husband and I have discussed whether or not we should preempt her real experiences with racism with telling her that some people may judge her because of the way she looks.  We haven't decided.  We don't want her to anticipate negative treatment from people, but we also don't want it to shock her when it happens.  Any thoughts?

post #105 of 158

I'm not really sure when is the right time to teach our kids about race and racism, my son is 4 and I am kind of waiting to see if he brings this subject up... The good thing is that he is in a public preschool with soooo many different kids, different races, cultures, that he is exposed to so many different kids, so he probably does not feel any different himself right now. We are lucky to live in a big city where he is exposed to so many wonderful kids, all of different cultural backgrounds. My kids are 4 and 17 months, I am of a Polish descent, and have a very pale skin tone, my husband is Jordanian, has olive skin tone and my kids do have my husband's complexion. I get some interesting comments all the time, if I am alone with the kids: "oh, you husband must be DARK" (I get that one the most!), or "your kids must look like your husband". Well, in fact they look like me, just with a beautiful olive skin color:). Yeah, I kind of got used to these comments, but since my son is so young, I don't think he understands anything about race or culture yet. I'm sure when they are older, they will be asked alot, "where are you from?". So my job will be to teach my kids to be proud about their mixed heritage, to feel a connection to both their Jordanian and Polish background, I want them to be proud of who they are. I think as long as  they are surrounded by kids of different backgrounds then my job will be easier. But if we ever move to a place that is more isolated, that has mostly, let's say white kids, and my kids will be different than everyone else, then they might feel isolated or badly about themselves.

post #106 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by tropicmama View Post

I'm not really sure when is the right time to teach our kids about race and racism, my son is 4 and I am kind of waiting to see if he brings this subject up... The good thing is that he is in a public preschool with soooo many different kids, different races, cultures, that he is exposed to so many different kids, so he probably does not feel any different himself right now. We are lucky to live in a big city where he is exposed to so many wonderful kids, all of different cultural backgrounds. My kids are 4 and 17 months, I am of a Polish descent, and have a very pale skin tone, my husband is Jordanian, has olive skin tone and my kids do have my husband's complexion. I get some interesting comments all the time, if I am alone with the kids: "oh, you husband must be DARK" (I get that one the most!), or "your kids must look like your husband". Well, in fact they look like me, just with a beautiful olive skin color:). Yeah, I kind of got used to these comments, but since my son is so young, I don't think he understands anything about race or culture yet. I'm sure when they are older, they will be asked alot, "where are you from?". So my job will be to teach my kids to be proud about their mixed heritage, to feel a connection to both their Jordanian and Polish background, I want them to be proud of who they are. I think as long as  they are surrounded by kids of different backgrounds then my job will be easier. But if we ever move to a place that is more isolated, that has mostly, let's say white kids, and my kids will be different than everyone else, then they might feel isolated or badly about themselves.



I asked a friend of mine about her mixed race heritage and how she thought I should approach this with my son. She told me that her white mom never described people using race as an adjective... i.e. "See that man over there in the red hat?" instead of "See that man over there with brown skin?" She told me it was the single largest factor that made a positive impact on her with regard to race. It didn't stop her from experiencing racism in other areas of her life, but she was always able to talk to her mom about those experiences. This friend also doesn't have her father in her life, which was helpful to me as well. I definitely recommend seeking out or taking the advice of mixed race adults as to how they were raised and what they liked or didn't like about their experiences. There are a lot of those experiences being shared on this thread too. :)

 

post #107 of 158

I was shocked the other day by our midwife who said the very same thing, "Mixed kids are so much cuter." I brushed it off in the office, because well I don't know how to respond to that statement. I guess they are. Does it really matter? Is this a statement of social acceptability now? I never considered myself mixed, or that I am in a mixed relationship. I grew up in a 100% Puerto Rican family. There was no white and black, though one side of my family is darker than the other side. My husband and I share a similar culture, we both identify with our Hispanic/ Latin heritage.

 

The thing that really stopped me was the mixed part. How mixed can one tell by looking at us as couple? The only stark difference one can readily assess by looking at us is poor DH is very pale, and I tan very, very easily. No one has ever guessed I'm Puerto Rican by just looking at me. And DH is bothered by the fact that people assume he is "white." He is very proud to be Colombian, and for his achievements, rightly so.

 

So what is meant by mixed? The person who made the statement cannot know our diverse ethnic background by simply looking at us. We are both thin, tall, our noses and lips are what is called fine, our eyes are almond shaped, we both have straight to curly hair. (Haha, I married myself.) We could both pass for Middle Eastern or Indian. So, I really wonder what is meant by mixed, if the only thing clearly different is our skin color and sex?

post #108 of 158

CA County Girl: I remember very clearly my Dad telling me one day as a young child, "You are not white. You are not black. Don't let any one tell you you are black just because you are tan." With great pride and possibly some anger and resentment he continued, "If anyone asks what are you, you say 'I am Puerto Rican!' Because that is what we are. We are Puerto Rican, and Americans." He hates that fact that his birth certificate says he is white. That left a strong impression on me. In a fairly quick little speech he managed to convey the triviality of America's black/white obsession, and how it does not apply to everyone in this land. To this day I refuse to be pigeon holed into a black or white identity. I am neither and perhaps a bit of both. But, in the end it doesn't matter. I am first and foremost part of the Human Race, my ethnicity is Puerto Rican, and I am an American.

 

I intend to share this philosophy with our children.

post #109 of 158

My DW is mixed, her dad is Chinese and her mom is German.  I think she's *gorgeous*.  I'm a mish mash of the British Isles, and people mistake us for sisters (creepy and weird).  She's the one in the blue dress (I'm in white).

post #110 of 158

I'm glad this thread was started and I have the same concerns as the original poster. My mixed race daughter is fairly light skinned like I am but has features similar to her dad. Often other white women look at her and say stuff like "oh what interesting features" wtf does that even mean?

post #111 of 158

That's funny to me.  My mom used to get pissed when people commented on us or asked if we were hers.  She has black hair dark skin brown eyes.  I came out undercooked as she likes to say.  Blonde green eyes, light skin.  My brother looks like her son though.  My cousins tormented me because of my light complexion and our great grandmother who didn't speak a lick of english loved my hair and would baby me.  Sheesh she made it worse!  

 

Saying mixed kids are cuter is slightly rude, but I the idea of mixed is rather beautiful.  

post #112 of 158

For me, I always tell my Daughter she has beautiful hair and eyes, even though they are not the same as mine. I am white with blue eyes and red/blond hair. My hubby is Indonesian with dark skin, black hair and VERY dark brown eyes. My daughter has beautiful auburn hair, light brown eyes and tan-able skin. My only wish is that my kids didn't inherit my "only-burnable-vampire" skin (I hate not being able to play in the sun with them :( ) and I got my wish. I tell my daughter every day she is the most beautiful girl in the world. She often tells me my eyes are beautiful or my hair and I tell her just the same. Just because we are different does not mean that one is better than the other. Sometimes she tells me she wished she had blue eyes and I tell her I would love to have her hair color. I am currently pregnant with twins and assume they will be just as beautiful as her. Don't all/most parents think their kid is the most beautiful child in the world?

 

As for the mixed-race part, yeah, I still get asked ALL the time if she's adopted (she's almost 4) because she does not carry any of my features. It really does not bother me as it is a part of the mystery of genetics. Please take all comments and suggestions in stride, as some people will never know what it is like to have children of different ethnicities and they are just curious or trying to be nice on their own way. Getting angry at such comments only makes someone feel you think you are superior in some way and that they are inferior for their lack of understanding. I respond to such comments by saying"every child is unique and beautiful".

post #113 of 158

Quote:

Originally Posted by bk_hope_2_b_mama View Post

 

...I think it might be less that I'm sensitive/defensive about this and more that I'm surprised by how common it is for people to say it and cherish the "exotic" look of particular kids...


Thank you, OP!!!  This ^ and your comment about the implications for young women ("exotic=sexy" problem).  Let me just say, that just because it's "prized" by the fashion industry, etc. doesn't make it ok.  It's weird.  

 

I am as white as the driven snow, but nobody has ever thought so...I have extremely dark brown hair with red highlights; large, bright green eyes; and strong facial features.  As a child, my olive skin never burned, so I often had a deep tan (though paler in the winter).  My whole entire life people have thought I was everything from Armenian to Mexican, Greek to "not white" (whatever that is).

 

As a little kid, I had a friend who was a child model.  She was blond with blue eyes, and her mother constantly berated her for not looking as "EXOTIC" as I did - that I was much more beautiful and would be a much better model because I was so exotic!!! (beyond this just being plain mean to her daughter, it also made me feel very weird about my own looks...)  

 

My own family has also done this to me my entire life (it comes up EVERY family gathering), because I am the only one who does not have a fair complexion with light brown hair and blue eyes.  They are constantly saying how "exotic" I look and how beautiful it is, and I realize some of this is "the grass is always greener" mentalityv (i.e. chicks with curly hair want straight, and vice versa), but it's really disturbing!

 

In high school, everyone usually assumed I was "not white."  If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what race I was at school or called me "exotic" looking, I would be a millionaire.  There was even a multi-cultural club that everyone tried to get me to join - they were super friendly to me until they finally realized I was "just white" - then they wouldn't talk to me anymore! 

 

Recently, I was at a tea shop owned by a Chinese woman - she and her daughter went to great lengths praising my son's and my big eyes and prominent noses.  It was the definition of uncomfortable - I had no idea what to say!  I didn't make this "white nose" or these eyes, nor did I pick them, I mean, why are we talking about this?! It was well-intended, I'm sure, but misguided, definitely.

 

So yes, there is a problem with this, even if it is phrased as a "compliment" - these comments are racially loaded, whether the people who make them realize it and intend it or not.  And regardless, it makes the recipient feel very awkward and uncomfortable - which is usually the opposite intent of a compliment.  

 

post #114 of 158

I've always just thought of the 'mixed babies are the cutest' comment as just something people say when they don't really know what to say. An empty comment meant more to say 'I like and support you' rather than what it actually means. I don't take offense to it at all, though I also haven't ever used it. I would rather just say, 'I'm so happy for you! I love being a mom.' etc.....

post #115 of 158

Uh... unless I'm missing something aren't most kids mixed these days?  Seriously rare now to find a genealogical line that dates back completely to one "race".   So... what's the problem? 

post #116 of 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA Country Girl View Post

I wish this multicultural families forum was more active.  It seems like it has been awhile since anyone has been here.  I have a 5 year old and another on the way.  My husband is biracial (African American and Eastern European Jewish) and I am mostly European multi-ethnic, but look Mediterranean (suggesting the southern age-old mixing with North Africa).  I guess we are sometimes not considered a mixed couple, since we could both me many different things, so we have not really gotten too many people commenting on the "mixed" status of our daughter.  However, we both have been asked "what are you?" and called "exotic" in our lives.  This is not always a comfortable position to be in.  I know my daughter will get this same kind of curiosity and questions and I am not sure exactly how we will prepare her for that.  We live in the SF bay area, so she has a good number of peers with mixed heritage.  I am hoping that it will just become less of an event in her childhood, but I know there is still lots of ignorance around. My husband and I have discussed whether or not we should preempt her real experiences with racism with telling her that some people may judge her because of the way she looks.  We haven't decided.  We don't want her to anticipate negative treatment from people, but we also don't want it to shock her when it happens.  Any thoughts?

 

I also check this board from time to time, and wish that it were more active.  I suppose I could help that along by doing a bit more than my usual lurking.  I saw this post and didn't want to read and run regarding your question about whether or not to preempt your daughter's 'one-day' experiences with race by telling her that people may judge her because of how she looks.

 

I am not yet a mom (or rather, I am currently in the very early stages of the first trimester, and it still doesn't quite seem real), so I can't offer specific advice. However, Po Bronson's book "Nurtureshock" has an awesome chapter about children and race. The book in and of itself is great -- not so much in the fact that it tells you how to raise your children, but it delves into research about the ways that certain ideas about parenting go along with or completely against research-based findings about children.

 

The chapter on race was especially interesting to me as a black woman married to a white man. The book discussed the ways in which race is discussed among people of different races/ethnic groups, and just from our own experiences we were spot on. My husband used to say that race shouldn't be something we talked about with our kids before they could understand it on their own and come to us with questions. I've always thought that race is something that just is -- pretending that we're color blind and don't see differences is ridiculous, and even the youngest of children can easily see differences in skin color and features -- rather than 'ignore' it until our kid asks us about it one day, I thought it made more since to talk about it conversationally from day one. I'm probably not explaining this well, but suffice it to say, the chapter in the book discusses why the latter method makes a lot more sense than the other, and includes the research explaining why. The book is worth reading for that chapter alone. 
 

 

post #117 of 158

Personally, I believe you cannot assume that someone is racist based on a a few sentences they uttered, such as "mixed kids are cuter" etc just as you cannot assume that someone must be certain ways or others based on their color/gender/religion/etc.  Reverse stereotyping and overgeneralizing probably won't lead to anything good in the long run.

 

 

 

 

 

post #118 of 158

SweetTea

Thanks for the book recommendation!  I will check it out.  I agree with you that kids notice differences and we need to address rather than ignore them.  My daughter has always been interested the differences between complexions in our extended family.  There is a lovely book for small children called "The Colors of Us" by Karen Katz.  My daughter and one of her other multi-racial friends (Japanese/Irish/Native American) loved picking out names for each other's complexions.  But for them, it is all just description.  The idea that someone might judge or dislike them is still foreign.  Since I wrote this post originally, my daughter's class read The Story of Ruby Bridges, which includes a description about how white adults told her to go away and called her names.  She talked to us about it at home and the idea that grown ups could do this to a kid because of skin color was unbelievable and sad for her, but it led to a good discussion.  She also had one kid tell her he was white and she was not (ironically, he is also mixed (Mexican/White)) and she told me looked at both of their skin and thought- neither of us is "white".  I guess the conversation has been coming up more, and we are just playing it by ear- doing our best to be open, honest, and thoughtful about how we talk about race.  I will check out the book for more ideas.  Let's try to keep this forum up and running;  I find it really helpful.

post #119 of 158

Thank you for the book recommendation!  Does anyone else have recommendations for books for small kids?  My DD is only 7 months, but she loves reading and I'd like to have some books on hand for a few months down the road.  She's the only mixed-race kid in either DH's or my family so far, and I'm afraid she's going to feel like "the weird one" when she not only looks different from everybody else, but shares two cultures.

 

My mother said she saw a really cute one about a dog that looked like a bear...at first the dog was ashamed of looking different and got made fun of, but then he started taking pride in it and was admired.  But she forgot the title and now I can't find it anywhere!  Has anyone heard of this book?

post #120 of 158
Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetTea View Post

 

The chapter on race was especially interesting to me as a black woman married to a white man. The book discussed the ways in which race is discussed among people of different races/ethnic groups, and just from our own experiences we were spot on. My husband used to say that race shouldn't be something we talked about with our kids before they could understand it on their own and come to us with questions. I've always thought that race is something that just is -- pretending that we're color blind and don't see differences is ridiculous, and even the youngest of children can easily see differences in skin color and features -- rather than 'ignore' it until our kid asks us about it one day, I thought it made more since to talk about it conversationally from day one. I'm probably not explaining this well, but suffice it to say, the chapter in the book discusses why the latter method makes a lot more sense than the other, and includes the research explaining why. The book is worth reading for that chapter alone.

 

 



This is why I think people (myself included) get nervous about people making comments about "mixed kids are cuter" -- because we're not supposed to talk about race (especially if we're white). That said, I think blanket statements like "mixed kids are cuter" are still not quite on the right track...

 

Choose2Reuse is my sister, and her daughter is my niece, and it weirds me out to think of people saying she's cute because she's "mixed." Personally, I think she's cute because she's got an adorable smile and wispy baby hair and fierce little hands that will not let go of your necklace no matter what :) I hope that as she grows older she doesn't think of herself as "mixed" except in that she's a mixture of her daddy and her mama, two awesome people who had a beautiful baby! She'll see that parts of her look more like her dad, parts look more like her mom, and she'll hopefully be grateful that she escaped the nose on her grampy's side of the family ;)

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