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Is this typical of any child, or should I be concerned? - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Have you ever looked at http://kimchimamas.typepad.com/ ? It's a site for Korean Americans and they discuss the kind of things you and your DD are going through.
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewe+lamb View Post
OOOh can you post that link that you used - dd wants to be blond (in fact so does her bf) dd's half north african half scottish, we keep telling her that she's a blend of our love but it's not convincing - she wants to be like the girl who does the wheel of fortune, big busty blond, that whole barbie image! So if we could show her what she looked like with blond hair she so much desires then she may change her mind .... or not?!
This is what we used but it was just the first one I found . . .there may be a better free one out there!

http://www.dailymakeover.com/
post #23 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by travelling sheep View Post
Have you ever looked at http://kimchimamas.typepad.com/ ? It's a site for Korean Americans and they discuss the kind of things you and your DD are going through.
Interesting! Thank you!

Today I took the DDs to a Japanese mall (my 2nd DD is obsessed with Japan . . .). After awhile, looking around at the majority of the fellow shoppers, DD1 said, "Well, I guess I look Asian. I wish I had black hair, though!" We picked up a magazine for the ride home, and DD was excited that there was someone in the magazine who looked like her.

I think I've been underestimating her needs to see more evidence of the presence of Asian-Americans.
post #24 of 35
I grew up in a school 40% black, 10% Native, 10% hispanic. I was one of 2 redheads in k-5. I DESPERATELY wanted dark hair. Either stick staight, or "real" curls, as mine is in between. I took any comment about my pale skin like a knife in the heart.

Yes, I think what your daughter is going through is normal. Yes, I think you should be concerned!! It took me years of dieting, drugs, hair dye and exploitive relationships to realize that I am fine just the way I am. Looks aren't everything, and I don't look too bad anyway.

I think positive role models are the way to go. Are you anywhere near a Korean community? Do you have Asiandescent friends who have dealt with growing up in America? Most military communities have a pretty good size Korean community. Good luck
post #25 of 35
Oh my goodness! If I had a dollar (or even 50 cents) for every time I wished I was pale, blonde and blue (or green) eyed or deep dark brown with black hair and eyes, I would never have had to work a day in my life. I'm Irish and Native, I've got dark(er) skin and a TON of feckles, dark hair, dark eyes. I'm just brown, brown, brown. Kids in school actually used to ask "WHAT are you?" They told me I looked dirty, ugly and strange. I wished and wished to have lovely milky skin and bouncey curly hair. I also wished and wished to have deep, dark skin and cool fuzzy hair. I hated being someplace in the middle with nothing that pointed one way or the other. It's perfectly normal for people to wish they were something else. It's only recently that I (at 32) looked in the mirror and thought "Heck, If I throw out everything that 'society' teaches about beauty, I'm pretty damn sexy." I'll have to check out that dove commercial at my mom's place since I'm on dial-up here.
post #26 of 35
I'm from NZ, I grew up wanting blue eyes like my white dad, I didn't want my mother to be Maori I wanted to be someone more exotic like a Native American. I didn't like people asking me what I was. I ended up in tears in school once because a teacher old me I could only tick one box on the ethnicity question and I should choose Maori. (I deliberately didn't!) I think it's all too common for minority cultures to want to blend into the majority. You just need to reinforce your culture because when your children are older then they will probably want to know more about it, and be proud of being whatever their culture is.
post #27 of 35
Mizelenius, my dd is also Asian-Caucasian mix and was about 4 years old when she came home from preschool telling me she wanted white skin. What really helped her was I explained all about what skin color is for. You know, that there is melanin in your skin which protects your skin, and people with more melanin have better protection. I pointed out to her that her best friend (very pale) gets sunburned easily and she does not. She really liked that. To this day, she uses the brown crayon to color her skin when she draws self-portraits (she's not really brown, she's more tan but it shows she is identifying as dark).

A lot of it is personality, though. That approach worked for my dd but may not resonate with yours. Still, I thought I'd mention it.
post #28 of 35
Well of course it is normal if a kid that is starting to experiment with the person he is, starting to grow up and being open to the world, makes himself/herself questions about him and about the things that make him different from the rest of the world.

If your girl thinks she's not pretty because have an Asian part you have to show her that is precisely her difference that thing that make her prettiest from a majority of girls which don't have, like her, a very special look.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by liliesandliars View Post
My eurasian son is only three years old, so I have not had to deal with this issue yet. But I worry that I will have to. American culture is, I think, friendlier to the idea of asian women than it is to the idea of asian men. We're seeing more and more asian women in our media, playing varied roles. But asian men (when they are featured) pretty much fit the same stereotype that they always have worn in American culture... and it's not necessarily an appealing one.
lilies.. -- I've been thinking a lot about this. My kids are Hapa, like yours -- my husband is from Korea, and I am white. My son, who is 7, always chooses the blonde boy game piece when we play chutes and ladders. When I ask him why, he says he doesn't know. However, my daughter, who is 4, has a lot of Asian dolls, Asian Barbies, and I always point out that I think the Asian ones are really beautiful because they look like her. My son and I haven't had as much of an ongoing dialogue about it, because as he was growing up he loved trains, and Thomas the Tank, which wasn't a particular race (LOL), and Transformers, etc.... -- I didn't have as much of an opportunity to buy "Asian" dolls for him because there wasn't Asian versions of the stuff he played with. Now I regret it because I think deep down he may have an issue that's not going to come out till preteen years. I just get the hunch with the way he always picks the blonde boy game piece. I do make sure he watches some Asian cartoons, and that sort of thing, on the Disney Channel and also other kids channels. But I think I need to do a better job with him.

One thing that I hope will help is that I want to start him in Tae Kwon Do, to try it out. Since it is a Korean martial art, I'm hoping there might be other Korean boys there. Or other Hapa boys.

Anyway, to the original starter of the thread, I do think it's really important to make sure your Hapa children are surrounded by images of other Hapa people, or other Asian people -- because the white part of their identity will come by default. Just growing up in the U.S., the white identity is still the hedgemonic image you grow up with in the American media, etc..., although it is changing for the better. Still, most toys and images are white. I'm really conscious of it, and I go so far as to make a point to not buy art, Christmas cards, etc., that have only images of white people, to hang in my home, because I don't want my hapa kids to think that white is the standard of beauty. As I said, I think I haven't done as good of a job with my son, though, because I don't think he's getting enough positive Asian/Hapa Male images around him in the media and pop-culture. I need to point them out more to him.
post #30 of 35
I went through the same thing as a child. It does seem typical with multi-ethnic kids, but we do rise above it.

Mom always told us how beautiful we were (handsome in the case of my brother), and I always got compliments from adults on my hair and skin. We also did a lot of cultural study.

Now I look at my mixed-heritage self with pride!
post #31 of 35

Can I join in?

Can I join in here? I don't know what to say about what I am. No matter where I go, people stop me and ask me, "What are you?". I was always offended by their questioning, because to me, I thought I was Scottish.

After years of asking my parents about their backgrounds, my dad finally told me that I am 1/4 Native American. Hello? Why didn't he tell me before?
I spent my childhood thinking I was adopted, and even much of my adult life (perhaps all of it). This has had a profound affect on my life, yet I couldn't even identify any group of people with my looks, because no one told me who I am.

Everyone however asks me... African Americans ask if I am an albino African American. Asians ask me if I am bi-racial (half Asian/half white). One Loatian women at my daughters school put it straight out...."Are you Mix?", she said. I pondered that question for a while. She obviously meant, am I bi-racial. She was sure I was "one of her's". Growing up, other children said I was "exotic". I had no idea what they were talking about. In fact, I still don't. I have never seen myself as anything but what I was. And, I thought I was white.

What a big shock it came to me when I learned I was bi-racial. I have my mothers fair skin, her freckles, and her green eyes. Where my looks diverge are the shape of my face, shape and placement of my eyes and the angular body that I have, that no one else in my family has. My sister and I sound alike, but I really don't look like my sister or brother, and certainly don't look like my parents. My father was always told he was Scottish, or he made it up. I think the latter. He's got olive skin, and similar facial placements like me. He used to change his mind about what he was when we were young, and as we asked more questions, he decided that he was actually ONLY Scottish. I feel like I am pouring this out. Sorry if I am hijacking...not my intention. It's hard to form these words because, I'm 44, and just now finding this out!

So, the reason I am posting about this subject is, all of my life I thought I was white. However, everyone noticed the difference between me and the other girls. I always wanted straight hair. I always wanted blue eyes. I wanted blond hair ect. I thought I wasn't pretty, even though everyone talked about my looks, commented on how unique I looked, and how exotic I was. The African American girls literally flocked around me, and loved doing my hair. I had dark blond hair. Not the light blond I wanted. But I had wavy/curly hair, very long and coarse. In ways it is similar to African American hair, and in ways similar to Scottish hair...very wirey hair.

All I can say is, I identify with some of the things I am reading here. And, I have three children from India, and I have an Indian first and last name, so people often think I am an albino from india!!! My looks garnish the curiosity from strangers, and I think that did a number on my self esteem. I didn't know of any child in my school, or in my entire childhood who seemed to get so much attention on her looks like I did, and at that, no one said "pretty". Just unique and exotic.

So, with my daughters, who are now also having the same insecurities, even though they are not bi-racial. I spend alot of time showing them pictures of girls like them, taking them to India cultural events, taking them to temple, and I volunteer in the Indian community also, so we have a very big dose of Indian (india) culture in their lives on a consistant basis. We have books, dolls, videos and much more that continually uplift their knowing who they are. I can give that to them, something I didn't get as a child.

Anyway, this was very long, but it is the first time I have every mentioned my cultural background to a large group. I've told some friends, and they all immediately say, "That's it!". I feel a bit like a science experiment, where the creator of my being got confused and didn't make me the right way. Maybe that is how our daughters are feeling?

Jyotsna
post #32 of 35
Jyotsna --- thank you so much for sharing that. I looked at your blog and your pictures. You are beautiful. I can relate to your story in a different way, because my mom was untruthful about my paternity for many years, until I found out the truth when I was in my 20's. She still doesn't like to talk about it - it's as if it's "unspeakable", which makes part of me, and my history "unspeakable". It does a number on you. Anyway, my race wasn't in question, but I still don't know my (white) ethnic background or much of anything about my biological father and his family. It has affected my identity all through my life -- having that one side of myself denied and whispered about. I knew I came from a different father -- she just lied about who he was. I had a step father all of my life who adopted me when he married my mom so that I could have his last name. He never loved me as much as he loved his own children, which they had when I was about 10 years old. To me, it's almost similar to having some sort of "twin" that was separated from you -- to be cut off and separated from knowing my paternal side. So, in a certain way, I can really related to your story because the feelings are similar to what I've felt all of my life. It's that missing piece. That mystery. That "unspoken-ness". (((((hugs)))))
With my own children, I fear that they will have a sort of confusion about their Asian side, because my husband is Korean and he's not really very interested in his ethnicity, and he doesn't teach them anything about it, really. I think HE feels uncomfortable about it. And, because children internalize their parents' feelings and attitudes, I'm afraid of how my children's ethnic identities are forming. They are a mix of Korean and English/Scottish in culture, and they do look very Hapa.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
Can I join in here? I don't know what to say about what I am. No matter where I go, people stop me and ask me, "What are you?". I was always offended by their questioning, because to me, I thought I was Scottish.
....
Anyway, this was very long, but it is the first time I have every mentioned my cultural background to a large group. I've told some friends, and they all immediately say, "That's it!". I feel a bit like a science experiment, where the creator of my being got confused and didn't make me the right way. Maybe that is how our daughters are feeling?
Jyotsna
I know kind of how you feel, Jyotsna. I was adopted into a "completely white" family, but all through my childhood, people would make comments, or ask questions about, my looking Asian. My parents were always evasive/dismissive in these situations. So, I assumed that I was a white kid who happened to look Asian-ish.

The funny thing is, when I was a kid, I really wanted to be Asian (and Jewish ).

When I was a young adult, I was constantly compared to a half Asian, half European actress who was hot at the time. A few years later, I worked in a public service job with a woman my age, who was half white, half Chinese. Customers repeatedly mixed us up.

I still don't know "what I am," and likely never will. My kids are blindingly white, though, with blue eyes, so I guess they'll never face the same issues as Mizelenius' dd.
post #34 of 35
it saddens me to hear this. i hate it when kids feel bad because they don't blend into the mainstream. even though as stated your husband doesn't have the interest in the study of korean culture, i am afraid to say that it can't be the elephant in the room. someone is going to have to explain to her where part of her heritage lies even though it may very well be uncomfortable.

i also agree that you have to find creative ways to reinforce the beauty that kids have right where they are, so that they can start to see themselves as worthwhile. it is not an easy road ahead, but definitely a worthwhile one.
post #35 of 35
I haven't read all of the replies yet, just wanted to add my 2 cents. 4 of my Dc are Black/White. My youngest DD gets her hair braided and never haad an issue. Now that she's started school, she doesn't like her braids. Someone in her class made a comment about her braids, so it stems from that. The same thing happened to my oldest DD a little over a year ago. I called the teacher and she had a talk with the students about people having differences. My youngest DD has a parents teacher conference coming up and I'll have a talk with her teacher.
My oldest DD loves blonde hair(she has redish brown) and fair skin, but she was like this before she started school.
My guess is that someone has made a comment about or to your DD. I'm guessing that this is not the first time that your DD has been around non Asian children?? This is why I say that someone has made a comment.
DH and I have talked to my youngest DD and tried to give her confidence, it helped a little. We've pointed out that everyone is different in some way and that God created us the way that he wanted us to be.
I hope that your DD gets through this period and grows up loving being Korean.
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