I've been thinking about this thread for a few days now and reading through all of the posts, I can see how it can be interpreted as racist if that's how someone chooses to look at it.
However, I've always interpreted it to mean that mixed kids (at least in my experience) seem to have a way of genetically selecting all of the most desirable traits from both parents (no matter what their races) and they end up being more attractive than they would have ordinarily have been had they not been mixed (I realized there is no way to tell what they would have looked like but everyone has a general idea of what kids would look like if they see the parents). So it isn't really a comparison of one race to another, it's comparing one child to themselves. All races produce both beautiful and 'less than beautiful' children, but mixed kids seem to have an unusually high "success rate". Even if both parents are hideous, if their children are mixed they always somehow seem to come out beautiful, whereas if the unattractive parents are both the same race, their children end up looking very similar to their parents.
There have been studies on what people including young children perceive as attractive and it was found that it has less to do with specific races or types of facial features but more to do with proportion and symmetry.
I think maybe what it boils down to is that anything possibly related to race is politically incorrect in the minds some people. Or maybe taboo would be a better way to describe it?
Personally I think if it was said as a compliment then it should just be taken as one! It's not as if most people mean harm when complimenting your children. I have friends who have adopted children from Ethiopia and I think they are absolutely gorgeous with a sort glow to their skin. There is nothing racist about it that I can find, not any more so than thinking any person of any race has beautiful features.
With all the racist hateful people in the world surely positive comments should not be offensive?? The world would be a bland place if everyone looked exactly the same, or if no one was allowed to appreciate the unique features of others!
I do know how it can be annoying though. I had thick red hair as a child and I was shy. I was horrified and embarrassed when strangers would touch my hair or comment on it every place we went. They were complimenting it, or just exclaiming over it, but it still bothered me. It wasn't offensive, just frustrating.
Momma to Sweet Rosie 7/06, Lost Baby J 1/09 at 12 weeks pregnant, Spitfire Ada born 4/21/10, and Baby Boy due July/August 2013!
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And also (in my opinion) comments on appearance in general for kids (excepting dress since they can affect that) should be avoided. But that's another issue.
Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences). Vaccines save lives.
Totally agree with Proscience. It seems that we agree on a number of things.
Me College Literature Professor (36) and DH (35) married 7/05, together since 1/99; Mom to two lovely and fierce little girls: DD1 2/06 and, after 18 months TTC (and a couple years NTNP), DD2 born 7/3/12! Dedicated AP parent who is for selective (most) vaccination.
These kind of saying are micro aggressions. Yes they are racist, yet mostly go unnoticed by the user. We live in a society where people are stuck on race. I am with you on this one. Perhaps we should take all the folks who think this way and segregate them on an island away from the rest of us normal thinkers... that is a joke for those who didn't catch the sarcasm.
Hi I posted 9/13/2012 The fact that this discussion is still going on tells us there is a whole lot of feelings around this topic. Seems it is difficult to move on. My only wish is that the children aren't at risk. People will always say crazy things. We can't change them except they read some of these posts:)
To all of you that think that saying mixed race kids are cuter is okay I want to point out that the vast majority of people in this thread who think this is okay are white. WHY this imbalance in opinion? Possibly because most white people are speaking from a place of privilege that also ends up being a place of ignorance-- not in a "you are ignorant" put down sort of way ,but in a you have not lived being in the minority and may be ignorant of how those comments feel to others, and why those comments come off as racist and may not realize how the US culture is mostly constructed with white people in mind (although this is certainly changing). Intent is only half of the picture-- just because you are sure your motives are not insulting is not enough.
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