Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beautiful.

When Leif and I first started dating and we'd go out people would stare. I noticed and sometimes it made me uncomfortable. When I was pregnant people would really stare, and from time to time I got a disapproving glance. Now when we go out as a family people still stare, especially at Riley. Once people see Leif and I together, they make an effort to see what our child looks like. The other day when we were at the aquarium, a family that was behind us got in front of us, and kept looking back to see Riley.

The whole black-white interracial dating/marriage isn't new, in fact its become a lot more common over the last few years. It still surprises some people though. And when there's a child in the picture then you tend to hear this phrase often: "Biracial children are the most beautiful". I think my baby is beautiful, but not because she's half white and half black. When my friends found out I was pregnant, I constantly heard "Your baby has to be beautiful because you're black and Leif is white". I hated when people would say that. I'd always cringe. Couldn't my child be beautiful simply because she was mine?

Another thing people like to point out is the fact that my child will have "soft" hair compared to mine. I've had people stop me a lot in the store to comment on Riley, and point out how cute her curls are. And every once in awhile someone will let me know that my child is lucky to have hair that isn't nappy like mine. While they don't use the exact word nappy, they hint at it. Really, what's wrong with "nappy" hair? If my child had it, would it make her less beautiful? (Oh black hair, I must save that for another post).

In our house race doesn't matter, we're simply a family. Once we leave our house though it seems to matter a bit more. I want my daughter to know that she's beautiful because God made her, like He's made everyone. Not because of Leif being white, or me being black.

12 comments:

Patty said...

all that you have said is true unfortunately. but your daughter is beautiful because she is a child of God and not because she is biracial!

Young Mom/Wife said...

When our son was first born people would ask me if my husband was Hispanic because he had jet black hair that never fell out. One woman even walked up to me and said "He looks like one of our babies!!"

It still unnerves me what people think they can say when you have a child... I am sorry that people can't realize that love has no racial boundaries and that your child is beautiful because you are her mother, and that is that.

etc from Fierce and Nerdy said...

Yes, I've gotten the "biracial children are so beautiful" comment in public, too. I try to make time to say, "Well, all children are beautiful," but often I'm in a rush or just don't feel like educating someone in the grocery store line. I'm actually dedicating my personal column to IR relationships this week and Biracial Family next week, so stop by if you have a sec. Here's today's: http://fierceandnerdy.com/?p=10646

Chanel said...

I know how you feel! My mom is black-white bi-racial but she looks white. When she is out with her brown kids, and we are obviously calling her mom, we get a lot of looks. A LOT. But we just brush it off and don't even notice it anymore. You get used to it, and like the person above me said, you can't try to educate every person you come across that has questions and comments. And people will ALWAYS have questions and comments (and looks).

Anna said...

I've awarded you a Kreativ Blogger Award. Please go to Adoptive Momma of Two (adoptivemomma.blogspot.com) to see my post about your blog!

Milk and Honey Mommy said...

Margaret,

I too would cringe when people (strangers) would comment about how beautiful my children are. I also heard that they must look like their father a lot. Hmm, apparently they weren't looking hard enough because my oldest looks more like me. As my children got older, I tried to play down these comments because we heard them so much that my daughter asked me, “Why do people say that all of the time?” I want my children to know they're defined by more than just their looks. They are my little blessings and beautiful (inside and out) because they’re my children.

I was born in California and now we are six months removed from California and now living in TN. Of course we saw more interracial couples there, but I have been surprised at the amount of black female/white male couples we have seen here. I must admit that I find myself staring too (it’s like I found a friend). As far as the stares, they don’t bother me much anymore. I’m just another married woman, raising three children.

Keya said...

When I first started dating my husband people would stare at us, then I think I just got use to it or ignore it because I don't see it anymore. No one has ever said anything or stared at us when we go out as a family. People would look at my child and say he's so beautiful. No one has asked me am I the nanny etc..
I think because he looks so much like me.
The only people that commented about his hair are my family. They say how come his hair is so light, or his hair is so soft, it's not like our texture.
My friend who's white said to him, oh you have 'Good Hair'
But that's about it. I think I would snap if anyone aksed me if my child was mine.

Yvonne said...

I totally agree with Keya. I know people still stare, but after 4 years of dating, 8 happy years of marriage and two kids later, I could careless. Stare if you must. Heck, stare until your eyeballs fall out. I'll help you pick them up and keep on stepping. My life is about the positive and if you can't get beyond our color difference then you just keep riding on the hater train.

I've also gotten plenty of comments about my kids hair texture and complexion. I had one woman tell me, I wish I had full lips like your daughter. I looked at her with all my full lip glory and just smiled. Simple people make me laugh. Ignorance is bliss, I guess!

Margaret said...

Thanks everyone for your comments:)

And you do get to that point where you don't notice the staring and the comments are easy to just let roll off your shoulders!

Sweetydarling72 said...

I live in Dallas and don't really notice the stares as much when we are all out, but I know they do because I have been asked if I was the nanny, if I actually gave 'birth' to him/her or people have commented on how soft and beautiful my children's hair is, or they've commented how light one is compared to me (Thanks Mary Kay lady).

But I hate the myth that being biracial automatically makes you more beautiful than others any more than being blonde and blue-eyed somehow automatically means you're beautiful. And it doesn't guarantee that you will be light skinned or have "soft, good hair" (my best friend is biracial and her hair is kinkier and harder to manage than the 'average' black person's).

People will say things no matter who you are. Just depends on who you run into. I was shunned by MY OWN Japanese grandmother because I was not only dark but because I was a girl (she's since turned around a few years after her comment to me and my mom). I've been told I was "pretty for a dark girl" when I was about 7 BY A BLACK WOMAN. Can't tell you how hurt I was when that happened...And I've had people ask what my background is and then (when they find out I have the asian aspect) they comment "OH! That's why you're so pretty." WTF? Why can't plain black/dark skin be beautiful too?

So...people say the darndest things...Maybe 20-30 years from now we'll be so immersed in racial blending that we won't have to deal with this anymore.

I have to admit that I will look at interracial couples and children because I enjoy the DNA game but it's totally out of admiration. I do the same with African women...you can just TELL an African vs. a typical 'black' American. They just look and present themselves differently. It's amazing! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I am so happy someone is finally saying/posting it! It bothers me to no end, to the point where I was crying because of all the stares and grunts people gave my husband and I. Why does it matter?? Why can't we just be a family with our two little girls!? I will try not to let it bother me in the future, thanks so much for posting!

Anonymous said...

Keya,

You might want to consider if calling non-kinky straighter hair "good hair" or "soft hair" is anti-black speech. If someone said that black people were ignorant would you shrug it off too?