June 18, 2014

What people are saying about her daughter's hair

Alyssa Lyons with her daughter

What People are saying about my daughter's hair

Alyssa Lyons, like me, has a multi-ethnic family with children who inherited their genes from a diverse range of nationalities. In her case, the comments they attract have ranged even farther from "Are they really your children?" Were I in her place I would be hard put not to smack the commenter…

You see, my daughter is multiethnic, born of a Puerto Rican and Irish mother and a Jamaican father, and her ambiguous racial identity lends itself to commentary about her hair. Sometimes, I wonder whether people are simply complimenting on my daughter's hair, and question myself for racializing the issue. I've considered that maybe people are simply complimenting her and that I shouldn't take it too seriously.  
But then I realize -- it's always about her hair.

Grrr. Again, it's an increasingly multi-ethnic world. Have these people been living under a rock somewhere? Have they not noticed all these people with a mix of racial features and colouring walking around? On the other hand, if they have lived all their lives in a town like ours, they've probably never seen a "coloured"/"ethnic"/"multicultural"/(insert dainty PC term here) person before in their life. Much like the ones who still glare at me as I go past.

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