Sometimes, being mixed race is hard.
1) Will I ever be loved by someone with a different skin colour?
Ok, how often in novels and movies do you ever come across a couple where don’t have the same skin colour? I’m struggling to think of a vast list off the top of my head. Now, I’m Asian and brown. But I have a bit of a thing for men with fair hair and blue eyes and generally I’m attracted to more Caucasian men than Asian men. My entirely unscientific theory is that I’ve been brought up in largely white communities in England, so I’m more accustomed to seeing fair men and this is what I’ve been unconsciously influenced into thinking that is attractive.
Unfortunately that doesn’t work in my favour as those said men are more used to Caucasian ladies and thus are generally more attracted to them. This significantly limits my dating pool.
Damn, I hope my theory is wrong. But, seriously, some more mixed race couples on screen or in books would help me remain more optimistic about Mr Right coming along.
2) Do the people in the street realise that the much older white person I’m having dinner with/going shopping with is not my sugar daddy/cougar mum?
When you are only half white, your resemblance to the white parent is not always immediately obvious. So, once you hit the age where you could feasibly have a much older gentleman friend/a Mrs Robinson suddenly being seen in public with them can get a little embarassing. Mostly because when you start realising this, you are still in that awkward teenage phase where you are embarrassed about the most ridiculous things.
3) Am I a bad half-[insert nationality]/ child of one parent?
When you are carrying the genes from more than one culture it can be kind of hard to be able to embrace aspects of every culture. Especially when you are probably brought up in only one of the cultures. Patriotism isn’t a terribly modern thing to feel, but I do feel bad when I have to say to people, no I don’t know any Thai and no I’ve never been to Thailand (it’s top of the to do list, once I get rich) or indeed know much about the culture. I’ve had a thoroughly Westernised upbringing though and can list all the British monarchs in order from Edward II though! As someone who loves history, I feel guilty that I’m not helping to carry on the history of one culture that I am technically part of.
It must also be strange for the parent whose culture you haven’t embraced either. My mother and I have certainly had our rocky moments where her conservative Eastern ideas have clashed with my more liberal Western ones (such as whether a then boyfriend could stay over in the university holidays – “what would the neighbours think?” did get said…).
4) Do I look odd?
It really does still surprise me now and again that I’m not white. Most of my friends are white, I’ve been largely brought up in white communities so I am sometimes capable of forgetting my skin isn’t white. That jolt when I look at a picture of think about how me and my friends might look to an outsider still occurs.But despite looking foreign, I’m not entirely sure I look Thai either. The curious mix of my genes has often led to various people enquiring if I am Malaysian (maybe they have more square jaws like mine out there?). While I’ve had Asian people tell me I just look like an English person with a really good tan.
All of these things have just led me to the conclusion I must just look bizarre. And, in darker moments, to the thought that I don’t quite know where I belong. Especially, when I consider I’ve only embraced one culture growing up; I question if I really belong to that culture because I don’t look the part.
On the plus side, though, I am quite pleased I am not inbred.