Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Sometimes I Forget that I am White


I look at my three-week-old baby and feel baffled.

I asked Ryan several times if he messed around on me because I am not completely convinced that Kiana is mine. She’s beautiful and perfect and… so incredibly Caucasian.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.

I have a hearty helping of lips, my skin is olive, my eyes are dark brown… these features combined often inspire the question “what ethnicity are you?”

Well… I am Danish. I am as white as they come. But one would never know by looking at me. Sometimes I forget that I white, myself.

Several years back, I was working at Gandolfos and some of my coworkers were making some semi-racist comments. I put them in place by telling them that I was .5 African American and found their remarks offensive. This shut them up pretty quickly.

I know I don’t look black, but I look just un-white enough. I meant to tell my coworkers the truth later, but I forgot.

A couple days after, my boss approached me. He said “Hey Bethany, I’ve met your parents and know that you are not half-black.” Then we had a good laugh.

Here’s a question, though:

We plan on getting Kiana’s ears pierced in a couple of months. I created a firestorm of controversy when I wrote a comment indicating so on a friend’s blog. People commented that it was “barbaric” and “white-trashy.” Why?

I admit that their disdain only strengthened my resolve.

If an African American or Latino baby has their ears pierced it is “okay” and “cute,” but if a white baby has their ears pierced it is trashy. Sillyness.

6 comments:

Brandon and Diana Bronson Family Blog said...

You are so funny Bethany. I say go for it with piercing her ears. I pierced my girls ears when they were babies, and although I did get some dirty looks as my baby screamed as they peirced them, as soon as it was over she was just fine, and looked so cute! =)

Ryan said...

you just keep stirn' that pot sister, or wife, in my case/

Audrey said...

I've always wondered if it hurt the babies when they tried to lay on their side or something like that. Did the back of the earring smash against their head?
I don't think I'd do it to my little girls, but I don't have a problem with other people who do. I do wonder about the free agency thing though, aren't we kind of taking away the right to choose on this issue? Maybe your daughter will hate earrings. That whole malarky about it growing shut--whatever. I didn't wear earrings for over a year and then popped a pair in no problem.
I say you compromise and get a tattoo for her! Something really good like, "White Pride" or something like that. Hee, hee.

adrienne said...

Your dad is having a slight heart attack about this. I am Switzerland.

wubblesful said...

Hmm, I know it might look cute, but what if she holds it against you. I got my ears pierced when I was a teenager and absolutely hate the scars. I'm not sure why I hate them so much as I have far worse ones from accidents that don't bother me at all. Maybe because they were self inflicted. I view them the same way I would view an unwanted tattoo.

wubblesful said...

Oh, 2008. 2011, so I guess my two cents worth is irrelevant.