Curl Stigma and Being Jewish
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Join Date: Sep 2002
A little background on me - I'm Puerto Rican on my Dad's side (Spanish, Italian, and possibly Taino ancestry) and Euro mix on my Mom's side(English, Scottish, possibly Iroquois thrown in there). My Mom's fair-skinned with very dark, very straight hair, Dad's brown with very curly hair. The combo ended up with me and my brother having fair skin with olive undertones, dark hair and features, and curly hair.
And I, um... for lack of a better term, am curvy, especially in the butt!
Long story short, both my brother and I get asked if we're Jewish. Do people really not consider it rude to just bust out with "Are you Jewish?" What would it matter if I was? Would you treat me differently? I actually was walking on the streets one day with my friends when a guy hanging out on the corner with his friends asked flat-out if I was Jewish. I was floored. My brother's been asked if he was Jewish, Turkish, and Italian. I also sometimes get Greek or Italian. But no one has guessed Hispanic!
Oddly enough, my Dad has been mistaken as Arabic on more than one occasion.
I have to admit I think making assumptions like that is rude, but it's prompted me to want to explore my roots a bit more. I do know my maiden name (my Dad's Spanish name) is the name of a town in Spain, and historians say in some cases people took the name of a town as their surnames during the Inquisition because they wanted to hide their Jewish or Gypsy roots. So who knows? Maybe I do have Jewish heritage!
Still, it would be good for some people to remember that there are plenty of blonde-haired, blue-eyed, thin Jewish people out there.