Are you mixed?

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Wow...she called you "camouflage"? This girl in high school would call me Michael Jackson whenever she would pass me in the hall. She didn't even know me but she would say this to make me feel bad about myself.

I love MJ's music, but I don't believe that any girl wants to be told that she looks like him, know what I mean? I can't help it if I have very light skin and very dark hair. Not every biracial/multiracial woman looks like Halle Berry or Alicia Keys, with a medium golden-brown complexion and loose curls. We're as diverse as anybody else. We can be dark or light or somewhere in the middle. Our hair can be of any texture, our eyes can be any color.

I'm thinking that the girl who teased you probably felt self-conscious about being light-skinned herself, so that was just her way of dealing with her own issues.

As to people who make comments about Black people in front of me, when I remind them that they are insulting a part of my heritage, they tend to look at me funny or say: "Well, I don't really think of you as black". As if that justifies their ignorance.

I've also had the experience of being around Black people who belittle me for looking mostly white and for the way I speak. I've been called a "cracker" by blacks as well as the N-word by whites and Latinos. I'm a bit jealous of people who have had few negative experiences with racism and discrimination.

My husband is white, so he doesn't really understand what I deal with. But at least he tries to learn more and to understand a little bit better.
This is a very interesting Thread. I am mixed with black( st.lucian) and puerto rican, and I constantly get asked " what are you" ummm a person, then they restructure the question. Some ppl just speak without thinking.
I usually get asked where I'm from, but I'm not sure that's because of the hair. Still fairly odd, though. For the record I am Arab, although my father is from the North African countries and my mother is Middle Eastern. Most people don't believe this because I am not black, and apparently everyone living in Africa is black *rolls eyes*
Originally Posted by TheGnome
Um... but north Africans do have East African ancestry. Most of their paternal lineages are derived from there. In fact, Arabs also have African ancestry, although substantially less. So, are you mixed? The honest answer is Yes.

As for people of color in the western hemisphere, including African Americans, studies have consistently shown high levels of biogeographic admixture among them as well - ranging, on average, from 15-25% European among blacks in the United States. In fact, roughly 1/3 of African American paternal lineages originate in Europe. So, are they mixed? The honest answer is Yes.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that race is a social construct. Concepts of who is white or black shift with the winds (e.g. for a time in the United States even the Irish were not considered white). But, I believe when it comes to certain traits, like straight or curly hair, fair or dark skin, etc. people who ask questions are simply trying to determine where your ancestors are from geographically - not necessarily how you or they choose to identify. They really, subconsciously, want to know how close/related you are to them.

Black Americans know their history. Nevertheless, they have generally chosen not to identify as mixed-race, at least since the mid-1900s, even in cases where they are predominantly European (e.g. see Halle Berry's decision to identify as black). I am not suggesting that there are not reasons for that, reasons for the decision of many to distance themselves from their European ancestry. But, no one really cares about that when they ask about a woman's hair.

If someone wants to know why a phenotypically mixed, African American-identified woman has wavy hair, for example, they are seeking confirmation of the obvious - that she is mixed with something other than West African and they are curious as to what. In most cases, it is from multiple generations of mixing with other mixed people until the European ancestors are forgotten. But ...unknown doesn't equate to absent.

The problem IMO is the general population's ignorance as to the history and diversity of mankind, let alone their own families. And the desire on the part of so many to stereotype people based on what they've decided that people should look like.

So, are you/is anyone mixed? Unless you come from one of the world's most isolated populations, then the right answer is always Yes. Maybe not culturally, maybe not socially, maybe you don't even know with what, but in all likelihood you are. It accounts for why you look the way you look, and it accounts for why we (all blacks, all whites, all arabs, all whatever... all mankind) don't all look alike.

That being said, I would advise that anyone asked the question follow up the yes with specifics (if known) about where your ancestors come from. Because, in answer to the underlying question, that is the REAL answer.
I'm mixed- half African American and half East Indian. I have hair that reaches my mid back that is 3b, with straight hair at the roots. People often come up and tug my hair to see of it's fake, and when they realize it's real, they ask/say "what are you mixed with/you must be mixed." Alot of my friends also have this obsession with touching my hair too. Gets annoying after a while. Haha.
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I'm mixed - Half African American and half Japanese. It becomes like a guessing game for people to figure out my race, I've gotten so many guesses that were sooo off from my actual race but some people guess it right because of my chinky eyes. In high school there was a rumor spread about me that I was lying about my race just to get attention which urked my soul because until this day I dnt understand why people think they have a need to lie about their race to make them self seem more interesting. Just be proud of who you are.
I don't think I look mixed out of my 2 brothers only one of us look mixed, our dad is white( German and irish) and my moms black

I'll add I grew up in an area that until recently was majority white, in my elementary school there weren't black kids at all maybe 6 and half were mixed.
I think ppl have always forgotten that I am mixed and ppl would sometimes say this that wen I was younger didn't take offense to as brig racist but as I got older realized it was mad racist. my e husbands family had a lot of racism in it they didn't even know if his grandpa would accept me. one day we were watching a movie over his moms house with his brothers one of which was a mad racist just not towards me and we were watching a movie and a black guy was on te screen and his baby girl was paying such close attention to the show and he said in front of everyone she probably thinks she's watching planet of the apes. rift then and there I think wast first time being EXTREMELY offended. I thought ex husband was going to kill him. for some reason though when your a part of an extended family through marriage or what my I think ppl who have race issues find it acceptable to say stuff around you forgetting who you at e as well. thy was one of the last times we were ever around him.
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Last edited by sweetmx85; 03-04-2012 at 02:07 PM.
I'm mixed - Half African American and half Japanese. It becomes like a guessing game for people to figure out my race, I've gotten so many guesses that were sooo off from my actual race but some people guess it right because of my chinky eyes. In high school there was a rumor spread about me that I was lying about my race just to get attention which urked my soul because until this day I dnt understand why people think they have a need to lie about their race to make them self seem more interesting. Just be proud of who you are.
Originally Posted by Epriester01
I've had people claim I was making it up too.
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I have so many typos I hate my phone :/ that story is in regards to my ex husbands family not current.
my blog
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Its a beauty, natural hair, food, family, and life all combined into one blog. I took a break from it for awhile but I recently started blogging again and Im addicted!

my tumblr natural inspirations and beauty: http://sophiams85.tumblr.com/

I am mixed and I my skin is very fair. People don't realize I am half black unless I tell them. It's sad what people say about black people when they don’t' know I am half black. Once they find out they of course oh I am so sorry if I have offended you. I am so use to it I just feel more embarrassed for them. My husband’s cousin recently told me that he was going through a faze where he wanted to date a black chick then she stated his faze must have stuck. WTF kind of comment is that
I don't mind being asked if I'm mixed. What I hate is when people assert that I MUST be mixed simply because of my hair.

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I am mixed and, it's funny to me, but i don't ever get asked if i'm mixed (except this one guy who seems to forget wheither i am or not over the course of a few months...) i get asked if i'm black....

haha XD It's because I live an almost completely white comunity. people of any ethnicity other than german, italian, irish, ect. are exotic... haha XD

it amuses me cuase they are usually more awkward about it then me. It never occured to people to ask me before I chopped all my relaxed hair off and started wearing my fro for all to see XD
"I will not stop. For mad I may be, but I
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I'm mixed and I do get asked all the time what I'm mixed with. I don't mind it so much because I'm proud of both my races ( black and Nicaraguan). I have fine 3a and 3b hair that when its wore straight, looks like i was born with straight and i confuses the hell out of people.But my sister and I have this ongoing joke. No can tell what we are, so when people ask me what I am,I totally make up stuff. I'll say I'm Brazilian and Swedish, or egyptian and Somalin, Hawaiian and papa nui guinea. And people believe it! Lol hilarious
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I'm mixed and I do get asked all the time what I'm mixed with. I don't mind it so much because I'm proud of both my races ( black and Nicaraguan). I have fine 3a and 3b hair that when its wore straight, looks like i was born with straight and i confuses the hell out of people.But my sister and I have this ongoing joke. No can tell what we are, so when people ask me what I am,I totally make up stuff. I'll say I'm Brazilian and Swedish, or egyptian and Somalin, Hawaiian and papa nui guinea. And people believe it! Lol hilarious
Originally Posted by Nikki3b
OMG, I've done the same thing a LOT when I was in high school, just out of sheer boredom (and to see the looks on peoples' faces with the crazy combos I'd come up with). One time, it bit me in the ass though, I was in the mall and this guy was hitting on me, and of course he asked "what are you?" (just like with you, no one seems to know what I am). So I said black and Romanian (specifically Gypsy), and then he goes, "I'm from Romania!" So then all excited, he proceeds to start speaking the language and asking me about where my family was from! I never did that again!
See, that's when my smart mouth kicks in lol. I never said I speak Romanian boo boo, and two,where I'm from is none of your beeswax. That's what I would have said in a very sweet sassy kinda way. I'm terrible lol
I'm Caucasian (both of my parents were born in Italy) but people have asked me if I'm sure there's no African in me because my hair is so curly (mix of 3b, 3c and some 4a). I've also been asked if I'm Jewish because of my hair.
See, that's when my smart mouth kicks in lol. I never said I speak Romanian boo boo, and two,where I'm from is none of your beeswax. That's what I would have said in a very sweet sassy kinda way. I'm terrible lol
Originally Posted by Nikki3b
LOL, the me of today would've had that situation on lock, but at the time, I was a shy and geeky 14-year-old, a far cry from the bawdy burlesque dancer I am now
I come from a long like of adoption (I am the only person in so many generations I cant go back that far, to keep and raise my children and then some) so I have no clue, lol. My sister and the girl she gave birth to (who is now my daughter) have traits that could leave question, but either way thats not an issue or concern for us. I mean it would be cool to know and all.

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I've never been asked this question, but I live in the South where most of the races are either black, white, or mexican (in my area). I think I'm that generation in my family that doesn't really care what you look like, I think everyone is beautiful. Though I have to say that in a mainly black and white area I think "mixed" people are very pretty. I was raised in a small town and lived in BFE, Alabama. And I have not traveled outside of the South. I am aware. however that the "traits" of certain ethnicities (sp?) don't neccissarily matter and that anyone can have them. For example, on my mom's side of the family everyone has a big wide nose, and on my dad's side of the family the noses are skinnier and pointier. My dad and mom's side of the family have been traced back to the Europian countries, heavily German. I was told once that I looked German. My hair is natually blonde and I have blue eyes (if that really means aything). I do know that somewhere on my mother's, mom's side of the family we have some Native American down the line. You would never be able to tell. I'm very fair complected, though I can brown very easily.

Now, my husband gets asked if he's mixed all the time. We still live in a pretty black/white area. My husband is casper white, but tans really easily (just on his arms and face. He never wears shorts). The only reason he gets asked is because he has big lips like a "black" person. I personally don't think they are really "that" big, but I guess they are for a white person around here. He's originally from Montana. And records on his mom's side isn't that good but they think there might be some Native American somewhere down the line as well.

He came home one night and told me he got asked by an older black lady if he was mixed. When he asked why she said because His arms were tan so he must be mixed with something. He explained that this lady had white friends who were very fair complected and burned instead of tanned.

So anyway, I hope I haven't offended anyone. I know around her "race" is still a HUGE issue compared to other places in America. I personally think of myself as an American, sure my color is white, but I'm an American. Color has nothing to do with it. I had a diviated septum (my nose grew crooked) and I had to get it fixed when I had jaw surgery (because of braces to get my teeth lined up). My husband told me before the surgery my nose looked more European and after the surgery it looked more like I was an American mut. He said it in a very loving way. :]
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People can be so funny...

I've lived in heavily populated places (NY & LA) my whole life, so small towns seem so bizarre to me. My husband comes from a small town in the mountains, and no matter how many times I've visited there, I still can't get my mind around how different perspective can be. A couple of times I've had people (including my mother-in-law) say to me, literally, "What are you?"

I was always too stunned to come up with a witty reply that didn't sound defensive. (I've learned, since then, that this question can be about religion, not just "race", which makes things even more confusing). The truth is, I didn't, and still don't understand the question. It seems amazing to me that anyone would even think about the myth of "race", but apparently somewhere along the line our American education system has dropped the ball when teaching about melanin, etc. LOL! (Also, in my cases, the people asking the question were the types you don't joke with about conspiracy theories, so claiming I'm a Martian or an android hadn't seemed like a good idea.)

The truth is, I'm seriously a "mutt". I'm second & third generation American (father's & mother's families) and I'm a blend of North African, Asian, and Eastern European (some Roma - not necessarily Romanian) traits. Family name changes and immigrant blending issues wiped out family connections and ancestral links with remarkable speed. Somehow in that great mixture of dominant/recessive genes, I guess I got a mixture of traits that often aren't expected to go together, and it confuses the hell out of some people. I have olive/tan skin, and I color my hair red (naturally I have dark auburn which is turning gray). My eyes are green with flecks of brown, and I have heavy-lidded, almond shaped eyes. I don't really have an answer to, "What are you?"

I have three incredibly beautiful kids: one with blue eyes, one with green eyes, and one with hazel-brown eyes. My husband has dark brown straight hair and brown eyes. He burns and freckles in the son. My kids all have curls, and almond shaped eyes, and olive skin, and they confuse the hell out of people, too. My oldest son (the one with deep blue eyes) has been asked several times if he's "mixed" Japanese...by Japanese Americans. I wish I knew! All family records, stories, etc. have disappeared along the way of "being American is all that matters". While I think this is true, of course, I do feel I'm missing out by not knowing the stories of my ancestry. I digress.

It's fascinating for me to read all your stories. I love that curly hair makes it obvious how very linked to each other we all really are.
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gardencurls, I do agree that it's a good thing to know where your ancestors came from. I think geneology is very interesting. I think a lot of people do. This is why I think when someone sees someone who looks a lot different from them, they start to ask questions. Though, you should always be polite about it. I wish I had a more interesting background, but I really don't. I do know that my dad's side of the family came to America around the 1700's. I'm actually a decendant of Turkish and Swedish kings.
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CG as of Feb. 2012
combination hair.
2c on top - low elasticity
3a&b scattered underneath - normal elasticity.
fine texture. thin density. A lot of it.
porosity: normal to high.
loves protein and moisture.
BSACV as needed.

products may vary. i'm a PJ.
loving Curl Junkie, Curly Kinks, and AS I Am.

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