This made me smile today. Do you know why?
The color of skin has always been a topic of discussion with the Boy. He’s always been fascinated with the shades of everyone’s skin. “Daddy is dark brown, my cousin is dark brown, I am light brown and mommy is white.” He sees the color on our families skin but for the first time this year he is recognizing differences among his peers. This year he moved to a school where there are at least 19 different countries represented.
Children and their families suddenly look very very different to him. He notices the color everywhere. On a recent trip to the barber (the real barber shop, not Hair Cuttery or Sport Clips like I take him to, but an outing with DOC to the BOY barber) he reported back that all of the men were African-Americans in there. He pays attention to the colors of skin of his favorite athletes. He just can’t stop looking at the colors and for him he often says ‘our family looks different from others. Nobody else has a white mom and a dark brown dad.’
We try to point out our groups of friends and family members that look just like ours (oh, yeah! the Boy says), but if you look around, out and about, not many look like ours, even in our diverse little city. On tv or in print media you don’t see what he wants to see. Yes, child models are obviously, at least to grown ups, bi-racial. I mean, really, and I’m not being biased here, marketers put these children everywhere because they are gorgeous. Flip open a parenting magazine. You will see many children that look like the Boy and the Diva but where are the parents? Rarely do you see both parents with them. What you’ll see is a mom or a dad. If you see both parents, they are ‘dark brown’, as the Boy would say.
Hopefully, more and more people who look just a little more like us are showing up on the covers of magazines and in ads or on tv.
As the mom of two beautiful light brown babies I for one say THANK YOU!