Let’s talk stereotypes; looking at the way mixed girls differ from mixed boys, for the sake of letting issues be known and putting aside differences. As a mixed girl, I’ve noticed different treatment between me and my brothers out there, and this treatment all has one root; beauty.
For one, mixed race men aren’t held to the same standard as mixed race women.
It’s not expected for multiracial boys to be attractive the same way multiracial girls are. Of course the standard exists, but not to the same extent.
Most representation of mixed race girls come from models and actresses like Halle Berry, Rashida Jones, Kimora Lee Simmons and others, professions where these women are judged on their appearances.
There is the expectation of mixed being synonymous with beautiful, and if you’re not attractive by society’s standards, you must be faking your heritage. It’s common for women, yet I don’t see anyone yelling at Barack Obama that he’s not pretty enough to be mixed.
It’s led to plenty of multiracial females I know being self-conscious of their appearance, on an amplified magnitude.
If you’re a multiracial guy, and not conventionally attractive, very few people will care. As someone who has been friends with multiple multiracial guys, I’ve asked them if they feel self-conscious about whether or not they’re attractive due to the fact that they’re mixed.
All of them answered no. Boys care as well about their appearance of course, the fear of of being judged for being mixed is universal. But they don’t care about if they’re hot enough to land over a hundred likes on Instagram.
Meanwhile, if you’re a multiracial female, everyone and their grandmother will assume it must mean you are unbelievably gorgeous- and if you’re not, something’s wrong with you.
Girls who are mixed race and not conventionally attractive are usually judged even more harshly for their -perceived- lack of beauty than their monoracial counterparts.
Even if a multiracial woman is beautiful, beauty is all she ever amounts to. Not her career, not her success, just her beauty. It’s the ever-present struggle of the dehumanization of women, only heightened by the race factor.
Dehumanization seems to happen so much more to multiracial women. From a romantic perspective, plenty of men will date women simply because they’re mixed, like a trophy, a bucket list check.
Girls however, don’t really go on a mission date mixed race boys in the same way. It may happen, that a woman may be interested in a man for the sole reason that he’s mixed, but it happens far more the other way around.
I don’t have any experience in non-heterosexual and or gender neutral relationships, so I can’t speak for them, but to have someone be interested in you only for your appearance and background is demeaning at its best.
This is not to say that mixed race men don’t experience marginalization or harassment, it’s more to say that mixed women face issues specifically for being female rather than just generally being mixed.
At the end of the day we’ll all still face the prying ‘where are you from?’. The unsolicited guessing game of trying to figure out our backgrounds, placing us in boxes, and telling us what we can and can’t be.
We need to be sensitive to gendered issues on top of the mixed factor which can help us all understand each other better and fix these problems.
We’re all worth more than our looks.
Article and Artwork by Rina Mariam, a Russian – Jewish & South Asian Digital Mehndi Artist