This post contains Amazon affiliate links.This means that I receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links on this page.
Becoming a mother to 3 biracial children is one of my greatest accomplishments.
In many cases, having brown skin leads to a tougher life in this country. There are a few things I want to teach my kids to help them be prepared for a world that often looks at the outside first.
Brown Skin is Beautiful
The beauty industry has come a long way, but I can remember when there were only 4 or 5 supermodels with brown skin to a handful of white ones.
I remember being sent makeup samples in the mail with only the lightest tones.
I also remember wanting long straight hair and hating mine because I didn’t see anyone else on t.v or in print that looked like me.
Thankfully times have changed and now there are so many beautifully positive representations of brown skin and curly hair for my children to aspire to be like.
I want them to know that they need to love who they are, and not wish to be someone other than who they are. I also want them to know that the world’s standard of beauty is so fickle, and often changes with time.
They Can Choose How They Want to Identify
One of the greatest debates about biracial children is how they should identify.
If they look black, and the world sees them as black, should they identify as black?
If they are “white passing” does that mean they shouldn’t identify as biracial?
Should they identify as multiracial because everyone is actually mixed with something?
I would hope that my children would identify as biracial or multiracial because they are a beautiful combination of their white dad and their black (Jamaican lineage) mom.
No matter how they appear to others, I want them to know that they can choose their own identities. Just because they may not look like what people expect them to, does not mean that they have to accept the labels that others give them.
Brown Skin Needs Sunscreen
There is a common misconception that brown skin does not need sunscreen. So many people comment that my kids are lucky to have a beautiful tan.
Melanin is the dark brown pigment that gives skin its color. The more melanin in the skin, the more protection it has against sun damage.
People with medium or dark complexions naturally have more protection than do people with lighter complexions, but they still can experience sun damage.
So no matter the skin tone, I’ll be teaching my kids to wear sunscreen.
Brown Skin is a Target for Discrimination
Thankfully this isn’t always the case, but in many scenarios it is. And sometimes people make insensitive comments without thinking. And when you call them out on their statements, they get offended and tell you they aren’t racist.
I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. Thankfully, I was raised on an Air Force Base, so I was constantly surrounded by diverse cultures and languages. I was rarely a target of discrimination, but the times that I was have stuck out in my mind.
The feeling of being discriminated against is not one that you can forget easily.
When my husband and I were dating, he was once asked why he couldn’t find someone white to be with.
After I moved to Georgia, I was stopped by a police officer and he screamed at me for having a Georgia license and a South Carolina license plate.
I want my children to know about these experiences so they can be prepared if it happens to them.
I pray that it doesn’t, but it’s my job as a parent to prepare my children for the world. It isn’t fair that we are still fighting a battle to be treated equally, but it’s important that we know what we are up against.