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Old 03-02-2016, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,119 posts, read 3,633,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethereal View Post

Anyway, try showing her pictures of bronze/dark skinned models (and the likes). Tell her how pretty and admired they are, and how she can one day grow up to look like them. Maybe she's only "exposed" to beautiful white people?
I was thinking of answering something Ethereal posted above.

Since I don't know your kids, could there be a chance that her sister said something to her about being "darker"? If they were in the middle of an argument, did she fling that at her by any chance?

If not her sister, maybe a playmate in your neighborhood? Just that little comment would get your youngest daughter thinking that being darker isn't pretty, especially if it was said in a nasty way. Maybe your youngest will tell you if you ask her?

As Etheral said, go online and show her some beautiful dark skinned women. I hope it and some of the other posters suggestions help. Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2016, 10:56 AM
 
2,054 posts, read 983,079 times
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You can give her black dolls and toys, buy multiracial books. Why not also expose her to different groups of children who are also her complexion? Are there no multicultural girl scout groups/clubs/organizations that your family can participate in? Her environment is going to be primarily white and she will become aware of the differences between her and her classmates/friends (if not someone will be sure to tell her) so why not give her experiences with children of different races/ethnic backgrounds?
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:05 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 1,954,266 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riaelise View Post
I had to pause for a moment before posting this because I find it personal but I'm hoping that maybe someone can offer me some advice. I want to say the right thing and do ...

I need advice because like I said, I really want to handle this well. What I absolutely don't want is for her self esteem to be tied to such a thing as skin color. Quite frankly that makes me sad. I didn't have that have that issue because frankly where I grew up (in NYC) there were many different types of faces. I never once thought about the color of my skin. I am what I am. Unfortunately, her world (in Texas) isn't particularly diverse. The neighborhood we live in is mostly White, the school she will attend is mostly White, her friends are White. I can only speculate that she is becoming aware of her difference because of this. Or the fact that none of her cousins on the Mexican side of her family look like her. I don't know.

Thanks in advance.
It's where you live, perhaps even the neighborhood and daycare (damn Texans). When you are a child your small routine is your whole world.

You need to get out more to places that are not so homogeneous (hopefully you have the money it takes to do this). Go spend time where the most interesting people are not lily white. If you can go to a place like Miami - even at the beach your daughter will see that not every one looks like Texas (at least not the interesting people). You could also go to New Orleans or Atlanta.

Sorry I don't have anything easier to offer. i noticed this in my daughter but she got over it when we began traveling.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Texas
7,800 posts, read 5,444,262 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vacanegro View Post
It's where you live, perhaps even the neighborhood and daycare (damn Texans). When you are a child your small routine is your whole world.

You need to get out more to places that are not so homogeneous (hopefully you have the money it takes to do this). Go spend time where the most interesting people are not lily white. If you can go to a place like Miami - even at the beach your daughter will see that not every one looks like Texas (at least not the interesting people). You could also go to New Orleans or Atlanta.

Sorry I don't have anything easier to offer. i noticed this in my daughter but she got over it when we began traveling.


I agree with this.


Good luck with your daughter but I believe she will grow out of feeling that way and will realize she is beautiful regardless if she has a darker shade than her sister. She will look at you and think, I look like my mother. I am beautiful!
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Washington state
450 posts, read 337,833 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobdreamz View Post
UGH! racism is taught! Good luck to you & your daughter!
Jump to conclusions much? in Asia for example there is a long tradition of preferring lighter skin long before the Chinese, the Indians, etc met any Europeans having nothing to do with racism since within those societies everyone is the same race.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:39 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misscross View Post
Jump to conclusions much? in Asia for example there is a long tradition of preferring lighter skin long before the Chinese, the Indians, etc met any Europeans having nothing to do with racism since within those societies everyone is the same race.
Yep. That's called colorism. Darker skin was associated with people of lower classes who had to work in the sun. That's why there's skin lightening products sold in India and one of my Filipina friends is constantly told by her family she should use a parasol.

It's not much different than racism.
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Old 03-02-2016, 01:19 PM
 
4,063 posts, read 4,209,172 times
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Sometimes music can be therapeutic. I read the OP and was instantly reminded of Nina Simone's "Images"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJlWGgBkzeQ

Laura Mvula had a more contemporary (and upbeat) take on the matter:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYjHixQ9Ns4
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:00 PM
 
4,063 posts, read 4,209,172 times
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Re-reading the OP, I missed that she was only 4. So the Nina song is probably a bit too heavy.

But I think it is worth finding musical artists/tv stars / etc. who she might identify with. There's no shortage of great options if you look beyond the mainstream.
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Old 03-02-2016, 02:01 PM
 
Location: New York NY
4,133 posts, read 5,940,379 times
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We have boys, not daughters. While dark-skinned girls can pick up on the fact that light-skinned girls are considered prettier (especially if they're in a mostly white environment), I find it interesting that black boys quickly pick up on the fact that white boys are generally considered smarter. That's the battle we had to fight as our sons were growing up. But it's basically the same fight as the OP--how to give your kids a good, positive self-image despite society's racial stereotypes that work against that.

Make sure that your daughter is around other black and dark-skinned kids however you can. Find, as a previous poster said, some racially diverse group that she can participate in. We found that being around accomplished (black) family members was good, but sometimes not quite enough. Kids with these types of doubts also need some degree of outside validation to gain more self-confidence. And real kids are better than dolls and movies and pictures of famous black actresses -- though she should see those things too.

Keep taking to her about this. But don't lay it on too thick or it will heighten her anxiety. ("Why is Mommy always talking about what color I am?") Make it a casual, short, every-so-often kind of thing. Though if she says she is being teased about skin color at school (or day care), address that immediately, with her and with them.

Best of luck. You sound like a great and caring Mom.

Last edited by citylove101; 03-02-2016 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 03-02-2016, 04:22 PM
 
Location: The point of no return, er, NorCal
6,893 posts, read 4,221,404 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
For the people who do not understand how insidious and pervasive the notion that lighter skin= beauty in many cultures you really shouldn't be giving advice about something you know little about.

Kids get the message loud and clear, from tv show, toys, movies, etc. that lighter is prettier.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkpUyB2xgTM

About 5 mins in they specifically repeat the doll experiment with kids of latino heritiage.

It takes a constant, concerted, effort to counter act in any measure the message that kid of color are getting loud and clear. It takes a real conversation, repeated often in most cases, to get past the societal message kids get daily. The same way you would want to counteract messages of sex, drinking, drug use, etc by talking frequently about what your family values vs what they see elsewhere, you need to do the same thing with little kids and race.
It's different for those who are not POC, because it isn't something they've struggled with, and issues related to ethnic cultures and heritage are unique, and shouldn't be brushed off as "oh, we're all different, etc." Because the issue of race is so pervasive in our culture that it needs to be examined.

OP, what is their environment outside home and family? What about their school environment? This is Texas, and if it isn't as diverse as, say, more culturally progressive areas, chances are both girls are exposed to racial sentiments and attitudes about color/complexion or brown/blackness.

I am biracial, black and white, but am white-passing. Most people cannot tell that I am half black. I have 11 first cousins who are also biracial of varying shades of complexion. One of my female cousins struggled with her ethnic identity and complexion when she moved away from CA to VA, to a less diverse area. She was "too black" for the white girls. She often wished she were lighter like some of us, other cousins. This was during later grade school and early middle school years. Since I spent my formative years in So Cal, where it is incredibly diverse, I didn't have these exact struggles.

But, there's a "thing" about hair texture in black culture. Just like lighter skin = better across many minority or non-white cultures, straight "white" hair is seen as more desirable. So I struggled with my super curly hair, often wishing it were more "white," throughout a good portion of my childhood. Overtime I grew to just accept my hair, but that wasn't until later in my adult years.

My kids are 1/4 black, but look white. Three of my four kids have "white" people hair texture. My middle daughter has the super curly "mixed" hair, and she has made comments of how she wishes her hair were more like her sister's, long, silky, and manageable. Her hair texture is the dead giveaway that she's mixed. Her complexion is very fair. At school she gets asked why her hair is different from her sister's, and I've had to explain the whys of genetics, but also provide cultural context and explain in whys a 9 year old can understand. I think she's learning to accept her hair, but this is something that will continue to be an ongoing dialogue. Be it hair or skin complexion, issues relating to ethnic identity are important, as is talking about it, openly.

I would start by talking to both girls in ways they can understand, and keep talking about it, their culture, the differences in looks, in a positive way. Dolls and TV programs of other ethnicities is another option. My girls weren't big into dolls and barbies, but they had a variety of them.
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