The Multiracial Network Stands Against Racism in Solidarity with the YWCA

A- A A+

The Multiracial Network Stands Against Racism in Solidarity with the YWCA

By Victoria Malaney

YWCA Stand Against Racism LogoAs I sat down to write this blog as the Scholarship and Resources Coordinator for the Multiracial Network (MRN), I was thinking of recent articles that have been published online regarding multiracial beauty. Anecdotally, as a multiracial person it was not uncommon for my siblings and I to have strangers comment on our physical looks growing up. Sometimes the comments would be, “Oh your parents did good!” or “Wow, you all are just so beautiful!”, while these comments were unexpected and flattering I was always taken aback by the strangers who amongst stopping to comment us about our looks, we would also get the follow up question, “What are you?” The typical response, “I’m… [insert racial identifiers],” would ensue.

On the other hand, when I reflect upon my personal experiences with racism, a lot of these instances have stemmed around misconceptions of my racial background and nationality. I knew that these racial comments or microaggressions were a direct result of my ambiguous physical appearance. Being Irish, Polish, Indian, and Trinidadian, among other ethnicities, yet to be determined (mixed people, you know this struggle is real) is complex, highly personal, and is unique to each person.

As a multiracial woman, I have come to understand different standards of beauty. A recent article by the National Geographic received a lot of attention, stating that by 2050 Americans will essentially be so racially mixed that they will be beautiful. When I first read the National Geographic article I was thinking, “Oh yeah, multiracial people ARE beautiful,” but, kidding aside, when I stopped to think more critically about this, I wanted this blog post to also incorporate a perspective on beauty that discusses how multiracial people tend to be overwhelmingly described as exotic. Comments that imply “all multiracial people are beautiful” can flirt a fine line between making multiracial people feel othered and even discriminated against. For example, someone can say, “Oh, wow, don’t you just have gorgeous hair,” which ,when you’re mixed, could be a compliment towards your prominent white/lighter features. Although a comment like this is well-intentioned, it can start to objectify and otherize your physical features as a mixed person, and as a mixed woman you can start to value certain physical features over others.

photo of a multiracial woman
Photo from the National Geographic article, “The Changing Face of America”

Depending on your racial heritage, skin color, and your dominant facial features, people’s perceptions of you can influence the way you view your own beauty. From different hair colors, textures, and length, these are all a part of a person’s image. Additionally, skin color and facial features, such as eye color, nose and lip shape, all contribute to mixed notions of beauty. Different expectations are placed on women to conform to accepted beauty standards. In general, we cannot keep making the blanketed assumption that multiraciality will always be beautiful. To me, inner beauty, must also be incorporated into this conversation.

As we stand up for racism today with the YWCA’s campaign, I remember to stand against racism because discrimination and racism hurts—plain and simple. Being apart of the growing multiracial population, conversations on the complexity of race, beauty, and racial identity need to continue. As a larger community we need to educate the public about racism and its residual impacts (e.g., can cause a decline in personal self-esteem) so we can move away from hurtful racist comments towards healing. bell hooks (2003), a feminist and educator agrees: “Education is about about healing and wholeness. It is about empowerment, liberation, transcendence, about renewing the vitality of life” (p.43).

Why do you stand against racism? Do you have a story to share about your experience being exoticized as a multiracial person? What are your perceptions of beauty? Join the dialogue below. The Multiracial Network and I look forward to reading your comments below. Remember to be kind!

Stand Against Racism logoThis post is part of the YWCA Stand Against Racism blog carnival – we invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #StandAgainstRacism.

28 responses to “The Multiracial Network Stands Against Racism in Solidarity with the YWCA

  1. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful &
    it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others
    like you aided me.

  2. It’s amazing to go to see this website and reading the
    views of all mates regarding this piece of writing, while I am also eager of getting familiarity.

  3. No matter if some one searches for his necessary thing, thus
    he/she wishes to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained over here.

  4. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids.
    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to her ear and screamed.
    There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to
    go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to
    tell someone!

  5. This design is spectacular! You most certainly
    know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start
    my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  6. I do trust all of the concepts you have presented to your post.

    They’re really convincing and will definitely
    work. Still, the posts are too quick for novices. Could
    you please lengthen them a bit from next time? Thank you for the

  7. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here.
    The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish.
    nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness
    over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more
    formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.

  8. Great post! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our
    site. Keep up the good writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *