Why isn’t my Quincenera proof enough?

Emily Angelica Roldan, Saint Francisville, LA. My father is from Colombia and my mother is from Georgia. I have pale freckled skin, glasses, and I am a natural blonde with bottle red hair. I did not grow up speaking Spanish (my siblings and I the only cousins who do not speak it). When I was […]

Yes, those boys are my brothers.

Julia Guerra, Austin, TX. My brothers are very important figures in my life. They were born to a white mom and a white dad. They are blonde and red-haired, with blue and green eyes. When they were little babies, my white mom married my Mexican dad and he adopted both of them as his own. […]

You are smarter than you look

Amanda Sperow, Chehalis, WA. Oregon State University Because I am a young woman with blonde hair, and I take pride in the way I look most people presume I am a “bimbo” or dumb blonde. It’s sad our minds don’t extend beyond the sexuality of an individual, and we can only see as deep as […]

Yes I’m blonde, don’t make assumptions

Melissa Villegas, Temecula, CA. From as far back as I can remember people assume that because I am blonde I have the most fun and have no brains. They seem to assume I am easy to pick-up and easy to make fun of. I cannot tell you how many “dumb blond” jokes I have heard […]

That’s weird, your kids are blonde.

Brian Parra, Oxnard, CA. Without fail, the first thing a person remarks on, upon seeing my kids, is that they are blonde and I am not. I’ve gotten used to odd looks and the consistent recitation of a poor understanding of genetics, “Mom must have some strong genes!” Some have literally questioned whether they are […]

Not Member of Your White Club

Britt Verstegen, Socorro, NM. I grew up as a blonde, blue-eyed kid in an interracial family within a racially diverse neighborhood of inner-city Detroit. My step-father is Black and my sisters are biracial. Due to my family composition, I became aware of white privilege at an early age. For example, I knew in third grade […]

Defined by race – who am I?

Jamie Lee Myers Jacksonville, FL Many people seem to identify who they are by their race. We also all seem to have a tendency toward making assumptions based on how people look. I am fair with naturally red hair that is currently blonde. Most think I am Irish and that is in my family tree, […]

I’m the blonde on the bus

Peggy Magnusson San Pedro, CA In exchange for the stress of freeway traffic, I have begun taking the bus to and from work. For most of my life I have lived in largely white, upper middle class communities. Now I sit shoulder-to-shoulder with people of color. Sometimes I am uncomfortable.

Black mom. Blonde daughter. She yours?

Amber Duke, New Albany, IN. My bi-racial daughter has her father’s blond hair and fair skin. Soon after she was born, I was shocked when people would randomly ask, “Is she yours?” Once, in an airport, when I responded yes, a woman challenged me saying, “…but she has blond hair.” Due to a new upgrade […]

Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb blonde.

Heather Saskia Nichols, Maple Grove, MN. I do not bleach my hair. I do not color my hair. I do not highlight my hair. I do not think about my hair. I do not think with my hair. Why am I called dumb because of my hair? In 7th grade, I stopped talking in class. […]

Adopted parents, who the hell knows?

Haley B Grand Rapids, MI My parents are adopted. I am a mutt. Both of my parents are darker complected with strong features that I wish I would have inherited as I am pale, blonde and blue eyed; so I get labeled “white.” When I look at the world around me, I see the variety […]

You speak Spanish? But you’re white!

Adriana Pedroza Both of my parents were born and raised in Mexico. Looking at my family pictures, I’m the odd one out. As a child, I was blonde, and my eyes have always been on the lighter side. My skin is not dark. I don’t have my mom’s dark hair or my dad’s dark eyes […]

She is just a dumb blonde

Rachel Salt Lake City, UT Blonde hair and blue eyes must mean no brains, right? Despite having a college education, being an avid reader, having an understanding of and experience teaching math and science, and having written published news features, I still have times when I am treated like my intelligence is less than others […]

Aren’t you supposed to be blonde?

Mikayla of Westminster Westminster, CO People tend to assume that all Germans are the Nazi’s idea of perfect: blonde with blue eyes. They also immediately assume that we’re pure-bred Nazis, or racist against Jews. Most of them can’t grasp the fact that my dad is as American as it gets, and are shocked to see […]

Haole boy, Hawaiian, keiki o ka’aina?

Claire Iveson Kaunakakai, HI My blonde Anglo son was raised and educated on Molokai, before going to the Berkley College of Music at 17. He was aware from kindergarten that he was a “haole” but didn’t understand that he wasn’t also Hawaiian. Adult Hawaiian friends assured them that he was a keiki o ka’aina, a […]

But you aren’t white, are you?

Sally Oakland, CA I am white but I grew up in Alabama where my tan skin and my dark hair and eyes made everyone question my ethnicity and ask my blonde haired blue eyed mother if I was adopted. I’ve been asked “What are you?” all of my life and now that I’m married to […]

White privilege while crossing busy streets

Elizabeth Alford Oakland, CA White privilege goes wholly unnoticed and unacknowledged by a lot of white folks. Talking about it often makes people defensive. I recognize my white privilege every time I come up to a street corner with a person of color already waiting to cross, and cars stop for my white skin and […]

“Mamma, why am I not blonde?”

Padmaja Ganeshan Singh Seattle, WA Growing up here, in the US, my daughter’s definition of a princess, is a blonde, white young girl wearing a gown, tights and a tiara. The dress is mostly pink. DD now wears pink dresses, tights and is more or less always in a Tiara. She knows fair is only […]

Blonde hair, Blue eyes. European mutt.

Kyrsten USA I chose these six words because I hail from several different European ancestries. I have German, Irish, French, and Danish in my blood. I often tire of people who ask where my family originates from because there is no simple answer. I am German. I am Irish. I am French. And I am […]