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 [...]
Irene Eggers Wheat Ridge, CO The baby’s light older siblings adore her.
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, [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Lisa Clark Sacramento, CA I’m of mixed race and it hurt to hear my daughter express that she prefers the blonde Barbies to Disney’s Princess Tiana and other non-blonde dolls.
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 [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
Ellen Tuzzolo Saratoga Spring, NY
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 [...]
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 [...]
Angela Dickerson New Braunfels, TX