Why am I still called ‘exotic’?

Scarlett Van Damme,

I’m an American, as were my parents and their parents and so on. My sister is blonde haired and blue-eyed, just like my grandma and my uncles. My cousins are various shades of white, brown, and black. My skin color, eye color, and hair color are not too dissimilar from my mother’s. I, like many of my friends, speak multiple languages. Many among my community boast they ‘don’t see color’. Many more among my community are themselves ‘colored’. Why, then, do some people glance at my dark features and still believe it appropriate to label me exotic?


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