Did you know that I was supposed to be named Brandi? It’s true! The ‘i’ instead of ‘y’ was also very important to my mom. A common response to sharing this fun fact about myself was, ‘that’s a black girls name.’ Since when? Why?! are we appropriating names to only be associated with that race?
Furthermore, my mom has said that she wished my dad was black so that I had a more olive skin tone, she loves that complexion. She didn’t realize she was being insensitive to racial stereotypes. She thought she was just expressing a acknowledgement of finding a skin color beautiful. And there lies the problem because we find the pigment of a mixed skin tone beautiful, does society not hold black skin beautiful or white skin beautiful? No I don’t think society does or we wouldn’t have a fetish with mixed race babies. What about ‘blasians’? This is the result if a black person and asian person procreating. Common responses, gorgeous, great combination, ‘you will have beautiful kids’. The projection of the human race if we all start procreating and having mixed race babies is considered the ‘ideal beauty’.
It is the matter of recognizing Impact vs. Intent. My mom didn’t mean to make it seem that she didn’t think black skin was beautiful or that if I was mixed race I would be more attractive. Here is a great video that helps bring what I’m saying into perspective. Remember I am not the expert, I am a continuous learner. I wanted to share something that was important to me.
Check out Francesca Ramsey’s YouTube Channel @chescaleigh
As an aside, I always struggle where the line is with social justice and humor. When you are making fun of any identified group of people are you laughing at them or with them? What is appropriate humor? I particularly like this video from Key and Peele about names. Bringing it full circle with how I started this blog.
Here are some further resources: