IMG_8997
Parenting, What's On Our Mind

My 6-year-old daughter told me she wanted white skin

Carla McConnell by Carla McConnell
April 6th, 2016
IMG_8997

My two gorgeous daughters are half filipino. Their Dad came over from the Philippines when he was 17-years-old. When we got together he would tell me of the racism he experienced when he first came to Australia. I didn’t want to believe it until I saw it firsthand.

He would anglicise his name on his CV and get more interviews for jobs and I will never forget the time we were walking down the street and someone pushed past him and whispered ‘monkey’ in his ear. It still makes me want to cry thinking about it. We are now separated but we have two beautiful daughters together.  I want them to be proud of their dad’s heritage because it is also their own.

After picking my 6-year-old from school recently I almost choked when a voice from the back of the car said, “I wish my skin was white”. I could not believe that my beautiful daughter with her perfect skin would even utter these words. Where were they coming from? Did some-one say something? I took a deep breath, tried not to lose my mind and replied, “your skin is perfect, it is half Daddy’s and half mine and that is why it is the beautiful color it is.”

IMG_9667

She listened but I’m not sure she took it in. I’m so afraid that the world is going to teach her that she is less than perfect. I want her to look in the mirror and feel the same way about herself that I feel about her, but I’m afraid that she won’t hear me because the messages she gets from the outside world tells her white is best.

I hope as she grows older this will be less and and less of an issue but in the meantime as a proud mumma, I’m going to teach her that she is exactly who she is meant to be, including every inch of her perfect skin. 

Here Jessica Mauboy talks about experiencing racism and her AWESOME big sis who told them where to go:

Do you talk to your children about racism?

  • Emily Psaila

    It makes you feel any better, I was the same as your little girls. Dark skin, dark eyes and hair – my mum is French, fair skin, beautiful green eyes and a blonde, it didn’t even look like we were related, it still doesn’t. My sister and I would always say that we wished we were fair, wished we fit it more, kids used to make comments, some so nasty we didn’t want to go to school. As we got older, we realised there was something in having dark skin and being a bit different, took a while but now as adults we wouldn’t have it any other way and we are so proud of both of the heritage of mum and dad.

  • Carla McConnell

    Hi Emily, I love your beautiful message and how you learned to love your own uniqueness. I truly hope my daughter feels the same you do – Carla. x

  • Carla McConnell

    Hi Emily, I love your beautiful message and how you learned to love your own uniqueness. I truly hope my daughter feels the same you do. – Carla. x

Loading...