As the blogger behind lightskinnedgal, I’m here to elaborate on a crucial topic that is not often discussed.
In a world where information travels so quickly, it has become even easier to spread the message of stereotypes to a broad audience through the means of various social media platforms. Although there are many stereotypes for monoracial people, biracials find themselves in a similar situation, although these stereotypes may not be as commonly discussed or acknowledged. In fact, you can get a degree in racial studies, specializing in almost any ethnicity except mixed race, which indicates how little focus and attention has been given to this identification so far. For your awareness, here are five stereotypes that mixed people of African and Caucasian heritage face that are completely false.
- That We Are the Best of Both Worlds
Truthfully, there are many people who have mixed roots, yet only grew up with one parent. As a result, they have likely been subjected to one culture only, therefore not being able to live up to the standard of being the “best of both worlds” as some people expect. Not every experience can be the same. The Critical Media Project claims that 19th and 20th century media shows mixed race identity had been a difficult topic for many, as categorization made it difficult to understand given the binary of black or white. This also explains the phrase “too white to be black, too black to be white,” in which people of mixed race feel racial bias from all sides.
- That Music Runs in Our Blood
This stereotype that has come into being by another stereotype, which claims that anyone with black roots has musical talent. In fact, some of us just enjoy listening to music and suck at making it. As with any group of people, there cannot be one simple media representation that matches everyone. Also, there is the perception that those of mixed race automatically identify or enjoy rap, hip hop, and R&B. I personally know many people who are biracial, who actually like screamo, hardcore metal and EDM. Due to the dominant representation of afro-Americans in those popular music genres, these stereotypes relating to performing and music preferences have grown to be common.
- We Are All Hot
It is no secret that biracial people are often objectified for their exotic nature. Simply google “biracial women,” and you get a list of the 50 hottest biracial women, followed by a pinterest link leading to “sexy biracial women,” followed by a stock photo website advertising “perfect, sexy” biracial women. This need to create fetish and exoticize biracial women is concerning, as Ravishly states that “fetishizing is when people are attracted to the color of your skin and the racial stereotypes that have been assigned to women of your race,” meaning that these false stereotypes are being empowered by media perception in order to create desire.
- We Are All Stuck Up
Many, many people think we are stuck up. I find this happens because we are being misunderstood. We are a mix of different things, which makes us unique and we are unique amongst other mixed race people too. Due to all the stereotypes we have to face, some of us will grow a protective shell to keep us from getting hurt, or we isolate ourselves because we don’t quite fit in anywhere. Being mixed can help to make us more open towards many different things, such as cultures and/or beliefs which in result, often broadens our mind giving us an air of advantage. This stereotype is mildly true, though it is often the result of being completely misunderstood. If you skip ahead to the five minute mark in the video below, the creator discusses her take on this as well.
- That We Are More Prone to Mental Illness
There is a myth that we are more biologically prone to mental instability in comparison to mono-racials – this has often been reasoned to with archaic propaganda to keep races segregated. This has also been acknowledged in the media from the perspective that mixed race people are less likely to be understood, or acknowledged properly. Our mixed racial heritage does not directly correlate with our mental health, as everyone’s experience is ultimately going to be different. We may be mixed, but that does not equate to being ‘mixed up’.
So those were the most widespread stereotypes that we, mixed people, face. I hope I was able to give you another perspective on life as a mixed person. What do you think about this list? Do you agree? Have I missed something? Let me know in the comment section below!