Can We Stop With The Fetishizing Of Mixed-Race Children?
It’s time to stop with the fetishizing of mixed-race children. It’s not only problematic but it’s just plain weird.
On any given social media timeline we can come across the promotion of and constant obsession over mixed-race kids. Instagram, for example, has numerous pages devoted to this exact purpose. With accounts such as @Mixedracebabiesig with over 280,000 followers and @BeautifulMixedKids with over 260,000, these pages upload daily content of only kids whose parents are of a multitude of backgrounds. While these kids are beautiful in their own right, I find it odd that people would even see a need for a platform like this in the first place. As I’d scroll out of curiosity, I’d witness the weirdest comments from people aspiring to create mixed-race children as if it were a trend or an ultimate goal.
What exactly is the motive behind the constant attention on mixed-race children on these pages anyway? Why only these kids?
And as for children who are not mixed, what about them? How should they feel, or their parents feel, about such promotion?
Throughout the years, mixed-race children have been publicly obsessed over for their features. Their appearance alone allows them to live a very different life from their counterparts. For instance, look at North West and Royalty Brown. Both biracial celebrity kids, we’ve watched society praise and admire them for their beauty and their features. Both girls of color with naturally soft, curly hair and lighter skin, they are fawned over. Their racially ambiguous appearance somehow automatically sets them into a category of their own, making the experiences they will encounter very different than those of a child who just identifies with one race.
Take Blue Ivy Carter for example. Blue has been criticized for looking “too much like Jay Z” or for the way her parents to choose to have her hair styled. In her young six years of life, Blue has already experienced fame — and constant judgment. Detractors have made remarks about her appearance on numerous occasions, tweeted blatantly disrespectful messages calling her ugly, and a petition was even created on Change.org to insist that her parents enforce hair care in their household.
This fact in itself shows just why the bias fetishization of only mixed-race children and their features is problematic. Children who aren’t, who don’t have a certain look or a certain hair texture are looked at completely different and talked about much harsher by grown people.
Speaking of these children as though they are the “ideal” is only doing more harm than good. Children are not meant to be like dogs you breed for specific features. But treating them like they are, as though the eyes they come out with, skin they have and hair that grows from their scalp is meant to be unique and perfect, sends an unhealthy message and perpetuates ignorant and inaccurate ways of thinking.
Not to mention, the fetishizing of mixed-race children is also harmful to those who identify as mixed themselves. All mixed-race children do not look the same, and promoting the idea that they should come out with green eyes and 3A curly hair is troublesome. And while there are certain advantages to being mixed, being questioned about what you are, being told you’re not enough of something, being deemed “exotic” and having conditions to why you’re attractive (“You are stunning! Are you mixed with something?”) would be uncomfortable for anyone.
I say all this to say, the constant obsession and fetishizing of mixed-raced children needs to be called out in the hopes of quelling the messages such behaviors send. If it were to ensure representation because mixed-race men and women are rarely seen and valued in the mainstream, then it would make some sense. However, we know that’s not the case.
All children are beautiful, and their innocence should not be altered by the hands of society. These ignorant ideas of beauty and idealism should not be reflected on our kids, and they also shouldn’t feel ashamed for not fitting the standard or better than if they do. Children of all races and backgrounds are beautiful and it’s time society promotes that instead.