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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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16/52: filipina, german, english, irish [20110207|14:00]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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[with a hint of |Cocteau Twins - Alice]

16/52: filipina, german, english, irish


I love being mixed race. I like having a genetic as well as experiential link to cultures in different parts of the globe. I wish that the only difference it made to anyone else was to inspire benign curiosity. I wish that it didn’t create assumptions about my intelligence or my abilities...or my immigration status.

I’m still learning to like the way I look. It doesn’t fit traditional, monoethnic standards of Asian or white beauty and it never will. I don’t have perfect almond-shaped eyes or cheekbones that can cut glass. I didn’t inherit the delicate Asian thinness of my father or the long-necked European elegance of my mother. I have long thin hands and feet. The rest of me is quite muscular. My face is topped by a cloud of dark-brown hair that grows greyer daily. My face is also balanced exactly halfway between my parents. Freckles from my mother. Lips from my father. Eyelashes from my mother. Eyes from my father. Nose that appears to have been forged from a blend of my mother’s little pointy number and my father’s flat wide schnozz. Every time I think I’ve got it all figured out, I age a bit more and it changes on me. And forget trying to find makeup that matches my skin tone. Two weeks in the sun and I turn a completely different colour.

I babble. This image was inspired by all the wonderful portraits in Part Asian, 100% Hapa by Kip Fulbeck. The lovely anthrokeight sent me the book as a present. When I opened it, I cried. Every time I re-read it, I cry. I don’t fully understand why it affects me deeply to see photos of other mixed-race people other than it makes me feel that I’m not alone.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: ginasketch
2011-02-07 14:09 (UTC)
This could have been written by me-apart from obviously I have a different genetic mix.

Two weeks in the sun and I turn a completely different colour.


lol me too.

But I do hate it when people try to put us into boxes. I'm mixed. I'm not one thing or another- I'm both. Deal with it.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-07 14:29 (UTC)
Yes. My favourite form of revenge is to tick that "Other/Mixed" box and then write them in. Presumably it gives the statistics compilers a bit of a headache, but I think there's something to be said for that. :D
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[User Picture]From: cosmiccircus
2011-02-07 14:51 (UTC)
You are lovely and you are you!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-07 23:24 (UTC)
Aw, thank you!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-08 20:34 (UTC)
I'm glad you think it's an honest photo, and even that you don't think it's flattering. A lot of the portraits in the project are rather harshly lit, and the expressions on the faces of the participants are pretty fierce. I feel like that a fair bit myself, when it comes to confronting issues of privilege and identity.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-08 20:32 (UTC)
I don't see how it could be otherwise. :)
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[User Picture]From: dylsexia
2011-02-07 16:05 (UTC)
"I’m still learning to like the way I look. It doesn’t fit traditional, monoethnic standards of Asian or white beauty and it never will."

This. I don't have anywhere I feel I belong. I feel ostracized on a daily basis. Harsh and derogatory judgments are made about me on a daily basis. Due to this I have become proud of what sets me apart, have become strong enough to exist without the social acceptance that others get without any second thoughts. This pride, this personal strength is a double edged sword in that I am strong enough to exist on my own... but I also do not have the inclination nor social skills to build lasting relationships.

Thanks for the post. It struck a chord.

I don't know too many other mixes like myself.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-08 22:41 (UTC)
It's not a very big community, the Other/Mixed. But I'm glad there are enough of us that we've managed to find a champion like Kip Fulbeck. Maybe one day we won't all have to turn into prickly hedgehogs just to get by.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-08 20:35 (UTC)
Just like the icons you've made for me over the years. :)
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[User Picture]From: flexagain
2011-02-07 18:33 (UTC)
Of course, nobody is pure bred anything, we're all going to be a little of a lot of different backgrounds, which at some point in the dim and distant past probably all started out as the same, before a load of random mutations changed stuff along the way.

At the end of the day, we should all just strive to be happy being whatever we are.
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[User Picture]From: flexagain
2011-02-07 18:39 (UTC)
Hmm, maybe that sounds a little too smug, which it's not meant to be.

I guess as a male hetero WASP, I'm not in a situation where I'm ever significantly affected by any cultural, racial, sexual, or other xenophobic behaviours.

I'd like to think I never react in that fashion, although almost inevitably I probably do on occasion, through simple cultural habit. In an ideal world none of us would worry excessively about what we or other people look or behave like, and just enjoy the diversity of the human race.

Ho hum, it's a shame stuff doesn't always quite work like that. :-(
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2011-02-07 19:21 (UTC)
I'm not sure that this is the appropriate thing to say here at his post, but with every photo of you I see I think ‘she is so good-looking’!

And even though I'm not obviously mixed - but I can only trace back two generations for sure, the third only in bits and pieces and only the female line - that sentence about loving having link to different cultures but hating the assumptions that come with it, that's something I can sympathise. It's so much fun untangling myself or telling people about how things are different somewhere else, but I'm tired to be considered a wodka-loving mother of three with no education and the longing to go back to Russia (which I visited once, at the age of 5), just because I don't look German (whatever this is ...), read a book in Russian on the train or sometimes speak German with a slight accent which my local dialect does not fully hide :/
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-09 08:51 (UTC)
That's the trouble with prejudice, isn't it? It's not often, for those of us in relatively peaceful, prosperous countries, a problem of overt action or obvious wrong. It's subtle and sometimes difficult to identify until well after an interaction is over. I've sometimes gone days worrying about an incident until I realized it was demeaning or degrading.
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[User Picture]From: trendyprof
2011-02-07 21:45 (UTC)

Mixed is wonderful, albeit I can't claim to have no conflict of interest there. I still think adults make too much of appearance and culture etc... We need to take a leaf out of the book of little kids who judge based on who you are

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[User Picture]From: becala
2011-02-07 23:25 (UTC)
Am pondering the little kids that threw rocks at me on the playground and chanted, "Black hair, black eyes, chinese..." as I read this. And other similar stories. Yes, I know, they were taught these things by adults. Just saying that children are not so innocent and unaware of appearance as you think.
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2011-02-08 01:28 (UTC)
I still catch myself bemoaning the fact that I look more like the sallow long-nosed Disney villainesses that the ideal mostly-blonde pug-nosed princesses, and I try consciously not to care, because a) my looks really shouldn't matter that much, since I'm not making a living off them and despite ingrained standards plenty of people think I'm attractive, and b) I have a thoroughly Northern/Western European background, I look very much the part and thus have privilege because of it.

I do hate how random white people assume they can just say any dumb bigoted thing in front of me and expect me to agree with them. Even when I have the punk-ass hair colours. Does being This Damn White just code as White Supremacist?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-09 16:30 (UTC)
I don't know if being This Damn White codes that way, but even when you aren't (fully) white and bigoted people assume that you are, they will say appallingly racist things. And then expect it to be OK because, "I don't mean you."
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2011-02-08 06:32 (UTC)
You are a gorgeous lady and I (for non-gorgeous-related reasons) admire you a lot.

THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-08 22:50 (UTC)
Well, that is very kind of you to say indeed. Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: rhc
2011-02-09 19:54 (UTC)

You never babble. You are super-bright and gorgeous as he'll.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-11 20:26 (UTC)
Well, that's very kind of you. Thank you. :D
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From: pbristow
2011-02-10 17:17 (UTC)
"...she ain't just chocolate, or strawb'ry, *or* vanilla -
She's nanila."

=:o}
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-11 20:28 (UTC)
My very first rap! Thank you. I should like to hear it sung in the style of Professor Elemental.

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[User Picture]From: wurlitzerprized
2011-02-11 00:07 (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2011-02-11 20:29 (UTC)
♥! Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: painted_dreams
2011-02-28 08:43 (UTC)
I think your gorgeous... Your beauty is much more interesting and unique. Classically beautiful tends to get a bit boring for me.

Being mixed is definitely more exciting. The positives definitely outweigh the downsides. I have discovered that my ancestry comes from all over this world. From Brazil, the Azores, Ireland, Italy and even South Africa.

Being of mixed race is something to be proud of. The blend of different and interesting cultures :-D
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