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Six Year Old Talking About Skin Color...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous in Parenting' started by anika987, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    My DD for the first time told me..

    “Mom! I like only light skin”...

    I was shocked but I didn’t show it.I asked her calmly why she thinks so..


    She said 3 girls in my class have light skin and it is beautiful.

    I just said every color and everyone is beautiful in their own way...

    She told me” No! Grandma has light skin which is beautiful and you are dark.It does not look good..”..

    I then changed the topic not knowing how to react..

    It very much upsets me my little girl is thinking this way..how do I nip it in the bud?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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  2. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    Maybe I am behind the times with current elementary school lingo. I have rarely heard a six year old use the term 'light skin'.

    You could try looking into what caused her to say this. Do you watch any Indian TV with Fair & Lovely type of ad's or serials with the family preferring a fair skinned bride? Do you or your husband talk within her earshot about the importance of looking good, grooming, exercising, looking exercised.

    And also what was the context of her statement? She would not have said that out of the blue. It could be something innocent like teacher talking about Black History Month in class, they looked at pictures of African American heroes and your child decided that she believes in equality and treating people with respect, but considers lighter skin more beautiful. Like, we might consider silky hair better looking than a just-got-out-of-bed hair look.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
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  3. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Rihana..I live in the US too and so maybe that’s why she mentioned light instead of fair.


    Honestly..I hardly watch any Indian movies Infact no movies with kids around.

    I am very very clear about not mentioning anything to do with color and so is my husband.

    Infact..I once got angry with they in-laws when they mentioned my kid got tan and I need to start using some turmeric.

    I don’t mention the word “beautiful” but make her eat her veggies saying it will make her “strong” and “healthy”..

    That’s what shocked me when me after being so careful....still my DD said that?


    I am
    Also behind the times I guess ...

    I didn’t mention that again to her neither did she..
     
  4. ano

    ano Silver IL'ite

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    IMHO, you should have her know that it hurt you. six years is old enough to learn empathy and understand that though you can like whatever you like, you do not hurt others. You can say that it hurt you. It could be a teachable moment for her that words have power.
     
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  5. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    Hmm..yeah maybe I should have said that..

    Next time will let her know and also try explaining a bit to her

    But the only reason I didn’t want to say it hurt because..being dark is not something to be ashamed of.It is just another skin color..that’s all.Why should One feel hurt about it?

    What I mean is I want to teach my daughter it’s all different skin color and maybe her opinion of which color is pretty in her eyes is hers but she cannot
    Look down on others based on complexion.

    I was hurt coz someone like me who does not classify people on the basis of skin color has got a daughter who looks down at a different complexion..

    I was actually angry with my child..and angry and hurt that I could not find the right words to advise her
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  6. ano

    ano Silver IL'ite

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    You should be honest about your feelings with her. If it hurt that she said that she doesn't like your dark skin she should know that, but no need to get angry. She is being a six year old
    You just need to tell her that words like that hurt people since skin color is something, everybody is born with and not something one can change.


    It may accidentally hurt a friend of hers , because she does not know that it isn't good to comment on someone's skin color.it would be the same if the colors were reversed in her statement.

    I wouldn't really read too much into the light skin statement though, in USA there are no negative connotation associated with dark skin ( that we have in India) , she may have simply thought that she is stating a preference like her favorite color is red.
    There are lots of other problems but acceptance of all shades of people is one of positives of US/west

    This is coming from someone who is what would be called "very dark" in India and has faced all kind of bullying because of it and along with being a reciepient of hundreds of skin whitening tips from 'helpful' aunties
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  7. 1Sandhya

    1Sandhya Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi,

    Before scolding her or give her a talking to I would question her v closely about this in an interested conversational way. Something is off.

    Six year olds are very innocent and accept people for who they are. Race ethnicity and awareness of such comes later in life. That said, they are intensely curious and inquiring and catch something that was said in their hearing in a flash, the saying little pitchers have big ears was, I feel, coined with 6 year olds in mind.
    I strongly suspect she is repeating something she heard. Somebody said this in her presence or told this to her along with the examples she quoted. Somebody in extended family, play date or at school. And it happened quite recently as kids are unable to hide or suppress anything and she would have said something sooner. It is up to you to find out who or what hence the advice in para 1.
     
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  8. anika987

    anika987 IL Hall of Fame

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    you are right..

    Even now whenever I go to India..people tal
    hmm..you could be right..

    Gosh! I cringe when people talk about skin color and some people
    Talking like this in front of innocent minds screwing up their thoughts..

    It’s sad but some things will never change I guess..

    Just shocked and never expected it from my child..well this actually prepares me to expect the unexpected
     
  9. nakshatra1

    nakshatra1 Platinum IL'ite

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    I think you can explain to her in simple words the benefits of dark color(melanin) , that it acts as a natural protection to protect the body against sun , and that is something to be happy about. Explain to her that people from sunny climates have more melanin and it is actually great for the skin, just as people from cold climate don't need it. That all skin colors are good, and it is as per climate of one's origin country and has no relation to beauty/ugliness or superiority/inferiority. Its actually the skin's superpower to protect the body from sun.That will make her feel good about herself if she is not light skinned and about other dark skinned people. Then even if she hears someone talking about light skin she wont be affected with any complex as she knows the science/purpose behind it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  10. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    I have heard this Indian story from long ago about how God made humans out of clay, and then put them in the oven to cure them into a live person. The ones that are under-cured came out too pale, and the ones that are over-cured came out too dark. And then came the perfect people. Cured just right, the goldilocks level of brown.;)
    This is a children's story that concludes with the idea that everyone underneath is made of the same stuff. It is just that the God was an apprentice god, still learning to get the right colour in people. Eventually when everybody knows that it is all the same thing underneath, the colours will all come together into the perfect brown.
    The next time @anika987 is contemplating a Costco baguette, she ought to ask her daughter to choose the right one.
     
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