Friday, January 09, 2009

Shocking News from the Mixed-Race Baby front...again

I was scanning a newspaper on the train the other day, and an article with the following headline caught my eye: "Mixed-Race Couple has mixed-race twins again."

Of course I read the article, and discovered that a couple in London, where mum is White and Dad is Black, just had their second set of twin daughters where one looks Black and the other White. Remembering the last time this kind of story broke and the twins weren't all that different looking, I didn't think this case would be much different. But I googled the couple and found this story with a picture. And it is pretty amazing.

As the mother of two boys who also are different colors (not so dramatically), I bristle when people point this out to me. When they say, "oh how cute, one looks like you and one looks like your husband," I don't find it cute.

So I feel some sort of shame at being fascinated by stories like these. What do you think? Should two babies born with different pigmentation be page one news stories? Is there a proper way to frame the story, from a scientific wonder perspective that takes away the "freak of nature" aspect to it, perhaps? Thoughts?



Gem said...

I think it's very interesting genetically. But I wish they wouldn't sensationalize it/freak show them by putting 1 black twin and 1 white twin.

One article had two-tone or something like that which is a little better. The story is fascinating enough on it's own but I guess people can't resist fetishizing it a little bit to catch the eye of the readers.

Gem said...

Also when you think about it, it's fairly common even among people of the same race, i.e. white mother with dark eyes, hair, short and stocky and white father blonde, blue-eyed, tall and skinny you'll have kids that look like one of each. But since you can't apply the labels black and white then it doesn't get that much attention. Same with black families and even Mexican families...

Rose-Anne Clermont said...

As a mother of bi-racial twins, I am so over this "phenomenom". There was a huge story here in Germany about such a case, too. And I was like, "And??? Who the f&^^% cares??? My twins also had different skin tones at birth, they are MIXED, like half of the rest of the world. Can we get over it, please? Dayummm!

Carleen Brice said...

I don't think they look much different. Or let me put it this way: one doesn't look "white" and the other "black." All the kids look like they are of mixed ancestry. I don't find it all that amazing. And I wonder what the attention will mean to the family and to each of those kids.

Kristina said...

I don't think it's bad to be fascinated. As Gem said, it's very interestin genetically. I don't think they should talk about it like they're so different because I think that as they get older, they may get darker. For instance, Lauren was paler as a baby and looked white, but now she looks mixed-race.
In my opinion, the fascinating thing is that they had two sets of twins in the first place.

LT said...

Gem,good points all around. Thanks.

Rose-Anne, I hear ya.

Carleen, I agree, but many people aren't as astute as you and really see only color or I should say, shades.

Kristina, Thanks for making me not feel so bad.

And to everyone, I must clarify, that I am equally amazed by the double twin factor as much as the color factor. Full disclosure, I used to pray to have twins...but now I'm kind of glad God wasn't listening. One at a time is hard enough:)

Jennifer said...

I don't know that the news story is a good thing. Does this encourage people to say whatever insensitive thing comes to their mind in person, because they are curious?

My husband is South Asian. I am white. Two of our children are half South Asian and white. One of our sons is African American. When I was at the store once with my kids and my mother, a woman pointed at my African American son and for everyone to hear said, "why is he darker than the other two?"

Spring said...

Here's the other side of the coin: I have a 10 y.o. daughter who's 100% Chinese and a 7 y.o. who looks Caucasian. People in my southern locale used to ask me all the time if they were twins. They look NOTHING alike. I chalked it up to "if they ain't white, they must look alike".

Maybe I'm too cynical.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read everyone's comments thoroughly...but here I go - making my own. I'm reading a book entitled, "Does Anybody Else Look Like Me? by Donna Jackson Nakazawa. She speaks about these same issues as a parent who raised two American-Japanese children. I do wish that people would understand what an International Melting Pot the world is becoming. When will be able to stop looking at people on the surface, and take the time to get to know them? And why do people in the news article find it so hard to believe that they are sisters? Sigh. However, as a multiracial/cultural adoptee myself, I had that question posed to me all the time.