White or brown, girl or boy. It doesn’t matter.

Guest post by Denise Fixcat
Photo by Cassie Leah Photography
Photo by Cassie Leah Photography

The most frequent question I get about my pregnancy is whether I want a boy a girl. The second question is whether I want to know. The only reason I would like to know is for practical reasons, the baby shower. My husband says he wants a boy because of the “boyfriend issue” if we had a girl. I’ve noticed that’s something that freaks many men out about having a daughter.

It makes no difference to me whether it’s a boy or a girl, whether he has brown skin like me or she has light skin like my husband. I was born in Mexico City and my husband is from California, he is half Mexican and half Guatemalan with British ancestry (we think, sometimes he seems more Scottish to me) that makes him look white.

People are always shocked when he starts talking Spanish and he’s even had to face racism from more brown-looking Mexicans he has met. Racism has also shown its ugly face in comments that our baby will be a beautiful light-skinned baby.

I know it’s so ingrained in our society to look at white babies as more beautiful than those of color, but it angers me. At this point in our so-called evolved society, shouldn’t we have grown out of that? Sadly we are nowhere close to seeing people from the inside out.

I doesn’t matter to me whether our baby is a boy or a girl or brown or white.

Another comment I hear a lot is, “It doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl as long as it’s healthy.” Of course I wish the best for my child and I hope more than anything she will be healthy and I am taking precautions to take care of her while she is inside me, growing and preparing to come out into this strange world.

But I will not love him any less if something goes wrong. She is my baby no matter what. I know it’s an innocent comment and just good wishes but it makes me think about parents and children who have to learn to live with a disability and how society at large sees this. We no longer see it as punishment for our sins perhaps but there is still an element of discrimination.

All these issues have made me realize how hard it is to be born into this world, where being a specific gender or color already maps out part of you life. I do have the hope that despite stereotypes and racism, despite all the hate in this world, it is possible to succeed and have a fruitful life, whatever that path may be for my child.

There are many who have fought for civil rights and struggled with much more discrimination than my child will ever face and I thank them for that. I am thankful for Jesus and Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, Cesar Chavez and Digna Ochoa, all revolutionaries in the name of love for those who have been outcast, those who have been discarded by society.

So to my son or daughter I want to say, that it doesn’t matter to me what gender you are or what you look like, I already love you forever and nothing will ever change that. If the world sees you for what you look like, show them who you are inside, show them your true beauty.

I will do my best to teach you about the truth, the faith, the hope and the love that I have found in my life, the most important tools to battle all the hate, discrimination, and racism that still plagues this planet.

Comments on White or brown, girl or boy. It doesn’t matter.

  1. I suppose that everyone has said what there is to say. I know the sex of my coming baby girl, but mostly for practical reasons too – not because I cared one way or the other, but because I just wanted to prepare I suppose. One person told me the reason she kept it a surprise was because "there are so few surprises in life…" which, well, I have found in my life is not true at all. I'm excited about my baby girl but I still painted her room yellow with animals all over because pink is over done and high contrast colors are better for their vision! Also, if she does end up being a boy at least I'll just have a lot of pink clothes but most of the more expensive stuff is neutral.

  2. As far as the stuff about mixed race babies, I think it's terrible that people make you feel like the whiter baby is the most beautiful. Personally, I think that bi- (or more) racial babies are gorgeous! All babies are beautiful, lets face it, but multi-race babies also stand for something very important in our country – that there are truly some people crossing race divides, and in a way they are a symbol of the possibility of the growth of people past racism that still exists in the world today. A friend of mine when she was a freshman in college said when asked about race that she thought "we should all just interbreed until we're all shades of brown"… and it really was a beautiful thought!

    Great post, no matter what your family says now they will adore your beautiful baby when it's here.

  3. I really hope I can get to a point in my pregnancy where I don't care what my baby looks like. I am mixed race, my hubby is white. I am dreading having a baby where people will ask if I am the nanny. This has happened with my mixed race nieces when I am watching them and the feeling SUCKS! If I have a white baby I will love him/her dearly. I will live if I get the stinging barbs of the "nanny" conversation with strangers, I just hope it doesn't happen. However if the baby is not white my hubby and I joke that we he is out with the babe solo he may get the "did you adopt" convos LOL.

    • This reminds me of a friend's experience — she is half East Indian/half Caucasian, and her husband is lily white. Their daughter was born a pale red head, and looked NOTHING like my friend. When she confessed to her mother that she felt sad about her daughter looking so little like her, her blonde mother laughed and said, "Oh honey, I understand. I had a baby who was brown and covered in fine dark hair."

  4. Actually, 'reverse racism' has nothing to do with racism towards white people. It's, say, serving a black man before a white one to show that you AREN'T racist. It's taking racial equality and stepping on it by taking it way too far. Treating those of a differerent colour differently is racist, no matter if you're treating them in a more negative way or a more positive one.

    Totally agree with everything else though.

  5. Beautiful! It made me cry.

    My husband and I are both of British & Ukrainian ancestry. Our son is very fair, with blue eyes (Dad) and blond hair (me). I am crazy about him, and, of course, I think he is gorgeous. I love that he has blond hair, but that's because I had blond hair as a kid (it is now very dark). I have never thought that he is better for having blue eyes or blond hair. He's part of me and his dad and that's what is so amazing!

    I cannot believe that others' have encountered comments about skin and hair color of their child! That makes me very sad. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  6. My white mother-in-law once described some neighborhood children as "cute and normal — you know, blond hair and blue eyes." I don't think she knows how much this offhand comment hurt me, as the brown mother of her future grandchildren. I guess our kids won't be "normal"…

  7. One of the most beautiful babies I ever cared for was brown. Lily-white mom, very dark-skinned dad. This kid could have been a child model, perfect soft skin, soft curly dark brown hair, large dark eyes, cute dimples, and always smiling and giggling. So smart, happy, and loving. I thought she was even more beautiful that the light blond, big aqua-blue eyed, chubby cheeked, gerber-baby lookalike I had (though I loved both).

  8. My fiance is white, fair haired and blue-eyed. I am full Laotian; my parents are from a Southeast Asian country called Laos. The funny thing about that is that most people have not even heard of that country let alone guess my nationality. I’ve gotten Filipina, Hawaiian, East Indian, African-American/half-something else, you name it! I’ve gotten even Thai, a neighboring country, but never Laotian! Needless to say, I’ve gotten much attention for my exotic look and, most of my adult life, comments that I “will have gorgeous/beautiful children.” Hmm, what if I didn’t want children? It goes to show our society and its discrimination of any thing different from yourself.

    I have a brother with special needs and have come across the “genetic” concern to be passed on to my baby. Good god, are you kidding me? When my midwife asked if I was interested in genetic testing, I politely declined: “Ya know, my baby is still my baby no matter what.” Having my brother in my life eased this concern for others who fear this. He’s a blessing and a huge inspiration in my life; I’m a special education teacher.

    My future mother-in-law is so sure that I am having a girl. I’m not superstitious by any means but I don’t want her to jinx it. She’s also one of the people who believes my “future children” will be gorgeous babies. People are so fixated on buying blue or pink. I have made the decision to have my baby’s gender as a surprise. My fiance will find out though so he can pass on the news to awaiting friends and his very sure mother. Again, would Grandma Smith love my baby any less if he were a boy? No, of course not. I just can’t help that there would be a twinge of disappointment.

    I really enjoyed your article! I related very well. 🙂

  9. I’m English and the bf is Mexican…I really don’t care what the baby is, but he’s hoping it’ll have my blue eyes.

    Due to genetics I doubt that will happen though

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