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Whattodo's avatar

What do you say if someone looks at your adorable mixed-race child and says, "What IS she?"?

Asked by Whattodo (101 points ) June 9th, 2008

Anyone had this happen? Could happen with an adopted or biological child, depending on circumstances.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

Wine3213's avatar

You tell them, “She’s a girl! Duhh!”. It shouldn’t matter what race she is. If it’s that important, just say she’s bi-racial.

seVen's avatar

you answer : she’s a child of God just as you are, unique in all time that ever was is and ever will be.

BronxLens's avatar

Tell the insensitive person (is really none of their business) that if they are willing to pay for a DNA study you can give them an answer.

spendy's avatar

I play stupid and say, “Sorry, I guess I don’t follow you…what do you mean?” Usually, at this point, the person who posed the ridiculous question would be forced to repeat and/or reword, and instead realizes how stupid they sound. Usually they never ask a second time. Instead, they apologize and compliment her…and we politely walk away.

shilolo's avatar

I would say, “She’s my wonderful daughter.”

Babo's avatar

She’s a CHILD!

Seesul's avatar

Human (thinking to myself, hoping not to blurt out: “and you’re not”). Unless, of course, they were a professional and had a valid reason to ask.

mdy's avatar

“My pride and joy” works for me.

mzgator's avatar

I have two beautiful step daughters. Their mother is Vietnamese and my husband is white. They have very pronounced Asian features. Our daughter together is blonde, tall and has blue eyes. We have custody of his girls. When they were little people would always ask… What are they? I simply would say that they are my daughters. Yes, all of them.

Every person and family are composed of different individuals. With these differences, once combined, makes one beautiful family.

jballou's avatar

Or, you could just tell them what you consider to be the baby’s race (mixed, or otherwise). It’s not an offensive question necessarily unless you feel like the person is asking for some reason other then their own curiosity. I see mixed race people all the time, and I wonder what two people came together to make such a unique-looking individual. Obviously, if you don’t feel it’s any of their business, you can always say so, but personally being of mixed race, I don’t see what the big deal is. What’s there to be uptight about? I’m sure when your baby is older and can answer for herself she’ll proudly say what race/races she considers herself to be- I know I do.

TheHaight's avatar

I don’t consider it an offensive question at all unless its asked rudely. I’m half mexican and half Japanese and am always asked what I am and I am proud to tell them!

skfinkel's avatar

I would say, “This is my sweet daughter.”

sndfreQ's avatar

I reply “Love incarnate.” :)

Then I ask them “What century are you from?”

My boys are true “mutts”-Caucasian (French, Irish, German), Filipino, Spanish (Spain), and Puerto-Rican/Panamenian!

Adina1968's avatar

I would say well…she is an Alien from the planet Xenu but we really don’t want anyone to know.

judochop's avatar

I never saw it as a big deal. I would just say she is half Irish and half Korean. She’s beautiful, right?

TheHaight's avatar

I agree with Judochop. Seems like a lot of people on here are making it into a
big deal, and I don’t understand.

cookieman's avatar

All depends on the tone of voice used. You certainly can’t assume it to rude unless it sounds rude. We adopted my daughter from china. So we have heard, “She’s beautiful, did you adopt her?”. And we’ve also heard, “Those asians sure are pretty. How much did she cost?” Not the same thing.

TheHaight's avatar

I agree, but it just seems like just about everyone on here is making it seem like it was asked the wrong way. If “whatodo” said in her details “what do I say to someone If they are asking rudely, etc” then I guess I’d understand why these flutherer’s answered the way they did. Every tone I’ve gotten when theyve asked my sisters or me the question has been a pleasent one.

fabulous's avatar

Ask the person that asked you what are they.

surlygirl's avatar

growing up in a little town after being adopted from korea by caucasian parents, no one ever questioned my background until the end of high school. one of my oldest friends commented about my adopted father conceiving me in a rice patty in vietnam. not sure if that was the general assumption of the town (my father was too old to be drafted).

the demographic at the large state school i went to is very diverse and certainly has more than its share of asian students from abroad. it was often assumed that i was one of these until i spoke.

when i started a part time job in retail, there was definitely more interest in my ethnicity, esp. from asian customers. so my response to “where are you from?” has changed over the years to “northwest ohio, but i was adopted from korea.” it just saves a lot of time and awkwardness.

funniest way i’ve heard it asked: what, umm, variety are you?
i wanted to say fuji, but refrained.

oddest response: are you sure? you look chinese. you should check.

shilolo's avatar

@Surly. Your last quote, “What variety are you?” reminds my of an old rap song by the Black Sheep called Flavor of the Month.

“What flavor are you?” sounds so much cooler…. (with my condolences to you East Coasters suffering through the heat wave of 2008).

lindabrowne1's avatar

I would respond, “Ahhhhhhhh, why do you ask?” and not say anything further. The silence is golden!

iCeskate's avatar

cuss them out!

treuprosperity's avatar

Say that she or he is a wonderful gift from God. End of that.

spendy's avatar

@TheHaight, I totally understand and appreciate what you’re saying. I agree that it shouldn’t be a big deal, and a response shouldn’t need to be given in an (even slightly) unpleasant tone. The question seemed to be posed with a hint of negativity, though. That’s just the way I interpreted it. This type of thing does happen from time to time, though not always. We get far more compliments and praise than negativity. I also believe it’s much different to ask someone directly about their heritage or ethnicity (as you often experience) than it is to ask someone about their child (as I have experienced). I would never ask a stranger what ethnicity their child was, with no preface to the question. Personally, if I were going to inquire, I’d preceed the question with a compliment and a smile (which whatodo didn’t mention). That makes a huge difference. Tone and approach can mean the difference between innocent curiosity and racism.

hitomi's avatar

This question made me laugh…hard….

When I was a baby people would walk up to my mother and coo over me and say how beautiful I was and then ask if I was adopted….my mom would just look at them like they were insane and say “No.”

I also spent most of my youth having people say, “What are you?”....When it first started happening I was quite little and didn’t know what it meant…I was raised in an environment where race meant very little (I got into a fight because my friend said that she was black and I was white and I didn’t know what she meant).

I personally respond to this question with ”...human?” and give a questioning look.

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