I was raised in a society where the color of your skin is so important that you have more value as a person if you are white. The whiter, the better. This is also deeply rooted in me, and some days ago I got a lesson that I will never forget.
Admit it or not, one of the reasons why Asian women like me marry a Western man is because of the possibility to have a cute white baby that everybody will admire. I myself feel very happy whenever I see a fair baby and here in Spain, there are so many. Their beautiful eyes and red cheeks are so charming, so cute, and make me wish to have one of my own, LOL. But since my husband and I have early on decided not to have kids, I just confine myself to admiring them when they are around.
I feel dreamy when I see them and I told my husband that whenever he sees one from the balcony, he must tell me. One day, my husband just did that excitedly (which was unusual) so I was thinking the baby must be very cute.
I went to the balcony and saw a woman with a child passing on the other side of the street and I blurted out spontaneously, ¨huh, that´s not a cute baby, that’s a black baby!¨ and felt disappointed. The baby was strapped on his mother’s back; an African street peddler carrying her merchandise on her head. I continued to ask my husband, “why do you like black babies?” He said, “all babies are cute” and gave me a warm smile. Four small words and I felt like I was slapped a thousand times.
There was a moment of silence and I asked myself, why did I say that? Geez, I’m a racist! Definitely, all babies are cute whatever the color is. A tear fell from my eyes and I whispered sorry to God for exhibiting such an abominable attitude. I started to berate and examine myself and was feeling so aghast that I couldn’t even swallow.
I’m from a society where the standards of beauty or cuteness are very different. Filipinos often like white skin, colored eyes, and pointy noses. Even with babies who are innocent angels, we tend to give more attention to the white kids than the darker ones. I am guilty of that and I am not proud. In the Philippines, I often witness disapproving teases and glances towards Filipinas who have black babies and kids. It often comes with a comment, ¨are you that desperate that you have to marry a Black? ¨
I’m still ashamed, but I have learned one of the most important lessons in life. I have no difficulties any longer seeing the beauty in every baby.