- One or both of your parents has no idea what to do with your hair. Everyone knows it’s not right, but no one knows how to fix it.
- Hats - thanks to our hair, hats are often not our friend. Curls are great, except when they've been mashed down. And, if you're a girl with short curly hair, you will be called a boy when wearing a hat. Trust me, I know.
- You don’t look like you belong to your father. Out in public, people ask, “Are you ok?” and “Is that strange man (a.k.a. your dad) bothering you?”
- You don’t look like you belong to your mom. After seeing her, the other kids tease you about being adopted or wonder “Is that your babysitter?”
- Wrinkles…maybe? Most brown-skinned people have thicker skin that wrinkles less. Mixed kids, no matter what their complexion, aren’t guaranteed that anti-wrinkle power.
- Mixed = Caramel complexion, light eyes or wavy hair (or all of the above). Except we’re not all made that way. Mass disappointment (see bullet 8).
- Lingering looks that lead to the question, “What are you?” or “Where are you from?” and “But where are your parents from?”
- Mass exposure to racism. Being racially ambiguous means you’re more likely to hear it all.
- Disappointing your blind dates. I blame Halle Berry, Lolo Jones, Lenny Kravitz and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for setting the bar too high!
Mixed kids’ problems are first-world problems. They aren’t things like “no access to fresh water” or “school is 20 miles away and the bus broke down.” I’m just saying, as a group, we may have our gripes but, in the grand scheme, it could be worse. That said, here's a few, starting from the top:
If these are the biggest problems you face in life, count yourself lucky. Surviving being mixed doesn't have to be hard. Simply hope you aren’t tender-headed while your parents work out their beautician skills. Fight the right battles and try to let everything else roll off your back. Avoid society’s beauty stereotypes and figure out what’s good about you. And, when preparing for a blind date, tell them you’re mixed, you know... like Malcolm Gladwell.