The desire for white children and grandchildren

One of my closest friends is a black American, and she and, being a Pakistani Pashtun as well as a Muslim American, I share a ton of things in terms of some of our experiences with racism, discrimination, and other layers of marginalization (the discriminations I’ve faced have been nothing compared to what she faces, though). She’s Muslim as well.

Recently, our conversations have been mainly on racism and being black and being a minority in America. When we’re not talking about that, we talk about boys/men, relationships, marriage, our careers, etc. The other day, I told her that I need her in my life and we need to make sure that wherever we end up living, we end up neighbors or at least in the same city. She said, “Yes! And! We could even make sure that your son/daughter marries my daughter/son (if our children are heterosexual).” So that’s a deal. Then I said, jokingly: “Wait … that means there’ll be black blood in my grandkids” and made a face. “Listen, I’m not sure about that. I just feel like I want my kids to be really, really beautiful and marry really, really beautiful people and have really, really beautiful children.” And she played along with me and we went on talking about how we can make sure our kids are as white as possible. Because white skin is obviously better and more beautiful than non-white skin, as the entire universe will have it known to you. (Needless to say, this was all in jokes and we are both sickened by the preference for white over darker skin in so much of the world.)

As we laughed and joked, we realized how real of a conversation this actually is among some people. She and I were poking fun at the idea that white/light = beautiful and black/dark = ugly, but we have people in this world who will turn down great men and women because of their skin color and the potential of not having “beautiful” children. With advancements in genetic engineering, rich people or at least people with enough money to spend on this stuff, can also decide what eye and hair color they want their babies to have—that is, blue (or sometimes green) eyes and blonde (or red) hair.

fair and lovelyIn places like India and Pakistan, we’re taught that you can succeed only and only if you have light skin. (Reminds me – check out this pathetic Pond’s ad with the discriminatory advice to women that their ex will take them back if they use Pond’s “white beauty” cream for a white, pinkish glow. The ad stars Priyanka Chopra and Saif Ali Khan and hence no respect from me for them.) And it’s true for the most part, thanks to discrimination against people whose skin color resembles that of white Europeans. Light skin is the solution to all your problems and takes you places you never dreamed possible before. And it also means more praises. I’ve a relative whose hair is blonde and she looks all blonde, and her parents were ALWAYS being asked about what they do to the child’s hair to make it that blonde. All I remember, when I was a child listening to the tips for how to be blonde, was something about using coconut-something for your hair. Never worked for anyone else, though. Just that one lucky girl.

Yeah … that happened.

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About Orbala

I want it to rain on my wedding day, pliss.
This entry was posted in beauty, Death to patriarchy, friendships, Just stop, social justice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to The desire for white children and grandchildren

  1. Khawaja says:

    This isn’t just a South Asian people obsession, colorism is universal -the white standard of beauty is followed in almost every country in the world, it’s a sad fact.

    Like

    • orbala says:

      Noooo – really?! I would never have imagined!!
      #sarcasm
      Of course it’s all over, man. It happens in dumb ways in the U.S., too, where on the one hand, they find “tanned” peoples “exotic” and hence desirable but on the other hand, they marginalize, oppress, and otherize them. It happens among Arabs and other Middle Easterners and North Africans; it happens all throughout Africa, and it happens in Western Europe among whites who prefer lighter shades of whiteness to non-lighter ones, and so on. It all, everywhere, has a history of classism, racism, and even slavery, and it’s sadly not going away for a really long time, considering how ignorant and close-minded most of the world population remains.

      I’d just like to believe that my readers are a bit too aware for shallow disclaimers like “it’s not just South Asians” …

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Musa says:

    Dont call yourself a Pakistani pashtun

    and yes, there’s a small percentage of pashtuns who have blonde hair and blue eyes….
    but most Pashtuns are olive or sand in color. They could somewhat pass off as a white person but the really white pashtuns are more rare

    Some Pashtuns i recall do make attacks againts Punjabi people for being darker..

    a few Punjabis and especially Kashmiris have a tendency to become white

    also, looking white is considered Effeminate. If a guy is white and he belongs to Afghan, Pashtun, Pakisstani or Indian culture, then he is made fun of and is called Girly or sissy. Wheatish color is better for men, not literally white, which is a prefference for women

    Like

    • orbala says:

      “Dont call yourself a Pakistani pashtun”
      LOL. Don’t tell me what I can and can’t call myself. In fact, don’t *ever* tell anyone else that.

      But in this case, I happen to be a Pakistani Pashtun, and that’s just how things are. Deal with it.

      lolz also @ wheatish color is better for men. Any color people are born with is good for them, be it extremely white or extremely dark. Humanity’s problem lies in profiting off of everything it possibly can and abusing power every chance it gets, and so telling people they’re ugly when they’re a certain skin color just so they’ll fall for it and buy stuff to make themselves what the powerful want them to be. And so on.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Afghan Lion says:

      Please, don’t break my heart….. you are just Pashtun, you have nothing to do with Pakistan. Afghanistan is our homeland! Dont say Pakistani, please stop that :””( </3 ………

      Like

    • orbala says:

      …. you’re kidding me … You shouldn’t let my identity bother you that much. I’m Pukhtun and therefore have *everything* to do with Pakistan – mostly bad, but it’s there.

      Like

    • Baba Ghanoush says:

      So! Screw Pakistan
      I HATE Pakistan
      Orbala, you have nothing in common with Punjabi people, they are evil, please burn the Pakistani flag and yell to the whole world “Pashtuns are AFghan and Afghans are Pashtuns”……..
      You are a traitor, you care about women more than you care about Pashto or Afghanistan….

      Like

    • orbala says:

      LOL @ caring more about women than about Pashto or Afghanistan. You don’t get to tell me where my loyalties should lie or what I should value more. I take few people’s opinions seriously.

      Peace to you, too.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Musa Yousafzai Sarbanri says:

    Think about two best friends one is Pashtun and another is Punjabi…
    and it made me laugh how you suggested your descendants marry her descendants…. ionno but just weird questions about how close you wanna be with someone….

    Like i myself am a staunch Pashtun nationalist and would i mind if my descendants were part black or part white , let alone be part Punjabi, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek? or do i want Pure Pashtoon children?

    Most Pashtuns are homogenous by ethnicity due to geographical constraints and endogamy (marriage within the same community), therefore marrying outside the culture questions their lineage, as risking the transmission of Pashtun language, culture and identity. If your in Pakistan, and you do mixed marriages, your children would likely know Urdu not Pashto, in Afghanistan, it would be Farsi, because those cultures and languages are superstratum (having a higher status) than Pashto because they are used between cultures and have more economic cohesion.

    Pashto is simply, only reserved for pashtuns who have a common ancestor, it’s not a choice for communicating with people who don’t come from Pashtun tribes, like Farsi, Arabic and now Urdu and English have been for cross cultural communication….

    Like

    • orbala says:

      You can want whatever you want for your children and descendants, but I obviously have different preferences. Dude, I’d even willingly marry a non-Pashtun man myself let alone encouraging or allowing my children or grand children to do so.

      Everyone has their own preferences, so I say be and let be, bruh. Some people are willing to learn Pashto and the Pashtun lifestyle for their significant other, and others are willing to give up everything (including language, etc.) to be with their significant others – it’s whatever works for different people as individuals. I believe in choice.

      Like

    • even give up their religion to be with a significant other?
      you sure about that ?

      Like

    • orbala says:

      Very sure. Some people do it, yes; many have in the past, many do today, and many will do it in the future. Not everyone thinks the same way. Thankfully.

      Like

  4. Musa Yousafzai Sarbanri says:

    I don’t care about blonde hair or blue eyes or any of that . Those things do explain the history of peoples… like if someone had blonde hair but was Pakistani, Afghan or Indian, it just sais that at one point, there were people like that…. like the proof of ancient Aryan tribes and not Greek-Macedonian invadors or Russian and British soldiers,…… but genetic engineering means that they won’t be 100% your children anymore, because your chaning a part of their DNA that is different from the parents. think about it

    My children can “look” black (but not have black blood) but they have to speak Pashto! I dont want my culture to die out and be absorbed into Punjabi or Tajik culture….

    Like

    • orbala says:

      You do know that there’s no such thing as a completely homogeneous race in today’s world anymore? Everyone, every ethnicity is mixed, whether we like to believe it or not. Because history and human relations aren’t as simple as you’re suggesting. Inter-marriage has always been a thing throughout history, whether for political reasons, personal reasons, reasons of survival, and so on, but it’s a fact of history some of us need to accept before condemning those who choose to inter-marry today.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Musa Yousafzai Sarbanri says:

    I used to think blonde hair and blue eyes mattered because it proved of being Aryan. I was even interested in Bosnians for the same reason, light hair and light eyes…..

    Most Pashtuns and Tajiks don’t have blond hair or pale skin, and our eyes are usually hazel, greenish brown, light brown or dark brown . and our skin is tanned or wheatish…
    and red hair is not good cause it’s a sign of being Jewish among Eastern europeans and i don’t support pashtuns comming from Israelites….. light skined boys are considered effeminate, pale skin has been considered a feminine trait…..

    All i want is the survival of Pashto culture and independance from Pakistan, I don’t care how dark Pashtuns are in the end as long as they don’t speak Urdu or practice punjabi culture….. !
    I love my dark pashtun boys and girls to the fullest as much as i love Albino Pakhtuns ! But we are Pakhtuns and let not our complexion or beauty divide us as a whole !

    Like

  6. Musa Yousafzai Sarbanri says:

    and if light skin = success in Pakistan and India, then why are Pakhtuns still slaves to Pakistan and Punjabi people?
    Even in Bacha Khan’s time, in all of British India, Frontier province he complained was the least developed… i don’t know, confusing shit :/…

    Like

  7. Musa Yousafzai Sarbanri says:

    Heck, most Nuristanis aren’t super white either, they are olive . They are the same as TAjiks and Pashtuns. It’s just propaganda by people trying to say Nuristanis come from Alexander The Great and his Greek or Macedonian soliders… ask yourselves.. Did Greeks set up colonies in Afghanistan and parts of Punjab…. just because Pakistanis, Kashmiris and Afghans or whoever are very white does not mean they are Greek, Macedonian, or a result of British and Russian invasions…. remember, they invaded, not colonized ! and those light features were among Pashtuns,Punjabis and Tajiks the whole time because we used to be Aryans before we split up…..
    However one Pashtun dude did like to point out that Kalash did look different but i didn’t know what he meant ….

    Like

    • orbala says:

      lolz. Listen, it’s all cool, k? No one’s saying who’s better than anyone else. Don’t worry about it. If you wanna hear that you’re more beautiful than the rest of the world, here’s a superficial lie: you’re more beautiful than the rest of the world. Happy?

      Like

  8. snpeterson says:

    Great post but what a depressing string of comments. I need to write a blog post of my own about this as it is very close to my heart.
    And in any case; diversity is a good thing… no one should EVER feel they should miss out on happiness and love because of race. It is an injustice that really hurts people and can last generations.

    Liked by 1 person

    • orbala says:

      Girl… don’t even get me started on racist, Pashtun-centric comments! The above person also FB messaged me with some insults and then blocked me, impressed with himself that he gets the last word in the discussion – I could only laugh so hard! So petty.

      Like

  9. Jaz says:

    People are like hey ………( very bad comments ) when hidden behind a name tag, but when they face you in public real life, I bet you they wouldn’t dare repeat those bad comments to your face. That social media sites for you , lol

    Like

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