Advanced search

To be offended by this comment from the HV?

(197 Posts)
frangipani13 Sun 03-Jul-16 19:19:59

I'm of Indian descent and DH is white, we have a gorgeous baby who had a health check with the local clinic the other day.
We went in and were met by a HV who, after saying hello said "Ooooh isn't she fair?" I said "Sorry?" So she added, looking at me then back to the baby "You know, her skin, it's very light". I was a bit annoyed at the time but am sort of used to it as we live in a small town outside London that's not very diverse. Baby has an usual - but not particuarly exotic name (think Greek mythology, i.e. Ariadne) and they often struggle to pronounce her name when I get her weighed.
DH said he couldn't see why I was annoyed but it really irked me. Would she comment on the appearance of every baby she saw? I'm ready to accept that I might be being sensitive but it's been playing on my mind all weekend.

UmbongoUnchained Sun 03-Jul-16 19:21:52

It wouldn't offend me but I understand why it would offend you. I get it a lot, I am Japanese and my daughter is very obviously of Japanese descent but she has auburn hair and green eyes. People comment on it all the time but in a nice way.

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 03-Jul-16 19:23:06

I can understand why it bothers you but yes, I think HV's do comment on every baby they see and invariant whatever they say is irritating. I think it must be in the job brief.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Sun 03-Jul-16 19:23:13

I doubt she meant it as an insult.

whatishistory Sun 03-Jul-16 19:23:18

YANBU, I would be very pissed off (unless your DD is dazzling white, to the point of needing sunglasses?!)

CrazyDuchess Sun 03-Jul-16 19:27:11

My dd is a mixed race baby.... I am super black! Really dark-skinned and when my dd was born, she was soooo pale.... she was white.

I had a few comments that really got my back up... but now, 7 years on, they are hardly on my radar.... I pretty much forgot after 6 months of no sleep!

Sometimes ahV just don't have a filter, and with babies, especially the first, we tend to be sensitive... I wouldn't worry and take a milion and one pictures... it will be a funny story one day smile

Congrats OP xx

frangipani13 Sun 03-Jul-16 19:32:40

I totally get she didn't mean to insult us.

calamityjam Sun 03-Jul-16 19:33:28

I got this with ds3. he is very darked skin for a white British child, think more southern European looking. My stupid midwife insisted that he was jaundiced even though I told her that dp was dark and I am of Indian decent. They wouldn't have any of it and failed to discharge him until 30 days and they said "ooh, you might be right." Err yes obviously!

WorraLiberty Sun 03-Jul-16 19:33:33

I'm not getting the offensiveness to be honest.

People always have something to say about babies. "Ooh isn't she big/tiny. Doesn't she have a lot of hair. Look at her huge smile" etc etc....

Alisvolatpropiis Sun 03-Jul-16 19:35:03

*invariably not invariant

Heatherplant Sun 03-Jul-16 19:37:20

I'm literally the palest white person on the planet, I honestly look like a ghost but I've dark hair. I get comments like that all the time about my children, they are as pale as me but blonde. I think HV was probably just trying to make conversation and it came out all wrong. It's annoying though.

PenelopeChipShop Sun 03-Jul-16 19:38:12

I think HV just feel like they have to make down kind of comment tbh! I still get this sort of thing a lot with my son purely because he's blonde with blue eyes and I have dark hair and eyes - very similar skin colour though! 'Oh he doesn't look like you at all does he?'

CrazyDuchess Sun 03-Jul-16 19:39:51

Lol if they hadn't tagged dd in the room with me in there I would have told them they had made a mistake grin

lightgreenglass Sun 03-Jul-16 19:39:54

I get it and understand why you might be offended. I don't know if it has something to do with people not thinking she's yours and from your heritage too.

DS1 looks the spit of me apart from his the colour of his eyes and looks very Indian. DS2 is quite frankly Aryan. Blue eyes and blond hair. I always get people commenting on it - I know they are not trying to insult me but it does sometime make me feel I have 'justify' that I'm his mother and his father looked like him as a baby and that he is in fact half Asian and always will be even if he doesn't look it. I don't know if I've articulated that correctly.

OutsiderInTheGarden Sun 03-Jul-16 19:40:44

I'm just wondering how it would sound and how people would react if the HV had said "Oooh isn't she dark? Her skin, it's very dark." I think that would get a different response here.
OP I think it's an odd and unnecessary thing to say. The HV maybe needs a bit of extra training on not saying out loud every last thing thing that pops into her head. But I would try to not be upset, and if it really bothered you maybe request a different HV.

peppercold Sun 03-Jul-16 19:41:35

I'm mixed race, ds1 and ds2 are darker than me, ds3 same colour as his white dad! I get ALOT of comments.

DeathStare Sun 03-Jul-16 19:41:39

Would she comment on the appearance of every baby she saw?

Yes. I think most HVs comment on some aspect of every baby's appearance

BeenThereTooSEL Sun 03-Jul-16 19:44:12

I think HVs are total cockwombles- so yeah I think she's bloody rude

WorraLiberty Sun 03-Jul-16 19:44:31

I'm just wondering how it would sound and how people would react if the HV had said "Oooh isn't she dark? Her skin, it's very dark." I think that would get a different response here.

Not if she said it to the baby's Dad, who is white confused

She's just remarking on the difference in skin colour that's all.

wobblywonderwoman Sun 03-Jul-16 19:45:02

I wouldn't like that comment but trying to be objective I think she was just trying to say something - and it was just a bit of a stupid thing to say really.

After I had my baby, I took every little comment to heart. Still probably do

branofthemist Sun 03-Jul-16 19:45:14

I am white, dh is. We get comments on how dark Dd is. Almost back hair, very dark brown eyes and olive skin.

I am paler now but much darker when I was younger. People commenting doesn't bother me at all.

Just like when people comment about ds' very blue eyes.

Birdsgottafly Sun 03-Jul-16 19:45:35

I'm from mixed heritage, but I'm white, with green eyes/light hair. My babies were olive skinned and very dark blue eyes, that quickly turned brown. I had comments, especially when my typically coloured Irish DH was around.

People are generally confused when they see me with my wider family.

I've been around lots of new Mum's and it is a topic of conversation by MWs, I think they're generally interested.

We've also had the mistaken jaundice in babies and older relatives, in our family.

Andagainandagainandagain Sun 03-Jul-16 19:45:52

It is standard health professional baby small talk from my experience. I got told by one nurse directed at my baby 'you must look so like your daddy because she looks nothing like you'. This was a fair comment although I didn't really need it pointing out. Both DH and I are white British but I have very different colouring to DD.

AThousandTears Sun 03-Jul-16 19:46:07

I get "isn't he really dark!?" about my DS2 all the time. I'm white, he is too but a lovely dark olive tone. I don't really take offence to it as people are just making an observation.

I hope he stays like that, it's gorgeous!

Bubblemixture Sun 03-Jul-16 19:46:13

Of course yanbu. No, she didn't mean consciously to be offensive, but no one would call a white baby 'light-skinned', and the unsaid context is 'light-skinned in relation to you' and implicitly 'you'd hardly know she wasn't white'.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now