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Why people stare!

(68 Posts)
moosh Tue 02-Nov-04 13:16:59

I can't figure this out, I have two boys ds1 4 yrs and ds2 8 months. We live in a mixed area, people of all races when I am walking down the road with ds1 no body seems to stare too much (unless he is doing some mad Spider man thing!). But when with ds2 people always stare at him and them me and back again. I want to shout from the roof tops "HE IS MINE!!!!" What I think it is is that ds1 is much darker than his baby bro so he obviously looks like mine, but ds2 I think had all his skin colour (hair included) stolen from ds1 he is very very pale and I think people think I am the child minder or something!
It doesn't wind me too much it gets to my mum more than me, she gets really offended and almost starts arguments which can be really embarassing!
Anyone else experienced this at all. There are no solutions but its nice to moan!

Thomcat Tue 02-Nov-04 13:20:43

People stare at what they class as slightly different, not in the majority. Us mum's of children with special needs know all about that.

LipstickMum Tue 02-Nov-04 13:20:44

No-one stares at me and dd and she is quite fair. Or maybe I just am oblivious..?

yingers74 Tue 02-Nov-04 13:22:40

Yes, yes, yes, my dd looks very much like her dad, people are always thinking I am her nanny or something.

JuniperDewdrop Tue 02-Nov-04 13:27:57

A friend of mine has a very dark skinned mixed race daughter (she's white) and her boyfriend now is white. She laughs at the staring now. I was with a family member once and they said to me 'how did that happen then?' not in front of her but she'd have p***** herself laughing. I found it funny and made up some story about DNA going way back.

Caligula Tue 02-Nov-04 13:30:03

My brother is white, his DP is white, her children are mixed race.

God do they get stared at.

Caligula Tue 02-Nov-04 13:30:40

Especially when they're all together with the kid's (black African) granny!

JuniperDewdrop Tue 02-Nov-04 13:32:02

I find myself showing people I'm with up though by saying 'what you staring at?' I just wish I could keep my gob shut sometimes but I've been trying for 36 years to no avail!

bundle Tue 02-Nov-04 13:38:59

where we live in n london you see just about every possible combination, and dd1 (blue eyes, blonde curls) told me the other day she wanted *lovely brown skin*, like her best friend

moosh Tue 02-Nov-04 13:54:35

JuniperDewDrop you are like my mum. She is always saying to people what are you staring at and she is offended by the looks I get with ds2. She claims to only tell people off that give me nasty looks but I am so proud of my children that I only notice when SHE points it out.
But so many people say to me,"He is lighter than his dad" and dh is white! It is funny as both boys look alike but one is dark and one is light

JuniperDewdrop Tue 02-Nov-04 13:56:28

I'd probably get on with her then moosh
I only say it if it's obvious the person being stared at looks uncomfortable though. I wouldn't just point it out lol. It'a amazing people still bother with me really as I'm a bit of a g****** but hey ho!

JuniperDewdrop Tue 02-Nov-04 13:57:23

lol caligua, do they think she's an egg harvester or something

suzywong Tue 02-Nov-04 14:17:45

If people stare at us I just take it as them staring at our beautiful children

When we came through Australian customs at the airport a few people were staring at us and the woman on customs control had to explain herself and sais she was indeed looking at our beautiful children.

I never really get stared at but when MIL and DH are out with entirely white coloured blond haired ds2 they get interested looks but not offensive ones.

I often stare at other obviously Eurasian looking kids and strike up conversations with the parents. But I am very very nosey

yingers74 Tue 02-Nov-04 14:33:30

suzywong, you have a blonde haired son, how interesting. dd has mousey brown hair and in some light, it can look red!!! Friends always say to me, i thought jet black hair genes were suppose to be dominant? I guess not! My dd really doesn't look chinese at all.

suzywong Tue 02-Nov-04 14:35:17

Dh has red hairs in his bears (not a pleasant sight at the best of times). Well DS2 is more on the mouse scale than the truly blond but he has greeny-brown eyes, it's only the epicanthic folds that give it away.

suzywong Tue 02-Nov-04 14:35:47

beard, red hairs in his beard

Uhu Tue 02-Nov-04 15:54:29

I have twin DS age 8 months. One has fair curly hair with blue eyes and the other has dark curly hair with brown eyes. Comments include "Are they twins?", "Is it a boy and a girl?" (despite them both wearing the same blue outfits), "Oh, they are not identical then" and the best one, "Are they yours?"

toky Tue 02-Nov-04 15:58:13

Oh, I get "Is she yours?" all the time!!!

This was once followed by "Is the dad still around?" ... from a black man.

Issymum Tue 02-Nov-04 16:17:44

I'm white, DH is white and uses a wheelchair, DD1 is Vietnamese (slightly pale but otherwise classic Vietnamese features with straight black hair with hints of auburn) and DD2 is Cambodian (darker, a very different face shape with black wavy hair and huge eyes). As we bowl along the streets of Guildford - a predominantly white neighbourhood - with DD1 perched on DH's knee in the wheelchair and me carrying DD2, people don't just stare, they turn back for a second look and collide with lamp-posts.

I'm not insulted by the stares. Everybody unconsciously tries to 'place' the people they encounter, even if only passing them in the street and when you encounter our family group there is simply a lot of 'difference' to take in - disabled father, SE Asian children, children who clearly aren't our biological children and sisters who, on a further glance, probably aren't biological sisters. Once people have sorted that lot out in their heads, they normally respond with a big grin.

I don't get such prolonged stares when I'm alone with the girls; I guess people quickly assume that my partner is SE Asian. Although a lot of people comment about how beautiful the girls are!

motherinferior Tue 02-Nov-04 16:21:12

yingers, how very very interesting. And moosh. Nobody EVER assumed we were my mum's, because both my sister and I are white and she is Indian. DP gets worried sometimes if he's out with dd1 - who's blonde - and she throws a strop and everyone will think this Asian looking man is abducting her, too.

motherinferior Tue 02-Nov-04 16:22:00

And having met Issymum's daughters, I should add they're well worth an awe-struck stare.

lailag Tue 02-Nov-04 16:28:03

My mum got asked where she got her daughters from, thinking she had adopted them. My mum just answered she had found them in a cabbage

hercules Tue 02-Nov-04 16:29:24

My childminder has a 14 yr old ds and 5 year old dd both of whom have red hair. She also childminds 9 year old twins who also have red hair.
When she looked after my mixed race ds (8 years) she always got funny looks. It was as if she'd had a quick fling in between all the other children.

Fran1 Tue 02-Nov-04 16:35:46

I agree with Suzywong.

I am a BIG people watcher (dp has to nudge me sometimes cos he says i look like i'm staring rudely).

But i like studying people, not intended to be rude, and not because of colour skin or anything else. Just cos i'm plain nosey and like watching how people interact etc.

Uhu Tue 02-Nov-04 17:48:51

MI, I had a white colleague whose sister is married to an Indian man. A couple of years ago, they were out shopping (in Staines) with their daughter, who is quite pale, and the mother popped into a shop whilst the husband waited outside with their daughter. A policeman came along and accused the husband of abducting the little girl. Obviously, the husband tried to explain that the girl was his daughter but PC Bonehead would have none of it and started to arrest him. His wife came dashing out of the shop and started screaming at the PC and it was only then that the bonehead would accept that the husband was the father of the child. They made an official complaint about the incident but I don't know if anything came of it as colleague moved to another site.

Staring out of curiosity is one thing, but some people can be malicious

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