You’re tired of hearing “What are you?”
It’s a question you get asked by strangers over and over again. They’re not looking for a an answer like “um, human?” They’re wanting to know what ethnicity gives you that skin tone. facial structure, hair color. etc. For those of us who are an absolute mystery, we are just walking question marks and this question is inevitable.
You turn your ethnicity into a guessing game
No one ever guesses your ethnicity on the first try unless they’re just a good guesser. It’s funny to watch people try to figure it out. You like to have fun with it and let people take a crack at it just to hear all the responses that are usually wayyyy off. It’s a good way to see what the most common responses are and know what ethnicity you could pass for.
People like to assume your ethnicity
If you’re tan, speak Spanish, and are from Florida, Americans usually think you’re Cuban. If you’re tan, speak Spanish, and are from literally anywhere else, Americans think you’re Mexican. On the other hand, Hispanic people are masters of recognizing Latin features. We can easily tell Mexicans apart from Cubans or Puerto Ricans from Colombians. When you’re a combination of these ethnicities, you start stumping people. Leave it to Americans to just guess what they assume is the obvious answer.
People expect you to know a foreign language
“You speak (insert foreign language here) right?” It’s amazing how many times we get asked this. For those of us who don’t speak a second language, this can be quite annoying. People can sometimes make you feel bad for not knowing a second language as if you’re missing an obvious feature.
People compliment you on specific features
This one is actually kind of nice. You constantly get complimented on the thickness of your hair, the color of your eyes, your beautiful complexion, or specific physical features that aren’t super common. You have a beautiful blend of unique cultural features that make you stand out. Own it and be proud.
People assume you’re cultured
It’s actually embarrassing when people know more about your culture than you do and they expect you to join them in a conversation about it. Just because it’s a part of our genetic make up, does not mean we’re born with a manual of everything there is to know about that culture. Don’t make us feel bad about it. We’re just born this way.
You’ve gotten nervous in certain situations
Being such a walking question mark can sometimes make you nervous when going through airport security or being in a place where you are the clear minority. Unfortunately, we live in a time where stereotyping and racial profiling exists and it’s hard to avoid when people don’t know what ethnicity you are. Certain situations, places, groups of people can be very uncomfortable and even scary at times. It’s hard not to feel paranoid and just want to blend in.