i look white

dear heather,

I’m Hispanic and mostly everyone thinks I am white! It drives me crazy because I would really like to look my race. I have a lot of white friends but I don’t like people to tell me I don’t look Hispanic. I also don’t look like anyone else in my family and I have the lightest complexion of all. My skin isn’t that light but it’s still not dark. I just read that tanning is really bad but I always like to tan to look darker, therefore looking Hispanic. All of my body except for my face tans and I hate tanning lotions because of the color it leaves my skin. Have any advice or at least a little self-esteem booster?

I’m sorry you’re a bit upset about your skin shade right now. It’s tough being part of any community and feeling that you don’t quite fit in, for whatever reason. I’m even sorrier to say that there isn’t much you can do to darken your coloring, besides sunbathing and tanning, both of which I don’t really recommend, and using artificial tanning lotions, which you seem not to be too excited about already.

The first thing I wonder is: Why do you have these feelings? Are the people around you giving you grief? If so, maybe you can convince them that try as you might, you’re just not going to be getting any darker; perhaps they’ll grow to accept you as you are.

Although your appearance isn’t likely to change drastically no matter what you do, there may be some clothes or hairstyles that can help you feel more comfortable. But you might consider looking at the situation in a completely different way.

Do you feel somehow that “looking white” betrays your pride in being Hispanic, or just think darker skin is more attractive? Defining anyone by the way they look, what they believe or something they like or do is usually an insult to the many dimensions that make up a person.

No one thing, no matter how much it means to you, is the whole of who you are. There are many ways to feel like you belong to your family and culture that don’t necessarily revolve around the color of your skin. The trick is to find the ones that feel comfortable for you.

take care,

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  • Erika

    heyy. i just wanted to say that i have the same problem. except im half asian half white and im in a community where there are alot of half asians half white. also theres also alot of other races here too. Well everyone says that i don't even look like im asian cuz i have big eyes and i have a white skin color and i have brown hair instead of black hair because my dad has reddish blonde hair and my mom has black hair so when that mixes i guess it makes me a burnette. just wanted to say your not alone. and i guess you could fake being white 😉 i use being half and half as an advantage. the thing that even makes me more mad is that my boyfriend is full white and they say he looks more asian then me : just cuz his eyes are chinky. but then again im happy that he looks more asian then me cuz i think asians are hot ! 🙂