Substance and Soul

On interracial marriage

LifeSamantha WetterholmComment

I come from an interracial family and I am tremendously proud of that fact. My father is Filipino and was born in the Philippines and my mother was born in the United States with her ethnicity being many generations American South but also English, Hungarian, and {what was once} Bohemian. That makes me very mixed-race indeed.

1985 | 2011

Growing up I never really thought twice about being a mixed-race individual. I knew that my sister and I looked a little different than our cousins on either side, but it never occurred to me that I was mixed. It was only when I reached high school did I realize that I did not fit into any one ethnic mold and even then it never bothered me. My parents raised us to be accepting of any and all kinds of people. We were taught to look past race, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and any other social identifier that might make someone “different” {thanks Mom and Dad!}.

Although we were taught to treat everyone equally and with respect, we did not always get the same treatment. My mom said that when she used to take us out as children, people would always ask her from which country she adopted us. People also would tell me it was “weird” that my mom was the white one and my dad was the Filipino one, because apparently it should be the other way around?? And although I never experienced outright discrimination, we definitely got many a raised eyebrow over the years. 

So I always get a little passionate when people harp on “traditional” families. Come on, there is no such thing as a traditional family. Who is anyone to say that a family is not the right kind of family or that there is a cookie-cutter mold that families should fit in. Single parents, interracial families, same-sex couples, grand parents or aunts and uncles helping to raise the children, adoptive families, step families – all have one thing in common and that is FAMILY {okay I’ll step down off my soap box now}. 

This cheerios commercial is almost a year old, but it is one of my favorites. But when it first aired, it got a lot of negative feedback! I was absolutely shocked when I heard that people were disgusted by the fact that the mother was white and the father was black {they even had to disable the YouTube comments section}. A group called Fine Brothers Productions showed this commercial to a bunch of kids who all laughed and thought that the little girl in the commercial was adorable {because she is} and then were completely baffled when the interviewer told them that some people did not like the commercial. The children could not even comprehend that people found the commercial offensive. They thought it was just plain stupid that people got mad about it. This gives me great hope in the next generation of youngsters.

At the end of the day, we are just your average American family. We eat way too much food during the holidays, we play games together {and get a little competitive}, we watch a lot of TV, we support one another, we fight with with one another, we laugh together, we cry together, we love one another unconditionally, and we get a little weird sometimes. What matters is that we are a family, not the color of our skin. I married a Swedish/German man and my sister’s longtime boyfriend is Mexican. We are a beautiful melting pot of a family. 

I love this bunch of weirdos more than words can say.

Are you from a “non-traditional” family? What are your views on the evolving image of family?

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