By Gabriella De Leon
In this day and age, it’s not unusual to know a biracial couple. On a daily basis we see and interact with people of all shapes, colors and sizes, many of whom are making beautiful babies. From afar it looks like we’ve finally reached our goal of being “The Great Melting Pot” that we Americans pride ourselves on, but take a closer look and you can see that we’re not quite there yet.
My boyfriend Josh and I are a biracial couple. He is white, and I am a first generation Mexican-American. Our relationship is supposed to be the face/epitome of this great melting pot, yet we still face scrutiny/problems in our relationship.
1. We get jokes. Lots of them.
It’s not even funny. Our friends joke that he’s only dating me because I can make him tortillas or tamales, or how I’m going to “go get the chancla” whenever he misbehaves. Apparently [stereotype about Mexicans] + [poor white man] = funny joke. In case you’re wondering, it’s not.
2. Our cultures clash.
Have you ever watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding? You know, the one where the beautiful Toula (Nia Vardalos) and handsome Gus (Michael Constantine) fall in love and their families are complete opposites? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s about a Greek woman and a white man who fall deeply in love. When he meets her family, he realizes that it’s HUGE, very loud, and very obnoxious. That’s my family. His? Well, let’s just say it’s quiet. The movie is rated a 76% on Rotten Tomatoes. It may not be an award winner, but if you want more insight on biracial relationships, I highly recommend it. I related to it 100%.
3. People comment on what our babies would look like.
Here’s a weird one. People always tell us how they hope our babies will look. They want our [imaginary] baby to have caramel colored skin with big blue eyes and soft curly hair. Thanks for your hopes and wishes, but A) we’re not having kids any time soon, B) we don’t care what they look like -white, brown, curly, or blonde, and C) how would you like it if I said I hope your baby is just as black/white as you two are? Frankly, it’s rude and a tad strange.
4. There’s a language barrier.
Josh speaks one language – English. I speak English and Spanish. Not a problem between us, but seeing as most of my mom’s family only speaks Spanish and Josh can’t speak a lick of Spanish to save his life, there will never really be much of a relationship between them. It often brings up the all too sad question from my relatives – “Why are you with a gringo?”
5. The media tells us how to act and tells you what we look like.
This one is probably the most troublesome of all. Most relationships between a white man and a Latina woman I have seen in entertainment are insulting to say the least. Jay (Ed O’ Neill) and Gloria (Sofia Vergara) from the hit series, Modern Family, and Roxanne (Salma Hayek) and Lenny (Adam Sandler) from the popular movies Grown Ups and Grown Ups 2. What do these two relationships have in common? An older, less attractive, and wealthy white male is paired up with a younger, attractive, Latina woman with a fiery temper and thick accent. Sure, they have a loving and healthy relationship, but what does it say about biracial couples? Young, foreign women want older men for their money. Perhaps even that Latinas are exotic creatures. I don’t recall seeing a single relationship like mine on TV or in a movie. I’m older than my boyfriend. I am the one who is employed, and I don’t have an accent. Oh, and I think he’s more attractive.
Don’t believe what you see on TV, we really aren’t that strange.