Looking racially ambiguous with Asperger's

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oopswrongplanet
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25 May 2022, 11:14 am

My maternal side is fully French, while my father is half-French, half-Algerian. I also live and grew up in another country from France at quite a distance of both sides. I feel like the inability to automatically 'belong' to any ethnic groups due to looking racially ambiguous yet acting very 'European' and assimilated into local culture, it adds an extra layer of alienation from society. Having no remote family also makes me feel incredibly socially isolated, never mind parents being divorced and being on terrible terms with one another as well as being unaccepting of how I am to varying degrees. It feels like I've internalized a sort of ethnic self-hatred, while also deep down not really finding ethnic tribalism logical; as if anyone should be proud of wherever they happened to spawn as if it's an achievement. And yet still being 'rootless' has a very real, sensual impact in society.

Anyone in a similar boat who can relate?



Elgee
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25 May 2022, 11:43 am

One of my special interests is racial ambiguity. Based on your description, you're "quarter-racial" (one-fourth black). This has fascinated me for years.

I can't really offer you any assistance other than to just say that the appearance of racial ambiguity can be very attractive, sometimes exotic. In the U.S., where I live, racial ambiguity is common, and it's VERY common to see racially ambiguous women in print ads as well as in stock images that writers use.

You don't say if you're a woman, but women who are one-fourth black have the best of both worlds: a natural tan that white women desperately want and risk skin cancer to get; full hair that many white women struggle to make their hair look like (teasing, hair extensions, fake ponytails, weaves, other tricks), and full lips that many white women get implants or injections to plump theirs up.

Realize that your feelings or sense of self seem more of a product of yourself than of the people around you.



oopswrongplanet
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25 May 2022, 12:09 pm

Elgee wrote:
One of my special interests is racial ambiguity. Based on your description, you're "quarter-racial" (one-fourth black). This has fascinated me for years.

I can't really offer you any assistance other than to just say that the appearance of racial ambiguity can be very attractive, sometimes exotic. In the U.S., where I live, racial ambiguity is common, and it's VERY common to see racially ambiguous women in print ads as well as in stock images that writers use.

You don't say if you're a woman, but women who are one-fourth black have the best of both worlds: a natural tan that white women desperately want and risk skin cancer to get; full hair that many white women struggle to make their hair look like (teasing, hair extensions, fake ponytails, weaves, other tricks), and full lips that many white women get implants or injections to plump theirs up.

Realize that your feelings or sense of self seem more of a product of yourself than of the people around you.


Not one-fourth black. To the layman an Algerian looks like a mixture between some Spaniards/Italians and Arabs, so olive/tan skin. The grandmother I owe the Algerian heritage to actually also has natural red-brown hair, which is a common in the region. I myself have a very dark brown hair.

I don't think the heritage makes me look that much more attractive, and the 'exotic' look thing feels like people fetishize my appearance more than anything, which I hate. In fact I spend most of my days trying to be as invisible as possible to most people, only really opening to (potential) close friends. And my looks impede that effort by making me stick out (I don't hang out with people who resemble me, and since I never assimilated any of that culture I act very polite and 'white' in their eyes, it seems).



SharonB
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25 May 2022, 2:25 pm

My husband is indigenous to his native country and is a nationalized immigrant in my native country. He's spent half his life in each. He is of both worlds which has pros and cons. His adopted and his native languages are both imperfect and yet he speaks more language than many people in both countries. Heck, I was born in the US in the mid Atlantic and in the North I was typed as Southern and in the South I was typed as Northern. "You're not from around these parts, are you?" Our children are racially ambiguous: their skin tones are between ours - my son has more his father's features, my daughter has more mine. They are both ND. They are entering adolescence and we'll see how this plays out for them. I guide them to find their own = other people open to and inspired by differences. In the US it's said one must "find their tribe" (ironic relative to your post). My "tribe" has all sorts of colors, genders, neurotypes, interests, socio-economic levels, ages, etc. --- however, my closest friends right now tend to be my age (perhaps a parental "shared interest" influence).

Sending you some understanding as you explore this additional cultural challenge in your life.



Pteranomom
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25 May 2022, 3:44 pm

It took me a long time, but I eventually realized that my ethnic group is "nerds."



naturalplastic
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25 May 2022, 4:17 pm

Elgee wrote:
One of my special interests is racial ambiguity. Based on your description, you're "quarter-racial" (one-fourth black). This has fascinated me for years..


Am a geography geek so I hafta butt in.

You maybe confusing "Algeria" with "Nigeria". :)

Algerians are rarely "Black" as Americans think of it. Algeria is above the Sahara, is on the Mediterranean, is part of the Muslim Arab world, and the two main ethnic groups are Arabs and Berbers. Different in look from each other but both groups tend towards olive skin and towards an Arab or south European look (as the original poster said).

Not part of subsaharan "Black" Africa.

Nigeria on the other hand is the heart of western Black Africa. Many American Blacks are descended from slaves taken from what is now Nigeria.

=====

But I agree with you that the "racially ambiguous look" is kind of "in", at least for women it is. His profile says "male" unfortunately. But in style or not he should still embrace his diverse roots - in my humble opinion.



Last edited by naturalplastic on 25 May 2022, 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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25 May 2022, 4:34 pm

I'm surprised that a quarter Spaniards/Italians/Arabic/Algeria blood can lead to a look that needs to be carefully considered ethnically. These are all "white" in my opinion.
If one of my compatriots had quarter Chukchid, Khmerid or even Inuit blood, I probably wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

I'm curious to what extent this is because there is more differentiation among Indo-Europeans, or just some cultural difference.


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26 May 2022, 2:54 pm

SkinnedWolf wrote:
I'm surprised that a quarter Spaniards/Italians/Arabic/Algeria blood can lead to a look that needs to be carefully considered ethnically. These are all "white" in my opinion.
If one of my compatriots had quarter Chukchid, Khmerid or even Inuit blood, I probably wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

I'm curious to what extent this is because there is more differentiation among Indo-Europeans, or just some cultural difference.


I'd anticipate Europeans might have narrower understandings than Americans, simply due to the history of immigration. I don't think someone with OPs background would be considered mixed in the US because of how pretty much anyone with substantial Northern European ancestry gets considered white unless it's visually significant black ancestry.


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naturalplastic
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26 May 2022, 3:10 pm

funeralxempire wrote:
SkinnedWolf wrote:
I'm surprised that a quarter Spaniards/Italians/Arabic/Algeria blood can lead to a look that needs to be carefully considered ethnically. These are all "white" in my opinion.
If one of my compatriots had quarter Chukchid, Khmerid or even Inuit blood, I probably wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

I'm curious to what extent this is because there is more differentiation among Indo-Europeans, or just some cultural difference.


I'd anticipate Europeans might have narrower understandings than Americans, simply due to the history of immigration. I don't think someone with OPs background would be considered mixed in the US because of how pretty much anyone with substantial Northern European ancestry gets considered white unless it's visually significant black ancestry.

The non white part of the OP is brown. Not Black. He is from NORTH Africa. In Europe he would be assumed to be "from somewhere south of the Alps". And in the US he would probably be assumed to be from "somewhere south of the Rio Grande". Habla usted en Espanol?



funeralxempire
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26 May 2022, 3:18 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
funeralxempire wrote:
SkinnedWolf wrote:
I'm surprised that a quarter Spaniards/Italians/Arabic/Algeria blood can lead to a look that needs to be carefully considered ethnically. These are all "white" in my opinion.
If one of my compatriots had quarter Chukchid, Khmerid or even Inuit blood, I probably wouldn't notice anything out of the ordinary.

I'm curious to what extent this is because there is more differentiation among Indo-Europeans, or just some cultural difference.


I'd anticipate Europeans might have narrower understandings than Americans, simply due to the history of immigration. I don't think someone with OPs background would be considered mixed in the US because of how pretty much anyone with substantial Northern European ancestry gets considered white unless it's visually significant black ancestry.

The non white part of the OP is brown. Not Black. He is from NORTH Africa. In Europe he would be assumed to be "from somewhere south of the Alps". And in the US he would probably be assumed to be from "somewhere south of the Rio Grande". Habla usted en Espanol?


You're right, it's not like America has significant Italian, Portuguese or Levantine populations or an ethnic identity called yellowbone. Only one assumption would ever be made.


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26 May 2022, 8:13 pm

My daughter is half-Japanese, and although it's too early to tell whether she has ASD or not, I sometimes wonder what it'd be like growing up with that kind of ethnic identity. I'm sorry you feel you're not belonging and it's worsening your sense of alienation. I hope my daughter doesn't end up feeling rootless, but it's not something I will ever understand 100%.



ThisTimelessMoment
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27 May 2022, 8:52 am

Finding connection with people I have something in common with is where I find tribe. Skin colour has nothing do with it. I fit best amongst oddballs and weirdos. People who actually have something interesting about them. That's my tribe. And being very diverse we tend not to get too tribal (Like needing to kill someone because they're different).


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27 May 2022, 9:08 am

One of the biggest crushes I ever had was on a "racially-ambiguous" person: Rae Dawn Chong.



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29 May 2022, 5:24 am

Pteranomom wrote:
It took me a long time, but I eventually realized that my ethnic group is "nerds."



this!


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