“You still look very ethnic, people will always look at you differently”.

I don’t wish that I’d look different, but I wish people didn’t look at me differently.

Colours are ugly.

We have tainted colours with all-encompassing ugliness.

White, black, brown, or pink, blue, green.

We have injected difference to the wavelengths of reflected colours that our eyes observe and transmit to our brain.

Persons have various skin tones, yet millions of people fall under only one defining colour?


“You are brown”

“Your skin is pale, but you do look ethnic”

Ethnic? Brown?

Firstly, I am baffled by the mere words and the illogically attached connotations.

Ethnic (adjective): Relating to a population subgroup (within a larger or dominant national or cultural group) with a common national or cultural tradition.

I don’t believe people with dark hair and brown eyes are statistically in the minority or a “subgroup”.

A quick Google search shows: “Brown eye color is a dominant genetic trait.”

Brown (adjective): (of a person) dark-skinned or suntanned.

How much did this definition actually define me?

Does this word also exhibit my interests, my thoughts, my personality? Then why would we go up to someone and say their skin colour (in the loosest of terms) to them? It is as redundant as saying: “Hey, your dress is red”.

Secondly, the tendency to categorize people in any clear-cut box is utterly fruitless to me. Be it geography, culture, nationality, gender, race… These all contain stereotypical assumptions that are born out of each person’s bias, not reflecting much about the person. We are all earthlings, borders are arbitrary and ever-changing.


Majority of Canadians are not racist, yet everyone is very aware of race (any race).

“So where are you from?”


“But where are you originally from?”


“But where are your parents from, you don’t look like you’d be from Victoria”

Don’t misinterpret me, I am not ashamed of my ancestors or my parents, and I am grateful for the enthusiasm to get to know me. However, Victoria shaped me way more than any other place on this planet. So mapping my family tree will simply not reveal much about me.

When I am answering such questions, multiple times every single day for years, they become a source of anxiety. Sometimes I get so anxious about these spewing questions that I avoid meeting new friends.

I am so grateful for this blog and all of you for reading my unfiltered thoughts and giving me this safe space to share. This community is definitely my escape. Thank you.

Have you ever struggles with something similar? Or am I a hypersensitive drama queen?


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  1. You are a REAL sensitive Earthling Queen. Keep sharing. Keep being real. Keep being sensitive. Just another way of saying tender or compassionate.

    1. Em says:

      Aww I love that, thanks Marie.

  2. Where are you from is the most annoying and insensitive question ever. For real. “I hope you don’t mind me asking, what is your ethnicity?” That’s all they have to ask.

    1. Em says:

      I’m glad I’m not alone in this. My very first question is never ” where are you from?” People tend to bring it up in conversation if they want to, and if not, I won’t persist.

  3. Hmmm….my question is why?
    I stood on my deck this morning looking over onto my new yard. There are only a few patches of grass. The rest is all wildflowers in early bloom. My yard is blanketed with every kind of flower, tiny white, yellow, pink, purple. I wonder where they seeded here or just grew wildly? I wonder what each one is, what its called…..not because they’re ugly but because they are each uniquely beautiful. lf asked where you are from or ancestors originated, perhaps it is because you are being admired and it will be said by them, “Oh, people from _____ have such beautiful ___.”
    We are like flowers in a field, all so uniquely different yet all flowers. The daisy wishing it had the roses vibrant color, the rose wishing it was weaved into a childs hair like the daisy.
    We are Gods masterpiece…each perfectly formed by His design..l in every color, shape, form, in His eyes, beautiful.
    Where am I from? That hard to peg. My DNA shows, Ireland, scotland, Wales, Scandinavia and trace Iberian peninsula. I was born with flaming red hair which soon turned auburn to brown then darker with age to near black…but I bleach it. Lol Go figure? My eyes are brown and my skin is light olive toned. I tan in the shade! Oh frick! I think just wrote a post on your comments! Lol see! Thats why I havev200 posts in 3 months! I can’t shut up!

    1. Em says:

      Please never hold back your thoughts and share them with me, if it takes a post in the comments, then a post it is haha

      Oh, I totally agree with you, of course. I know that people ask because they care, they are curious, or want to “admire” something. And I greatly appreciate that. However, answering these questions everyday, even to random strangers that I will never see again, gradually has become a bit daunting. Some kind people won’t even take short answers and keep digging for further specific info. Sometimes it gives me a lot of anxiety( I am an introvert) so I avoid doing new thing, and I hate that something this petty is holding me back. And at other-times it is a matter of privacy, I don’t feel comfortable sharing my whole family’s life story with every person that I meet. Also, I’d rather share my interest, hobbies, and thoughts not a geographical place that has practically no impact in cultivating my mind. It might seem silly, but something that has been occupying my mind lately.

      1. I totally get that! Im an introvert too. Funny thought, maybe just have a t-shirt printed “Hi! I’m from ____ with ancestry from ___” and wear it when you go out! Hahaha
        Or….”Heinz 57, mixture of everything. Cute huh?”
        You are both beautiful and interesting with tons to share and be admired for. 😊💗

        1. Em says:

          Oh imagine that T-shirt haha that’d be hilarious, great suggestions!!

  4. paeansunplugged says:

    You have totally nailed it Em. It is so annoying to be defined by looks.
    No, you are not being a drama queen. You have raised a very pertinent issue.

    1. Em says:

      Thank you, I am glad that I’m not alone in thinking this way.

  5. “mapping my family tree will simply not reveal much about me.”. This is so true.
    Especially in today’s world which has morphed into one big global village now. It’s ridiculous to give heed to such superficial things such as skin-color/race/ethnicity. Curiosity is okay, but blind judgement based on the answer is outrightly moronic.
    Sadly, its much more prevalent and apparently relevant to many even today. The more we evolve in certain aspects, the more backward we get in some others. So sad!

    1. Em says:

      I couldn’t agree with you more. Glad that I am not alone in feeling this way, but also upset that this affects so many people. hopefully we will change things, even if miniscule. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

  6. Always a pleasure:)
    Ofcourse you are not alone in this. So many of us face it, albeit silently. So much so that it just becomes normal over a point.
    Ironically, I guess even the very guys who discriminate, if taken out to a strange land, will be the object of such discrimination themselves. Probably that’ll give them more perspective.
    And yes. Things are definitely changing. I don’t know if its just me, but of late I’m noticing a lot of people who seem to be evolving for the better. And I’m so glad to be finding so many of this kind in this blogosphere! 🙂

    1. Em says:

      Yes, this community is definitely the “good” side of the internet. x

  7. I wouldn’t mind honest questions people ask because they want to know me (although rarely happens), but asking questions after question just to satisfy their curiosity at my cost is unacceptable. I didn’t have much of this experience with my ethnicity since my answer always satisfies their first question (my country of origin doesn’t contradict their otherwise different expectation). Still, more awareness–not just politically correctness–would be nice!

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this. Yes, I agree with you. Hoping for better and more understanding int he coming days.

  8. I get comments like this too. I’ve been told I look “racially ambiguous,” which seems to confuse people. This is especially true during the warmer months, because I tan very easily.

    My favorite question came from a good friend, who asked, “Hey, what are you?” I know this person very well, and I know he wasn’t trying to cause offense (he is a genuinely kind-hearted man). But the way he phrased the question took me off guard, and I had no idea how to respond.

    I should’ve told him I was a Wookie.

    1. haha your friend is very funny. Why do people feel the need to constantly pinpoint people’s race, I don’t understand. I should start answering with ” I am a Wookie.”

      1. We’re obsessed with race in the US and, to a lesser degree, Canada; it’s one of the major factors on which people are judged. Of course this is a general statement, and there are people in our countries who don’t put much emphasis on race.

        My impression is that when an individual appears racially ambiguous, some people don’t know how to judge them. They might have to – gasp – get to know them as an individual. Oh, the travesty!

        Or maybe I’m just feeling even more cynical than normal right now.

        1. I find it to be the same way, so you are definitely not being cynical.

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