Upset with friend… he prefers his "lighter skinned child"

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
Post # 14
1706 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2012

I personally find darker skin very beautiful, and find it interesting that most ‘white’ North Americans tan their asses off at the beach whenever they go on vacation or have a day off – yet the opposite occurs in other parts of the world.  If I could always have a (natural) tan, I would love it.

My husbands father is Filipino, moved here when he was a little kid.  My husbands (late) grandmother on the other hand spent a good 1/3 of her life there, and always was racist to people with darker skin. However, she said the reasoning that people think lighter skin is better over there was that the lighter you are, the richer you are.

If you are poor, and you work in the fields you are in the sun all day, and therefore get a dark tan.  If you have money, and you do not have to work or you own those said fields, you do not have to be out in the humid sun labouring away. This is why they felt (at least from her lips and apparently in the Philippine) that lighter skin was much more attractive.  It meant money, and status.  It’s still disgusting and racist, no matter the reason, but that was how she said it was.

I don’t know that I have any advice, other than insight on why he might think that way (which is lame) because I wouldn’t be friends with someone who felt that way.

PS – I prefered seeing her with my dark summer or vacation tan, just to piss her off.  DH’s dad also got a kick out of her reaction when he’d been on vacation. Ha.  It used to drive her insane, and she deserved it 😉

Post # 3
2052 posts
Buzzing bee

Unfortunately this is kind of the norm around the world, and lighter skin has always been preferred for one reason or another. It’s upsetting, but honestly there’s probably nothing you can say that will make him change his mind or his ways. Hopefully the mother gives the darker skinned kid enough love and attention for the both of them

Post # 4
1838 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

yes he is being unfair to his own child. not sure what else you can do about it since you already told him how you feel. your only other option that i can think of is to stop being friends with him, but you said you don’t want to do that so i don’t know

Post # 5
1443 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - parent's backyard

this is how some people are. it can be common in other cultures. I have some friends with Indian and Philipino backgrounds, and they’ve told me that some of their relatives talk about each other that way.  I’m not saying it’s right or ok. it’s just that not everybody thinks the same as we do, and they were raised to think it’s perfectly normal. 

why don’t you tell him it bothers you? I think it’s ok to (politely) inform people that something they said is considered offensive your culture. it could help him from embarrassing himself in certain situations. 

Post # 6
5160 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

It’s terribly sad that you could be biggoted towards your own children.  That’s terrible.

Post # 7
8720 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

@brokeninnj:  As a black woman with lots of black friends with kids I’m going to say that you can tell him how you feel but I highly doubt you will change how he feels. Unfortunately our society and history has led us to believe that being a lighter complexion is somehow better.

Post # 8
320 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Yeah, it’s pretty disgusting to hear that someone could prefer one child over another for such a superficial reason. But I’m also not surprised. He’s Nigarian…alot of african cultures are very patriarchal and racist. It sounds like the darker skinned child is going to grow up with a complex as a result of her father’s favoritism.

I agree with nerdybird that not only is it offensive to openly say something like that in western culture, but it’s offensive to think that he would treat his other daughter unfairly due to her skin tone because he’s setting her up for some SERIOUS issues down the road if he continues.

Post # 9
1093 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@gelaine22:  this.
Colorism is still very much alive.

OP, If you are close to him/the child, be positive when you are around.

Post # 10
1266 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

That is pretty terrible.  If he’s a close enough friend, I think you should sit him down and have a talk about what he’s doing and how it might affect his children.  Bring it up in a “I’m not sure if you realize this, but I’ve noticed…” way. Frame the whole thing as being concerned that his kids will notice and it will hurt them.  No one reacts well to being called a racist.  If he doesn’t admit this is a problem, I probably wouldn’t be friends with him anymore.  A lot of cultures favor lighter skin because it’s a sign that the person doesn’t have to work outside, and is therefore of higher social/financial standing.  It’s ingrained in the culture and many people don’t even realize why they do it.  That said, it’s 2014 and we need to challenge these horrible beliefs that skin color can make anyone better than anyone else.

Post # 11
238 posts
Helper bee

@brokeninnj:  I can kind of relate to your friend’s family situation. I’m the LIGHTER daughter out of 2 girls, we have different mothers. 

Yes, parents tend to treat each child differently. It’s sad, but true. I’ll be honest, my dad’s family treats me more like I’m a fragile doll, while my sister just “fits in”. I don’t know if it’s because she’s older or because of our skin tones, but that’s just the family dynamic. 


Post # 12
2113 posts
Buzzing bee

@brokeninnj:  how sad for his kid. I don’t think you were out of line saying something to him, but I also don’t think he will change.

Post # 13
6666 posts
Bee Keeper

What did he say?  Did he acknowledge that this is true or did he deny it?  I can think of seversl unrelated reasons why someone might appear to talk about one child more than another, for example if your child is the same age or friends with the one he mentions most, he may think you can relate more to the stories about her.  

Or if she’s the older one, some people are into all the firsts of that kid, and totally oblivious that number two seems to get  short shrift.  Not that that is right, either, but again, it  may have nothing to do with color.  Also possible is that one child is more of a challenge to raise and the other has an easier temperament, and the so called color discrimination is just a coincidence.  

If, however you are right on target and he admits it, I can’t imagine maintaining  a friendship with anyone who thinks that way. 

Post # 14
1627 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

 As the fairest one in my family on both sides I can attest to getting slightly more attention  from extended family and family friends. My parents treated my brother and I the same. He’s considered lightskinned/ very light brown and I am just much, much lighter. 

The best thing you can do is stay friends with this guy and praise his little girl when you are around. Find ways to interact with her and show interest. I think partly why I was everyone’s favorite as I became older was that I had personality. Well I had that because people paid attention to me and grew up with confidence.

Post # 15
1734 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 1998

I think you were right to acknowledge his discrepancy — but are you sure it has more to do with his child’s skin color, or is this favortism about something else? Maybe your acknowledgement will force him to look at his own behavior and think twice about what he’s doing. Two children are going to lose out here — the one who is the golden child as well as the scapegoat, albeit in different ways.

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