Being raised in California, by a white mother, I learned at a very young age that the color of your skin does not define who you are. In my family alone, we are each a different shade, for me as a little girl, that was normal. Once I hit the age where I started going to preschool + seeing other families, I realized that not all families were like us, some families looked the same. At first, I was confused, but my mom would always tell me, "Your skin color does not define who you are. Though your friends may look different from you, you are all the same." Those words are something I have never forgotten.
As the years went on I was always proud of my background, but I never wanted to let it define me. When people would ask me where I was from, I would respond with my favorite response.... "I'm from California" knowing they were really referring to my race/ethnicity. I would then take it a step further + say, "I'm American", which was received with a puzzled look, then I would tell them what the really wanted to hear.... In short my Mom is White + My Dad is black. But the real answer was even more complex... My mother is Irish with some Swedish + Native American (Cherokee + Choctaw). My Father is African-American mainly, with some Irish + Native American (Cherokee). *EDIT 7/4/19 I recently found out I am actually 70% Irish… WILD!
Fast-forward to now... I'm married to a Puerto Rican + we have a son, who is Puerto Rican, Native American (Cherokee + Choctaw), Irish, Swedish + African-American. While my husband likes to just say he's Puerto Rican, it may be true that he is more Puerto Rican than anything, in reality... HE. IS. AMERICAN.
Diverse + complex, that is what America is + that is what makes us great!
Living in New York, often refered to as the melting pot of the world, the diverse complexity of America couldn't be more present. As the mother of a son, my hope is that he grows up knowing, skin color, race, social class, etc. do not matter, it's the inside that counts. At the end of the day, we create our own path, we pave our own way for a better future.
America has been in a downward spiral lately, which frankly scars the shit out of me. But I won't ever stop believing, that a day will come when race will not be an issue. When I look at the faces of theses precious little babies that have become my son's circle of friends, I know there is hope for a better tomorrow + I know we all owe it to them to make sure that happens.
Diversity is way deeper than different skin colors. Last week I reached out to my group of mom friends, explaining to them that I wanted to take a group photo of our babies in nothing but a diaper, as a way to represent a small part of what it looks like to be American. While our group of friends doesn't cover all of the diversity that is American, it does provide a small glimpse.
Our photo shoot included a mix of twenty-four ethnic backgrounds, fifteen babies total who are all 100% american. African-American, Argentine, Austrian, Canadian, Czech, Danish, English, Filipino, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Irish, Korean, Lithuania, Native American, Polish, Puerto Rican, Russian, Scandinavian, Scottish, South African, Swedish and Venezuelan.
We are Americans, diversity is what makes us great!
Diapers: Honest Co.