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“Why is your skin so bright?” as told by a self-proclaimed semi-pasty kid

July 23, 2012

When your job involves interacting with kids during the majority of your day, you get used to hearing some pretty hilariously honest things. Sometimes their statements are really sweet and sometimes they unknowingly open a can of worms. Here’s a recent interaction I had:

I was working with a 6 year hispanic girl that may be called precocious by adults in certain circles. She spoke a mile a minute….about her favorite color, her homework, her little brothers, a piece of litter she saw out the window on the way to school, the time she lost her tooth down the sink after a dance competition. At one point she took a break to recite an entire scene from the movie “Tangled”. And I’m listening and mmhmming at regular intervals so as not to slow her stories because well, she’s just pretty wonderful; the way she makes connections in her brain and her uncontrollable excitement about everything is what I love so much about this age group. It’s in between all this animated chatter that she pauses, looks up at me and asks mater-of-factly, “Miss, why is your skin so bright?”

Wait, what?

I guess I’ve never sat down and considered why my skin is bright (admittedly, I’m just a regular shade of pale. I blame my Scottish heritage). ¬†There are a million clever ways I could have answered her; because I don’t eat enough dark chocolate or I didn’t cook long enough. Or maybe I could have gone into the nuances of race and the evolutionary and genetic variations resulting in different skin tones. I don’t know. So I kept it simple with “that’s just how I was born” and she seemed satisfied with my reply before jumping right back into reciting another movie scene.

In the end, I’ll take “bright skinned” over pasty any day.

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