Thursday, June 20, 2013

I love Cheerios

I love me some Cheerios. 

I always have and I venture to say I always will.  mmm...original...even better...multigrain. I will pass on the frosted, though. Yuck.

Now, I love Cheerios even more.

I am way behind the curve on this. I think that the majority of the hubbub over their new commercial is over, but I've had these thoughts bubbling around in my head for a bit and I just need to share them.

Now, if you don't know, Cheerios made a commercial featuring a ::gasp:: bi-racial family. And it created such a stir, in a bad way, that they had to disable comments on YouTube for this commercial.

Which is insane.

Cheerios made no commentary in this commercial about the family. It just featured them. That's it.

If you haven't seen it, you can watch it here. It is a ridiculously cute commercial.

Last week, I posted the link on my Facebook wall and I got the following comment. "I just didn't think it was a big deal."

And I get where they're coming from. For some people, it's not a big deal. And that's totally fine.

But for me, it IS a big deal.

It is a HUGE deal.


See, here's my family:

We don't "fit" the family mold in a lot of ways. I am going to call a spade a spade here and insert the commentary: Obviously.

What may...or I've also found, may not, be so obvious to you (especially in these pictures), is that we also don't all "match."

My mom's family is German. Very German. As in 100%, pure German. 

I know that for 100%. If you were raised by a fiery, red-headed German woman, you would know, too. :)

My dad is...well...a lot of stuff. A real European mishmash....on his dad's side.

His mom's? Japanese.

My dad is a product of the American occupation of Japan post WWII. 

So, we are a racially mixed family.

My dad, my brother, and I are all what I like to call "Wasian." And my mom is what I call "Patient." Although, not because we're Wasian, just because we're weird.

And I love it.

What I don't love is that, in mainstream culture, it's like we don't exist. I watch tv, movies, advertising, whatever and I look at the couples and families depicted there and, oh, well, I guess they have to match.  White and White. Black and Black. Asian and Asian. And so on... The U.S. Census, for example, only starting allowing people to identify as "two or more races" in 2000.

Because everybody matches, right?

You find somebody who looks like you and then you have a bunch of babies that look like you. That's just how it's done. Right?

Sorry. No.

So, for me, this commercial was a REALLY BIG DEAL. Because, for once, people like me exist. 

And I'm not "not enough" of one thing or "too much" of another thing. (Yes, I have been told that I'm not "Asian enough" to count. What does that even mean? Who appointed them to define my racial identity?)

So, thank you, Cheerios, for acknowledging that not every family "matches" and that's okay.

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