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Woman warns sister about 'whitewashing' herself, says, 'you're offending the family.'

Woman warns sister about 'whitewashing' herself, says, 'you're offending the family.'


When this sister warns her sister about her offensive behavior, she asks Reddit:

'AITA for telling my sister she'll always be Indian no matter how much she tries to whitewash herself?'

I'm 17m, my sister is 15f. Our parents are immigrants from India before having us, so we've grown up in the US our whole lives. Regardless, I'd say we've stayed decently attached to the culture-- we visit India every other summer, we speak our language, so on.

But recently, I've been noticing that my sister has been attempting to distance herself from being Indian because in her words, it's uncool and Indians are negatively stereotyped.

She's convinced that people don't think she's Indian because we have light-ish skin, when she obviously looks Indian, and so do I.

When asked about her ethnicity, she always says something along the lines of 'I'm Indian but most people think I'm Latina, mixed, or greek/italian' (nobody thinks that), has started referring to herself by a white-sounding diminutive of her name...

talks about only wanting to date white guys because Indian guys are 'unattractive', and obsessively trying to lighten her skin even further.

I don't think this is a good mindset. It would be one thing is she was never that attached to the Indian part of her identity and so doesn't identify as so, it's another that she has and is deliberately pushing it away because she feels it's uncool.

That sort of mindset that being Indian is bad only leads to self-hatred, because no matter how much she changes herself externally, she'll know deep down that she's Indian, and hate herself for it.

And not only is it wrong, it's obvious what she's trying to do, and I know many people find it cringe. So she's hurting herself both mentally and socially. So, today I took her aside and told her that no matter how much she tries to whitewash herself, she'll still be Indian, and everybody but her sees her that way.

She called me TA for it, but I'm just trying to look out for her. I hope she comes around eventually. AITA?

Let's find out.

rhewin writes:

YTA. Good intentions saying she should be comfortable with her race. Baaaaad execution. Instead of shaming her, maybe try helping her process her negative feelings.

stephjade writes:

NAH, I agree with this statement. You guys are both still pretty young and she's probably quite impressionable right now.

I would give her a few years, I feel like once people attend college and are introduced to a new wide variety of people she won't feel as peer pressured. If after several years she still is hating on her ethnicity, I would start being concerned.

okcomplaint writes:

YTA, but I can understand you being a bit upset. She gets to chose her own identity. It sounds like you’re taking it pretty personally, which is understandable as she’s essentially saying being Indian is a negative.

But try to separate her being hurtful indirectly to you from how she wants to identify and present herself, which is her business alone. Tell her your feelings are hurt and leave it as that.

Looks like this is a sticky situation. Is OP in the wrong for being so harsh? How would YOU have approached the situation?

Sources: Reddit
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