Traitor (Self esteem/self hatred)?

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I sometimes love myself. Only sometimes. I love myself when people love me, and that’s not often. At 17, it’s crucial that I have good self esteem, but after being put down my whole life, it’s kid of hard.

I always get teased for being “weird”. I’m black, but I like anime and kpop, I speak with proper grammar, and I dress like (as some of you would call them *shudders*) a hipster. I dye my hair often and I like piercings. Black people don’t accept me for acting “white” and no one else accepts me for being different. So, I don’t really fit into the black crowd, which also lowers my self esteem. My family calls me a traitor for “acting white”, even though I didn’t know you could act like a race or a color. This makes me hate myself. They accuse me of wanting to be white, which makes me hurt a lot because I feel like I am a traitor. I don’t want to be considered a traitor because I like being black. I wear my box braids proudly and when they’re not in, I rock my afro.

My problem is: Am I a traitor? I never really date, but I do crush a lot, and most (but not all) aren’t black. This creates a lot of issues. Sometimes, people look at me and assume I fit the black stereotype (which isn’t at all accurate) and they won’t talk to me. Then when they do, they’re all like “Oh wow you don’t act black”. People say “I don’t date black girls” and that makes me hate myself. Or sometimes they just think I’m ugly. I don’t know how to differentiate between the two.

Is this feeling self hatred from my skin color? Or is this just low self esteem? Honestly, I think I’m a pretty girl, but no one else does. Also, is there anyone out there that can relate? Who feels like a traitor to themselves? Who has low self esteem?

Category: Tags: asked April 2, 2015

3 Answers

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you have the right to do what you and and love yourself! people who tell you otherwise are sadly conditioned and brainwashed into sheeple blindly following the social norms. shut them out of your life, and find people who accept you the way you are and make you feel better about yourself.
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"Act black"? What does that even mean? You can't act like a colour. Every human is different, your skin colour doesn't determine your behaviour. I can't believe the people around you are so racist and would actually go out of their way to criticize someone for being themselves! That's seriously ridiculous. Angie, don't bring yourself down because they want you to fit a certain stereotype they have in their heads. You have no reason to hate yourself, you're you and that's enough. Anyone who actually loves you will love you because of who you are. You're not some sort of traitor as if this is a war and you've somehow switched sides. We're all human. I don't blame you for feeling so unsure of yourself because everyone around you is treating you like a stereotype. Just be yourself Angie, there's nothing good about acting like someone else for other people's sake.
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Fist of all, nobody should tell you how to dress or how to act. (Unless perhaps when its your mom telling you to dress nicely for your aunt's funeral ;) )

Speaking very seriously now - America can be a racist place and a very clique-minded place. Remember that race should never define what type of music you like, what books your read, what politicians you vote for, what education you give your kids etc. A lot of groups and individuals will want to play on your race (and people of other races as well) to use this for their own monetary or political gain. Do not let them use you.

This is even the more distubing if it is coming from your own family. If it is coming from someone like a sibling or a distant relative, then you can simply boldly tell them "not to buy into this racist crap".

It is more difficult if the family in question is someone who has power and athority over you (say a monther or father that you are living with). In this case, stay very polite but also very firm. Make it absolutely clear that you are in no way ashamed of being black or in any way envy non-black people, but at the same time you believe that it is crazy to think that race should define stuff like how to dress or how to keep your hair. Dress or hair do not define who you are nor define your commitment to your community. I mean Malcolm X used to dress what wa sthen considered "hip" in his younger days. Malcolm X used VERY proper grammar. If the family member is someone linked to the older generation of black activists, perhaps you should point out Malcolm X and his own thoughts about race. Let me quote him: "I believe in recognizing every human being as a human being - neither white, black, brown, or red; and when you are dealing with humanity as a family there's no question of integration or intermarriage. It's just one human being marrying another human being or one human being living around and with another human being."

Apealing to Malcolm X may be a good thing if you speak to the older generation. This will make them realize you gave it some thought, you are aware of the issue and moreover you are taking a clear stand without cutting yourself off from the community and its past.

Bottom line is: If you do not feel inferior just because you are of some race and you prefer anime and hipster clothing because you think these are cool (and not because you want to kiss up to some other group) then ALL IS FINE. You have a right to like anime. There's no law against it. It is not witten in the bible or the holy quran: "And the black man shall not like anime" ;)

So be yourself, be clear about this. Do not give in to racists on either side of the debate. In the US even people who fight against discrimination oftn tend to categorize other people and put them in small, racially-defined boxes. Speak against this, act against it, never give in to racism even at such a basic level.