If Only Skin Showed the Heart

Gettin' a lil brown sugar...

“Beauty is only skin deep, but Love is as fathomless as the sea”

I was listening to a comedian today talking about “inter-racial couples”, how he didn’t love it when people referred to him (black), and his wife (Japanese) with that term.  To him, she was just “her, my wife, and beautiful.”  He went on to cite some other stereo-typical things people say when a couple has different racial backgrounds.  Here’s what’s hysterical…I’ve heard them all referring to us! They aren’t even all bad things, for instance, he mentioned how strangers will say, “you’ll have such beautiful babies!”  Now, I love hearing that – and people do say that often which is so kind!  However, I always think of it as just because my hubby is so good looking, and I have such awesome hair, that is just has to be true.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t be willing to even consider pregnancy. I digress…

Love feels the same in every color...

Love feels the same in every color…

This post is about how I’ve found Race to be proof that Beauty is Skin Deep.  Now, I’m not an anthropologist, I grew up in a “privileged culture”, so don’t attack me with all the other implication of race, I know.  But dating and marrying a partner darker than me has taught me: until we know someone, we see race, once we know them, we see soul.  And maybe what we see on the outside isn’t what the world would typically deem “beautiful”, but my theory is that anyone can look “beautiful” by the worlds standards with a little worldly help – make up, hair product, clothes, lighting, etc.  Every reality make-over show has taught us that.  But do those people change on the inside during that process?  Enough so that they carry a new attitude or world-view into the rest of their life?  We can hope so.

Let’s talk about Love.  Love covers a multitude of sins doesn’t it?  Once you’ve fallen in love with someone, it’s hard to see their faults.  Even on the bad days, you leave the house, start to miss them, remember how great they’ve made your life, and before you know it, you’re calling to tell them all those things!  Now, sometimes, as you get to know someone, you find they are hard to love.  That’s legit, sometimes personalities just don’t mesh well, or you are working at cross-purposes in the world, I submit to you that if you kept getting to know someone, you’d like them more and more, because you would be able to walk a mile in their shoes.  The movie “Ender’s Game” sums it up really well,

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…. I destroy them.”
― Orson Scott CardEnder’s Game

What power there is in understanding….and courage in loving anyway.  In choosing not to focus on detrimental flaws, but on encouraging a individual’s strengths and making space for them in our lives.  Sigh.  Love is truly so enduring, and beauty is really so fleeting.  I will give you just a quick summation of how I see this in my marriage:   When I first started dating my hubby, a friends mother saw his picture on Facebook and asked me about the “nice African American man” I was seeing.  (Ed has not a drop of African, or Mexican which is another common mistake).  Another reminder of our difference came when a friend innocently asked about a gift for his sister, “I’ve never met her, so I don’t know what color to get…is she as dark as he is?”  I laughed so hard because I just always thought of him as having a nice tan, and when people ask him his background, his says “British” – he was born there and still carries duel citizenship.  Because we’ve both lived and traveled in Europe, I think of us as “citizens of the world”, rather than a “bi-racial couple”, and that means something to us.

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight...

Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight…

What brought all of this home when I heard the comedian today was this discussion with my Love the other night.  I said, “hey honey, let’s go visit this community and just check it out!”  He replied, “Babe, I don’t think we’d be welcome there.”  I laughed, not on the same page, “haha, yes, we are a little bit loud and crazy from them”, and he smiled and my mis-understanding, “no my love, I mean because of me, I don’t think they are used to people like me”, I still didn’t get it.  Because he’s so passionate?  Patriotic?  A solider?  Finally the light went on, “oh…because you’re darker than me?”  He nodded, still smiling, “it’s ok baby love, we can still go if you want to.”  I mean woah!  I am so quick to forget that he feels like he stands out, because even in the military there were fine lines of light and dark in certain rooms.  In my eyes, he is Edward, my love, my husband, a man of faith and integrity, the most kind and compassionate person I know.  How quickly that skin-deep beauty fades in the eyes of love. ❤

P.S.  If you’re still curious:  Ed’s mother’s family is from Guyana, his father’s family are from Poland.  So he’s a little bit Indian…but I’m also part Native American, so we’re both super ethnic.

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2 thoughts on “If Only Skin Showed the Heart

  1. The issue of race is so superficial. I never even thought of Ed as anything but Ed. I can’t imagine anyone questioning your relationship but then I am Irish, Scottish, English, native American, and I have relatives who are from Korea, Haiti, and bi-racial (African American). I look at them and simply see people I love and who love me. Thank you for writing this post. I love your writing.

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