We are not here for you to look at
We do not exist to satisfy your gaze
We are not here for you to fetishize and dehumanize
We are real people who are not around simply for you to objectify and exotify
I’m sure all multi* people have heard the ridiculous and fetishist stereotype that “all multiracial people are hot”
What many people fail to realize is that this stereotype is extremely harmful
Just because it is “positive” (hint: it’s not), does not mean that it is not damaging
It constantly robs multi* people of their humanity, it constantly degrades them into nothing more than walking mannequins, it reduces our entire existence into something for someone else to look at
And it’s even worse for multi* people because exotification of multi* people has a consistent history of othering them
Seriously. By exotifying us, you’re treating us as abnormal objects that do not fit the mainstream. This only further perpetuates these horrendous ideas that multi* people are not any of their composite identities- it’s used as a systematic way to exclude multi* people from claiming their identities. Exotifying us only prevents us from self-identifying as we would like to because now, not only are not any of our identities, we’re also not human.
Furthermore, it just keeps this weird, backwards “All people of [x] race look a certain way” idea that for some reason hasn’t died. As multi* people, we do not owe any explanations as to our physical ambiguity and we do not owe it to you to patronize your discomfort with the way we look. Calling us ‘exotic’ simply makes it clear that you think we can’t possibly be of the identities that make us up because we don’t fit into your narrow-minded idea of how they should look. I’m sure most people aren’t even aware of how many multi* people they run into in a day, simply because we don’t fit the ‘conventional’ look of our identities.
Moreover, not only has it excluded us from our identities, but it has also been used to exclude us from social and political processes. If we’re exotic, we are things, not people- if we are exotic, we are abnormal- if we are exotic, we are separate and do not need to take part in society. This line of thinking has been used to exclude multi* people from being fairly represented in government, education, minority activist groups, etc.
We are not things to look at
We are people
Do not exotify us
Do not fetishize us
Do not dehumanize us