How moms like Tamera Mowry-Housley have dealt with having biracial children that don't look like them

Tamera Mowry-Housley prayed for her daughter to look like her. (Photo: Instagram/tameramowrytwo)
Tamera Mowry-Housley prayed for her daughter to look like her. (Photo: Instagram/tameramowrytwo)

From tea parties to fresh-faced selfies, it’s no secret that Tamera Mowry-Housley is obsessed with her daughter — to the point that she recently admitted to praying that Ariah looked like her before she was born.

On a recent segment of daytime talk show The Real, which Mowry-Housely co-hosts, she opened up about wanting her daughter to be a mini version of her. “I wanted Ariah to really look like me,” she said. “Like, everything, everything. I think she has my skin color and my eye color.” Co-host Adrienne Bailon added, “You prayed for that! I remember! She was like, ‘Lord, let her be brown. Let her have black hair.’”  

While some people thought Mowry-Housley’s sentiments toward her daughter were sweet, others thought it was disrespectful to say because her husband is white and doesn’t have those physical features. 

Entertainment and media company the Shade Room posted a photo on Instagram of Mowry-Housley and her daughter with a headline that read, “Tamera Mowry-Housley Opens Up About Praying For Her Bi-Racial Daughter To Have Brown Skin & Black Hair” and a caption reiterating Mowry-Housley’s statements.

A few comments that followed were:

“Then get a black man….I’m confrusedddd.”

“Aww she wanted a ‘mini me,’ that’s sweet and understandable.”

“Nothing wrong with that, every parent wants their child to look like them, don’t bring race into this.”

“You cannot pray for your child to look like you pray that your child is healthy with no diagnosis of any problems don’t worry about her skin tone or hair.”


Yahoo Lifestyle interviewed six mothers with biracial children and here’s what they had to say about their own experiences, as well as Mowry-Housley’s views:

“When my first son was born, I hoped he would have lighter eyes (like myself). I was honestly a bit disappointed, but now I wouldn’t change it for the world. He has his father’s eyes and that makes me love him even more. I try to instill in my little men that they should be happy in their own skin and never apologize for who they are and just be happy being them. My oldest son has long, beautiful curls. I get comments daily about why I should cut his hair, and I’m making him look like a girl. On his third birthday I said, ‘Do you want to cut your hair when you turn 3?’ He frankly answered, ‘No momma, I like my hair!’ I never want to put pressure on my kids to fit a mold of white or black. They are both and I think that’s a beautiful thing. I have had family members tell me that they hoped my boys wouldn’t look ‘too black.’ I reply and tell them, “Well, they are black, and they will look how God destined them to.” — Jacie L. Bowser, 37, home health recruiter, Beaumont, Texas

“I can honestly relate to how Tamera Mowry-Housley felt. When I was pregnant with my daughter, who is biracial, I had my prayers about my preferences for her features. I most importantly prayed for her to be healthy and happy, which I was grateful to receive. However, I also prayed that she would have ‘good’ hair.’ Hair is such a prevalent component of black culture, especially within the essence of the black woman’s transcendence. My daughter has thick, long, and curly hair. Although it’s high maintenance to manage and it feels like arm day at the gym when I’m done styling it, I wouldn’t dare perm it. Hair is art to us. We wear it as an accessory.” — Danitra Wynn, 30, entrepreneur, Englewood, N.J.

“In my experience in the medical field, fashion world, social justice community, and as a mom of four, I feel that the concept of hoping to see similarities in the physical characteristics of mother and child is completely natural. Tamera Mowry-Housley seems to have always embodied a sense of pride for her own heritage and cultural diversity of her own family while celebrating with respect the cultures of others. I applaud her ability to be candid in sharing her deepest thoughts and feelings on a public platform.” — Sonia Smith-Kang, 44, multicultural advocate and founder of Mixed Up Clothing, Los Angeles.

“I am African-American and my husband is Mexican. I too prayed for my daughters to look more like me, as in having more melanin in their skin, and that was for many reasons. I think every mom wants to see themselves in their children, but for me, the most important reason for wanting my children to have dark skin was because we are in a moment in history in which melanin is finally being embraced and celebrated. I wanted my babies to be able to experience that gift and that joy on this sort of universal scale. It was an opportunity that I did not have while growing up as a dark-skinned woman (outside of family). It is special and they are blessed for it.” — DeAngela Luna, 37, attorney, Milwaukee, Wis.

“I think it is perfectly normal to hope your child will inherit what you believe to be your best features. Especially for a biracial child because there are so many different options for physical characteristics the child could possess. To be honest, I didn’t really think about what my daughter would look like when I was pregnant. I just wanted her to be healthy and to be a good sleeper! Also, I am one of those weirdos who thinks all babies look alike. So as long as she had all 10 fingers and toes, and didn’t cry all day and refuse to nap, I was happy!” — Clare Brown, 32, social media strategist, Richmond, Va.

“With any expectant mom, you ponder what features your new baby will have — such as your eyes or maybe your partner’s lips. However, I didn’t hope that my daughter looked like me because I was black. I wanted my little girl to have the best features from both me and partner. Not only was it important for me to know that she would be able to see herself reflected in the both of us, but I knew that the way she was identified by the world around her would bring forth a lot of emotions and questions. I  just wanted her to feel comfortable referring to both of us.”  —  Jennifer, 29, content Strategist, London

Ultimately, what matters is the lovable bond between Mowry-Housley and her daughter, Ariah. Keep scrolling for a few more ‘mommy and me’ moments from this adorable duo.


My

A post shared by tameramowrytwo (@tameramowrytwo) on Jan 14, 2018 at 1:36pm PST


Ariah and I are having a Home Alone moment … #MerryChristmas #HomeAlone

A post shared by tameramowrytwo (@tameramowrytwo) on Dec 23, 2017 at 10:08am PST


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