Today I popped into my local estheticians to get my eyebrows done. While my eyebrows were being threaded into submission, the esthetician asked one of those stupid questions that just really bothers me:
“So where are you from?”
I don’t know if I experience this more because I am a visible minority, or if this is just something I am just being really sensitive about. But I hate that question. Almost as much as: ‘So how long have you been married?’ Immediately followed up by: ‘Do you have kids?’ Honestly does it really matter? The only people that should care about the answers to these questions are my doctors, my accountant, and myself.
I am Canadian. And a proud of it. I have been since my family immigrated here when I was 16. My parents worked hard and made sacrifices so that my siblings and I could establish ourselves in Canada and call ourselves Canadian. Canada is a melting pot. Most Canadians have immigrant roots. But where my parents were born, or where I was born doesn’t change the fact that I am from Canada. It’s like if you are not white, then being from ‘Canada’ isn’t a real thing. Especially if your skin colour is in the same spectrum as my skin colour.
The majority of offenders are those that have the same ethnic background as me. They want to know where my parents are from. They want to fit me into whatever pigeon hole they have in their mind. Maybe my lack of an accent throws them off. Or maybe it’s just the way they think.
Sometimes I feel like responding with: ‘I don’t know. I am adopted.’ Because honestly does it really matter to you lady who sees my eyebrows every 10-14 days? No it doesn’t. I’m Canadian. End of story.
But I responded with the answer she was looking for, followed by a 5 minute rant about why it was rude to ask that question. I think she was a bit taken aback by that part. But thankfully my eyebrows turned out fine. She might have spent a bit of extra time on them because she though she had offended me.
Honestly, why do I have to be categorized by my ethnicity? Why can’t we just talk about the weather like most other Canadians?