What do you picture when you hear the words “Mexican beggar child”? Is the child blond? Green-eyed? Does she have light skin?
A Mexican family was recently at the centre of a national controversy over such questions. A young Mexican girl begging for money was photographed by a driver. Child beggars are sadly not an uncommon sight in Mexico – except that in this case, the girl was blond, green-eyed and very light-skinned. Feeling something was “not right” about that particular child, the photographer posted the picture to his Facebook timeline, telling his followers to “spread this photo around”. He argued that something was clearly wrong because the girl’s parents “were brown”.
For those who reposted the picture (and there were many – so much so that officials soon interceded) it is indeed apparently an aberration for brown people to give birth to light-skinned kids, rather than a fairly frequent situation in a country with a long history of cultural acceptance of interracial relationships. It’s also apparently not normal to see a blond beggar in a country where poverty is defined by “brownness”. So it was only a sign of good community responsibility that thousands of people were willing to use social media to publicise this oddity. Or so we are to believe.