Why Don’t You Look More Like Your Mother?

KittBy Kitt Shapiro

A woman came up to me at a recent event and asked me that very question. Why don’t I look like my mother? Wow. Is that just another way of saying, ‘why is your skin color so much lighter?’ or ‘how is it you have blond hair?’.

My parents told me that when I was born, people came to the nursery in the hospital and would get into arguments when they saw that Eartha Kitt’s baby was a pudgy, white, girl.

Now, I’m not looking to start a debate about genetics. I’m far from an expert, and really, who cares. (If you do, then I apologize for being so flippant, but, I didn’t choose my parents and can’t change the way I came out). I just find it interesting, that some people need an answer, even to a question that may not have a clear one.EarthaI think my mother got a kick out of having a child who, at first glance, didn’t have any resemblance to her. She would tell me with great pride how I “…was like a walking United Nations. Belonging to everyone and no one at the same time.” Impossible to be put into just one category or descriptive column.

Why was that so important to her? As a light skinned African American in the South, in 1927, she was labeled a “Yella Gal”, too light to be accepted by the black community and too dark for the whites. And, as a person of color in the music business, there was the need to classify her as a ‘Jazz‘, ‘Gospel‘ or ‘Blues‘ singer. My mother didn’t understand  the need for pigeon-holing a person. She would ask, “Why was it so important to make a person feel like they weren’t wanted by anybody if they didn’t fit ‘required specifications’?”  “Why couldn’t an entertainer just BE who they were?” “Why wasn’t it enough to be a member of the human race?”

People have often asked me who do I relate to most? Meaning, how do I racially ‘categorize’ myself? Well, I took my mother’s words literally. I think of myself as ‘belonging’ just the way I am and check off numerous boxes or leave them all blank, depending on my mood, feeling confident that I can either fill numerous quotas or offend many, by my presence. That being said, I realize that my responses can be interpreted as simplistic or unrealistic. I guess it’s just wishful thinking on my part.

My mother loved reading me a story by Dr. Seuss called The Sneetches, about yellow creatures that had two distinct groups: plain belly and star belly. Through machines, the Sneetches continued to switch from plain to stars, until they were so mixed up, they could no longer tell each other apart and came to the conclusion that their need to be identified by their differences was both exhausting and unnecessary. Yet, another wonderful gift my mother gave me. I highly recommend reading this story and maybe we can all be wishful thinkers together. Then, there will be no need to answer stupid questions.

Kitt Shapiro opened Simply Eartha as a tribute to her mother, with the hope that Eartha’s “writing and her wisdom and created designs continue to inspire her fans, both old and new. May they touch your heart, as they do mine.”

The post Why Don’t You Look More Like Your Mother? also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Red Lobster Surprises A Widow On Her Wedding Anniversary

(PCM) For 31-years a woman and her husband would celebrate their wedding anniversary with a meal at Red Lobster, however sadly this year was a bit different, but ended with a touching surprise.

Tragically, the woman’s husband passed away in March of this year and in order to help keep the tradition alive, the woman’s daughter volunteered to take her mother to dinner to celebrate the anniversary.

When the waitress asked if the family was celebrating anything special, the woman’s daughter explained the tradition and then they continued on with their meal. The surprise comes when they received the check to pay for their meal and instead received the following note:

Red-Lobster-note

“We are sorry to hear about your husband’s passing, but we appreciate your loyalty in spending 31 years of your anniversary with us. For your appreciation, your meal is on us! We look forward to spending your next anniversary with us!”

The hand-written note was signed “Sincerely, Red Lobster & your server, Taylor.”

A spokesperson for Red Lobster confirmed the incident and released the following statement:

“What Taylor, the server, and Chad, the manager on duty, did demonstrates how our teams live Red Lobster’s core values of genuine caring and hospitality each day,” spokeswoman Erica Ettori said. “All of us at Red Lobster are truly proud of the Columbia team and appreciate their commitment to making every guest’s dining experience a special one. We also extend our wishes to the family who dined with us and look forward to serving them again next year!”

The post Red Lobster Surprises A Widow On Her Wedding Anniversary also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Little Girl Scarred From A Pit Bull Attack Asked To Leave Restaurant

Victoria1

(PCM) Young Victoria Wilcher is a survivor. At just three-years old she was viciously attacked by three pit bulls while at her grandfather’s home back in April. The incident left little Victoria with several facial scars and the right side of her face completely paralyzed. In some absolutely heartbreaking news, it has come to light that Victoria and her grandmother were recently asked to leave a Mississippi area KFC restaurant because they were told her scars scared the other customers.

Victoria’s family posted their story on social media in attempt to bring attention to the unfair treatment the family received at the restaurant and it is now gaining national attention. After the incident at KFC, Victoria is now even more ashamed of her appearance which she absolutely should not be. Victoria’s grandmother claims that she now doesn’t even want to go in any stores and is refusing to look in the mirror.

Victoria’s family is calling out KFC for their discrimination, which is terrible for a child to experience at such a young age. Officials at KFC have responded to incident and released the following statement:

“KFC launched an investigation as soon as we were made aware of this report. We take this very seriously, as we have zero tolerance for any kind of hurtful or disrespectful actions toward our guests. Our investigation is ongoing, but we have been in touch with the family and are committed to doing something appropriate for this beautiful little girl and her family. We will also work with the franchisee to take appropriate action at the restaurant once the specifics of the incident are determined.”

Victoria is currently on antibiotics and has several more surgeries ahead of her, but her grandmother says that she is doing well and is most definitely a fighter.We certainly wish the beautiful young Victoria all the best during her recovery process!

 

The post Little Girl Scarred From A Pit Bull Attack Asked To Leave Restaurant also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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