UNITED STATES—I ran into a post from @theshaderoom on Instagram that discussed how Demi Lovato recently shared her DNA ancestry results on social media and received some backlash for it. According to the post, it turns out that the starlet has Spanish, Irish, British Scandinavian and Native American ancestry. Additionally, Lovato revealed that she is also 1 percent African. The Shade Room’s post states that some people were saying Lovato was being problematic with her social media tweets regarding her ethnic background. This was very surprising to me; I mean, to be honest, I really found the whole controversy to be ridiculous.
I don’t understand how it is “problematic” for someone to share their results from their ancestral DNA test on social media. Lovato seemed to be excited to find out her results and to share them with her followers. The idea that people can find something wrong with this is just strange to me. Granted, the @theshaderoom post illustrated that Lovato put emphasis (by using several exclamation points) on the discovery of her having one percent African heritage, which might have offended some people. Maybe some of her followers or just some people in general felt that it was wrong of her to emphasize one portion of her heritage over another; but what if she was very surprised to find out that she was part African? Or, what if Lovato was just proud of her heritage in general?
Speaking from a “mixed-race” background, I can definitely identify with Lovato on this particular subject. This topic can be difficult sometimes because different people come from different backgrounds and have differing opinions. For instance, growing up I was often times criticized for talking about my ethnic background. Some girls would tell me that “you think you’re better because you’re mixed,” so I would avoid talking about my “race.”
I didn’t think this was fair because a lot of people would freely talk about their ethnic backgrounds, while I felt like I couldn’t. I only got this negative feedback from other African Americans while growing up (I’m predominantly Black and Hispanic). I think that this particular issue is one that is huge in the greater Black community here in the U.S., and possibly in the entire African diaspora; however, that is a topic for another post.
Right now, I’d like to express how I think that people should be proud of their ethnic backgrounds no matter what. We should not be made to feel uncomfortable or bad for sharing our ethnic makeup with others. Everyone has an ancestry that is rich and special and we should all feel equally proud and accepting of each other’s differences in ethnicity and identity as a whole.