Mixed People More Successful?

Is it that "hybrid vigor" thing?

I generally don’t get into the “mixed kids are prettier” thing but I came across this report/study out of London that was interesting. It was done a couple of years ago and I only print it because I think it is important to counter those people who like to think being Mixed makes life harder, which is something I have never believed.

Mixed-race people are ‘more attractive’ and more successful, results of a new study suggest.

The Cardiff University study involved rating 1,205 black, white, and mixed-race faces.

Each face was judged on its attractiveness, with mixed-race faces generally perceived as more attractive.

Author of the study, Dr Michael Lewis, also suggested mixed-race people were disproportionately successful in many professions.

The study based its hypothesis on Darwin’s notion of heterosis, the biological phenomenon that predicts that cross-breeding leads to offspring that are genetically fitter than their parents.

Dr Lewis said the phenomenon was mirrored in the results of his study.

“The results appear to confirm that people whose genetic backgrounds are more diverse are, on average, perceived as more attractive,” Dr Lewis said.

Yet there is reason to believe that mixed-race people may not just be more attractive, but more successful.

Dr Lewis said: “There is evidence, albeit anecdotal, that the impact of heterosis goes beyond just attractiveness.

“This comes from the observation that, although mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population, they are over-represented at the top level of a number of meritocratic professions like acting with Halle Berry, Formula 1 racing with Lewis Hamilton – and, of course, politics with Barack Obama.”

Of course there are many successful and beautiful people who are of single ethnicity and culture but considering the lower number of Mixed people compared to the population as a whole, I do think it is clearly true that a lot of successful people are Mixed at a high rate considering their overall population is smaller. So as I always believed, being Mixed is far from being a problem and is clearly in some cases a bonus. Part of that success, not even thinking about the attractiveness issue, is I believe due to Mixed people growing up with a better understanding of how to build bridges between people and being able to see a bigger picture.

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4 thoughts on “Mixed People More Successful?

  1. I remember reading this study before. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mention what kind of “mixture” is involved. Are we talking mainly about half Asians/half Whites or half Blacks/half indians? I don’t know if it really matters but I would be curious to see if any mixed-race person is concerned regardless of their heritage.

    Strangely, I have hardly met people who think “being Mixed makes life harder”. I grew up hearing just the opposite.
    To be honest, I think being multicultural is more interesting than being mixed-race. I think there is a danger in overly glorifying mixed-race individuals because it can create an inferiority complex and even some kind of racism. What do you think?..

    • Earnest Harris says:

      I’m curious what part of the country you grew up in. I think that plays a big impact on what people around you think about life for Mixed people. And older folks tend to say/hear that more too I think, about the idea of the “tragic mulatto” as it was once called. That’s great that you grew up hearing the opposite. I know my kids hear and think of it that way as well.

      I do think you are right that we must be careful not to glorify being Mixed because then it becomes another group all to itself, that subjects its members to prejudice and being prejudiced against other groups. The goal is not to create a new breed of “racism.” Indeed for me, and the point of the blog is to celebrate the fact that Mixed people are a growing part of this country (and the world) and that they represent proof that we can indeed all get along with no regard to the silly notion of “race.”

      It is not about them being better than anyone else. But it is certainly about celebrating and acknowledging what Mixed people symbolize and bring to the world just by being who they are.

      Thanks for writing.

  2. I agree that the notion of race is totally ridiculous when you seriously think about it. Unfortunately, humans need to put everything in a category.

    I like the idea behing your blog because it is a bit similar to mine, the only difference being that I write more on multiculturalism.

    I’m not from the U.S. but everywhere I have been, I have noticed a growing fascination towards mixed-race people because they are the “best of both worlds”. The tragic mulatto represents the fear of uncertainty but it doesn’t make mixed-race people less fascinating.

    • Earnest Harris says:

      You hit the problem on the head, people are most comfortable putting others in neat boxes and things and people that don’t fit those boxes cause them problems sometimes. I am glad to see those boxes blown up since “race” and culture are much more fluid than people think.

      Thanks for reading. I’ll check out your blog.

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