Nutritionist Julianka Bell on Growing Up Black + Filipino

“I think growing up it was tough and it was very confusing because there weren’t a lot of bi-racial families when I was growing up. There were a lot of eye stares and I really didn’t quite understand it and I didn’t have any bi-racial friends. And so I feel like I was always torn…there’s a Filipino community in Prince George’s County and I was a part of it when I was growing up. But, it was always one or the other. I always felt like I was trying to overcompensate or like, dial down my ethnicity. And you know, I didn’t know how to cope with my feelings, so I went through phases of embarrassment and I mean just so many different emotions. I mean I feel like it took me up until my mid-twenties for me to finally understand what that meant. And maybe it would have been different if I was in more of a multi-cultural setting and saw other families. Like right now, you know there’s so much representation. Like the Cheerio’s commercial. Whether it’s a bi-racial family and mixed children. I didn’t see any of that when I was growing up.”

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