YouTuber, Naturally Batel was motivated to take a DNA test after commenters challenged her racial identity on her first video upload.
“I never really questioned my genetic make-up until I read a flood of hate comments on my first Youtube video.”
“When I made that video, a lot of people were telling me in my comments that I’m not fully black and that I must be mixed with something because I had features that look European.”
The video which Batel is referring to is “Black Girls Can Grow Long Hair.” Batel posted this video almost 3 years ago.
Out of the hundreds of comments on the video, many of them made it a point to declare Batel as “mixed” and not black.
Batel, who is a first generation Ethiopian-American went on to address the stereotype of expecting all Africans to look one way in her video:
“There is a misconception about what Africans look like. Africa is the most genetically diverse continent in the world. I don’t think it’s a valid argument to say that East Africans, South Africans or North Africans don’t look ‘African’ because people assume everyone is supposed to look like West Africans.”
To further illustrate the diversity among genetics, Batel invites her brother who looks contrastingly different than her to join her in the video. They share the same parents.
Batel did note that some of the comments claimed Ethiopians were actually a mixed race, something she personally had never heard of but later asked her parents if there was any truth behind the claim:
“When I asked my parents about this, they confirmed it and said ‘Well, yeah, Ethiopians and people in the horn of Africa were mixed with Arabs and that’s why we look different compared to West Africans.’ That was the first time I ever heard about this. I guess it’s a taboo topic. It’s not really talked about in the Ethiopian community.”
Batel goes forward and uncovers the results received from her genetics kit:
56% East African
11% North African
3% Asia Minor
2% Jewish Diaspora
Batel is even pleasantly surprised to learn she is genetically closer to Kenya than she is Ethiopia.
Watch Batel’s video below: