Friday, February 20, 2009

Ask a Korean! Wiki: Pre-Figuring Mixed Children

Dear Korean,

My mom is full blooded Korean and my dad is of Irish and Canadian heritage. My girlfriend and I have been talking about having children at some point. We wonder what our future kids might look like. This is where my question for you comes from. My girlfriend is a full on red head. Bright red hair (I say orange, but that ticks her off), pale white skin, freckles... a Ginger-American.

That said, do you or any of your readers know of a couple consisting of a Korean man and a red headed woman and if so what do their kids look like? I realize that anyone's story would not be an indication of what would happen between my girlfriend and I, but I'm curious.


Dear John,

The Korean has no children (that he knows of), so the answer will have to come from the readers. Obviously genetics is not something we can predict, but it would be interesting to hear about the different manifestations of the mixture. The Korean's observation has been that white-Asian babies are usually born more or less with full Asian features, and their white features show later as they grow.

Readers, don't limit yourselves to white-Korean combinations. Let's hear them all.

Got a question or comment for the Korean? Email away at


  1. Helllo,

    My wife is Korean and I'm Swiss, and like anyone wondering what my kids will look like.

    She hopes they will have my big eyes and big nose, and I hope they will have her little eyes and cute nose.

    Here is a little search on google images.

    Scroll down

  2. But please don't read the comments on that forum...

  3. The man in question is mixed himself, half-Korean and half-white or part-white, part-First Peoples, depending on what is meant by "Canadian heritage." If he marries a white woman, his kids will look white but perhaps with traces of their Asian ancestry in their hair, eyes, or nose.

    On a plane from Korea to the US, I met a middle-aged Korean woman who married a GI, settled in the US, and lived happily ever after, raising two children together. The dark-haired, dark-eyed, more Asian-looking daughter married a white man and had a daughter. Looking at the family photo, I asked the proud grandma, "Did you imagine when you were young that you would have a blond, blue-eyed granddaughter?"

    "Oh, no!" she laughed.

  4. Ever seen John and Kate plus Eight? Those kids are 1/4 Korean and look more Korean than their father.

    That being said... I know a woman in Korea who has 1/2 Korean kids who very much have asian eyes but still have red hair.

    My cousin is also 1/4 Japanese and has red hair and freckles and few if any Japanese features.

    1. Those kids are 1/2 Korean. John is full Korean and Kate is Caucasian. I am 1/4 Japanese and have very dark brown hair, green eyes, freckles, and light skin but my brother has brown hair, black eyes, and tan skin (father: light brown hair, blue eyes, light skin, mother: brown hair, brown eyes, tan skin). The red hair gene is on one side of our family. You really can't predict these things.

    2. that is not correct. john is 1/2 korean and kate is full caucasian. thei children are 1/4 korean and 3/4 caucasian.

      i am half korean and half caucasian (1/4 french 1/8 dutch 1/8 german)

  5. black + korean = well... Amerie (
    she's gorgeous

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  7. It depends. What is your and your mate's blood type and zodiac sign?

  8. Ah, the genetics of red hair. Skin and hair color come from the pigment melanin. There are two forms of melanin, eumelanin, which is black or brown, and pheomelanin, which is red. Red hair comes from having low levels of eumelanin and high levels of pheomelanin. Most classic, full-on gingers in fact cannot make eumelanin at all because they have two mutant copies of a gene called MC1R, which causes eumelanin production. (Remember, you have two copies of nearly every gene, so both copies of a gene have to be dysfunctional in order to get the mutant phenotype.)

    So, let's assume that the gf has two mutant copies of MC1R. That means the offspring are going to get at least one mutant copy of MC1R. If the bf were full Korean, he would definitely have 2 normal copies of MC1R, and the offspring would have one normal copy and one mutant copy: dark hair, probably closer to brown than black, but definitely not red. However, the bf is half Korean and half Irish Canadian. If there is red hair in his dad's family (or even if there isn't), the copy of MC1R from the dad might be mutant. If so, he's got a 50% chance of a dark-haired child and 50% chance of a ginger.

  9. @skg046: There are different mutations that could give red hair. But I've never seen a Korean with the full ginger phenotype, the kind associated with two mutant copies of MC1R.

  10. I'm predicting that my blue eyes/blonde hair will be swallowed up by my wife's Korean genes.

    As long as they have everything in the right place, I'll be happy. (I wouldn't mind them having her math skills either.)

  11. There is a good chance they will have reddish hair. There are quite a few kids with one Korean or part Korean parent and one white parent on Yongsan with reddish or blondish hair. You never know.

    They will be beautiful, I am sure!

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  13. I wish I had seen this earlier...and lets see if I even do this correctly...

    My husband is 1/2 korean (but honestly looks like a mexican :)) and 1/2 german and I am a mix of everything, mostly irish. While I don't have red hair, I have very pale skin and millions of freckles (a very Irish look):

    I think our daughter is breathtaking:

    As you can see she looked full-blooded korean when she was a baby, and even now I think she looks more korean than her father.

    But I have honestly seen it go both ways - where at 1/4 you wouldn't even know they were korean at all....

    But all of the mixed korean babies I have seen have one thing in common - they are always, always gorgeous!

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  15. I love the term "ginger". Frickin cracks me up!

  16. I see a lot of children (maybe 100 or so?) with white/black + Korean parents. In every case, the children have had dark hair, usually straight, but sometimes very curly. I've seen light colored eyes a few times (hazel but never blue). I think the eye shape usually looks Korean. I've heard that people of mixed heritage are more attractive or at least the 'ideal beauty' of the future. I think so!

  17. I meant to write, "I see a lot of mixed children because of my job" (versus simply out on the street)

  18. I'm the full blooded Korean father; she's the pale, freckled Irish-Scot pale skin, auburn-haired mother. The asian black eyes and hair are proving out their dominant gene traits with our four kids. the 8 and 6 year olds both have brown eyes and and black hair. the 4 yo has brownish, tending to black hair with grey/greenish eyes and the 2 yo has black hair and brown eyes. All of them have my olive skin coloring. They've all got the classic Asian-American almond eyes (with natural creased lids) and my flat nose and high cheeks have been subdued by my wife's facial characteristics. I'm 6' and it looks like at least two of the boys are on track for at least that, while the other two will probably be under 6' (girl included). All in all, they're the typical georgeous mixed asian/anglo look.

  19. I'm half Korean, half white, my husband is blonde haired and blue eyed. Our eldest daughter is very fair, blonde, and blue eyed (though she was born with one brown eye and one blue). Our second daughter has warm brown skin, brown-gold hair, and brown eyes. Neither of them look Asian, really, although I think they both have my dad's Korean nose! We are expecting our third daughter in April and we're all curious to see what she'll look like. :)

  20. my half brother and half sister (same dad, different moms) are half korean and half swiss. their mom was fair and had blonde hair, while my dad had olive-toned skin and dark brownish-black hair. i agree with AAK when he says that they look more asian when they're kids and their white features come out more as they're older, as was such the case for my siblings. both of them have relatively fair skin and dark hair. i would compare my brothers looks and coloring to keanu reeves.

  21. I have a friend who is 3/4 Korean. She was born with blond hair and everything like her mom who is half korean and half white. Then hair changed black and she looks like a full blooded Korean like her mom. But her mom still show a little signs of lighter black hair.

  22. My oldest son is 1/2 his dad (hawaiian japanese) and 1/2 me american mutt...cape verdean, polish, creole, french canadian, american indian)

    When he was born he looked Indian (from india)with very asian eyes, straight black hair and tan skin.

    He is 17 now, his skin has gotten 50% lighter which baffles me. His hair is much curlier but of course his eyes are still the same.

    My point is that with mixed children you never really know what they will look like and chances are good they will change looks several times.

  23. Hey Ya'll - multiracial folks are HUMAN BEINGS and not some breed of exotic dog that you should use your b.s. pseudo-science on to speculate how offspring will "turn out" - like its some ode to tolerance and diversity. What a ridiculous and de-humanizing conversation. And if you do this to your own kids, then I damn well feel sorry for them. Leave this kind of objectification, racism ("I wouldn't mind my kid having my Korean wife's math skills!") and fetishization to animal breeders and anthropologists.

  24. Hi there. Maybe I can help you with this question a bit. I'm not Korean, but have Asian heritage. I'm 1/4 Japanese (from my mother's side), then I'm also Irish, German, Cherokee and Scottish - strange mix.

    I have almond, dark Asian eyes; red hair; slightly high cheekbones; and a wide nose. :)

  25. Oh and Cindybro - thanks for your concern. However, as someone of mixed race, I am actually proud of my unique look and do not find it dehumanizing when people notice my asian eyes and ask about my heritage. Instead, I feel proud.

    Also, I'm an anthropology major and would appreciate if you were not so quick to judge the field of anthropology. While old anthropology may have been categorical and racist, new anthropology is culturally relativist and does not see value in racial designations. :)

  26. This is a good post. My wife is pregnant with our first child and we are wondering what he / she will look like also! (We are not going to find out the gender until birth). My wife is 100% Korean and I am approximately 1/8 spanish, 1/8 mexican, 1/4 native american, 1/8 armenian, 1/4 german and 1/8 swedish. The latter half I usually say is the 'white' half since my dad is basically Caucasian but those are the actual breakdowns as I understand them. I look mixed but nobody is ever sure what to think so it has never been an issue. Anyway all your posts are interesting. I can't wait to see!

  27. I have a friend who is 100% Korean, and she has two girls with her husband, who is of Scandinavian heritage. The second girl had light blue eyes as a baby. The eyes turned into brown later. I know another half-Korean baby who was born with blue eyes as well, and her white grandmother was perplexed. A friend of mine has three half-Korean and half-white (mainly Polish) cousins, the youngest of who still has blue eyes as a teen. I don't know how common it is for half-Korean babies and children to have blue eyes, but they certainly exist.

  28. I know this old... but I will add. My biological mother is 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 German. I am 1/4 Japanese, German and Swede. I look very German. No one knows I am a quarter Japanese, unless I tell them -- then they will start to find traits and say they see it. Anyhow... my son is 1/8 Japanese, German, Irish, and Swedish. He looks like an Irish Spring commercial: alabaster skin, beautiful ginger coloured hair, long auburn eyelashes, and brown eyes... with a slight epicanthic fold and almond shape. Gorgeous... but NO ONE would ever guess the Japanese heritage.

  29. My wife is Korean. I am an Irish/German mix. I have blond hair, blue eyes, european nose, pale skin tone. My wife has black hair, black eyes, asian nose, tan skin tone.

    Our three children (1 boy, 2 girls) have brown hair, brown eyes, asian nose, light tan skin tone.

    Interestingly, my daughters are identical twins but when the egg split at birth, one looked pure asian and one pure caucasian. The "asian" baby was darker and skinny, the "caucasian" baby was lighter and heavier. As they grew older (now 32 years old), they look more alike (beautiful).

  30. My first wife was Korean. I'm German/Irish and we had a daughter together. Her mother an I split when our daughter was a year old and she went back to Korea (we think). She never had contact with her after that.

    When my daughter was a toddler, she had curly golden blond hair, green, almond shaped eyes (from my dad)and olive colored skin. In her late teens, her hair color changed to dark brown and became very straight. Now in here early 30's her skin is much lighter, but she still has straight dark brown hair and green eyes. But she has my nose, although thankfully for her it is tempered by her Korean genetics. And she has perfect straight teeth, another genetic gift from her mother. She looks more Korean now than she did as a child. It has been my experience that Asian/Anglo mixed children seem to pull the most attractive features from both sides.

    On a side note, I was visiting her early one day and while in her kitchen she opened the fridge, pulled out some left over rice, added some kimchi from a jar and sat down with me while we chatted over coffee. I asked when she started eating kimchi and rice for breakfast and she said she'd been doing it for years. She grew up eating a standard American diet and didn't start eating Korean food until she was in her teens and Korean restaurants started opening in our city. I never mentioned that rice/kimchi was a common quick meal that her mother ate often. I was amazed. It opens up that whole nature vs nurture thing.

  31. i know this is really old but i couldn't resist a comment...

    cindybro: i don't think anyone here is trying to dehumanize multicultural people. it is natural to be curious. in fact, my boyfriend and i are both 100% korean and i'm still curious as hell what our children would look like...

  32. Hmm, I guess I'm the only one here who doesn't have a Korean + white/black pairing, but I'll put in my two cents.

    My husband is Korean-American, and I'm Filipino-American (both full-blooded), and we have an 18-month-old son.

    Obviously, our son looks Asian, but it's a toss-up whether he looks Korean. It's obvious that he does not look Filipino at all because his eyes are bigger than most Koreans, but they don't look like mine either. I'd say that his eyes are a combination of both my husband's and mine. His eyes are bigger than my husband's, but smaller than mine, and he has a cross between a double lid (from me) and single lid (from him).

    Most people comment that our son looks like my husband, but I think they feel that way because my son doesn't look like me. But I do admit that when my son cries or whines, his eyes get all squinty, and then he looks like my husband :)

  33. i am 100% korean (at least that's what i was told. i'm not quite sure...but that's another story), and my son's father is 50% german and 50% african. my son looks just like me as a child.

    he now has the third skin tone since his birth. when he was born he was white (milk), then really dark (coffee) and now right in the middle (café latte). his hair is black and a bit curly when longer than 3 cm. his almond eyes are dark brown. You could think he's burmese (or thai, malaysian, ... just mentioning burmese because my adoptive father is from myanmar).

    i'm curious if this all will change a lot through the next years... we'll see. ;)

    anyways, he's gorgeous and seems to have the best of both of us. :)

  34. i am full blood indian (india) and my husband is 1/2 korean 1/2 hawaiian. he looks korean but has a hawaiian jawline. i too wonder what our kids will look like

  35. mixed bag- to what ur kids what look like, there are so many factor in genes, so complicated,

    i am half korean, italian jew, irish and scottish. check out my fb page for photos-jennifer-song debarbieri. i looked really korean when i was young, but i am told i look straight up white. u tell me

  36. @brandonsmom_02 your kid seems to be changing her look as she grows up. She's very pretty in the last pic and looks more caucasian than asian there but it's a very beautiful mix.

  37. Awesomezz! From a grown up mix perspective. I'm happy being me. For sure, I don't look like anyone else! My family is from Ukraine and there's Chinese, Korean, or both somewhere in there - My grandpa looks unmistakably Chinese while my grandma looks unmistakably Korean so who can tell?

    My mum with red hair, liquid brown eyes and barely a double lid and a very significant slant. She married a blond American. My brother is brown hair with brilliant blue double lid eyes, very American build. He's huge.

    I'm red-blond with green eyes and I don't look like anyone in my whole family unless you go back for generations. And then it's a Chinese/Korean question all over again.

    I got the Anglo nose - Total Asian build (welcome to size 0, no bottom and a 75A bra size!) Asian eyes except a vivid green. What I get in the US is a lot of either "You have fabulous eyes" or "You have those slanty eyes..." In Europe, no one says anything. In Korea, interestingly, I found out I get described as very soft and beautiful. LoL.

    Mixed girls rock!

  38. ps. I hear you people who are uncomfy with the identifying of (possible) hereditary traits as being racist. I would say as an obvious mix -- it's observable. We are different looking. Different than all the other Euros, Anglos, Asians or Amurricans. =)

    It's not racial profiling as much as accepting that, in fact, people can have different genetic backgrounds and this makes for some interesting features. C'mon, we all bleed red and yet, some of us look very different, even from our parents!

    Moving forward from there, I got the math skills. My brother got the kitchen skills. ;D

  39. Interesting. I know this is an old post, but I just saw it now.

    I am Czech...and white with blue eyes and red hair. My son's father was 100% Korean. I think my son turned out absolutely gorgeous yet he's an interesting mix of both of us:

    -from his father:
    - brown eyes
    - golden skin tone (lucky, lucky kid)

    -from me (or my side of the family)
    -brown hair (seeing as his father had black hair, I'm figuring this is the "white" side of his heritage)

    Interestingly, he even had a Mongolian spot when he was born...and he looked more Korean when he was a baby than he does now. Now, if he's around white children, he looks Asian compared to them, but when he's around Asian kids, he looks white.

  40. "Obviously genetics is not something we can predict"

    Uhh, what? No, if you've ever taken genetics you would either have learned to predict the genotype and phenotype of a species or you would have failed the class.

    At 50/50 dominant features take precedence- Always. At 75/25 recessive/dominant, your phenotype has that probability of being recessive, but the dominant traits will also manifest. Red hair is a full recessive trait, as is blond. You cannot be mixed and have pure red hair or blond hair. It will become dirty blonde/light brown or darker hair tinted red.

    What this means is that the child will not have red hair, but will have the option of having every other dominant color of hair and skin.


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