In Brazil we say, or at least we used to say, that we wanted the children to marry well in order to cleanse the blood.
Cleanse the blood!!! Believe it or not! Cleansing the blood meant marrying someone with lighter skin instead of someone with darker skin. The point was to rinse the non-whiteness out of the bloodline - to whiten the family! Good Golly! As if that were a good thing!!!! Cleansing the blood!!!
Yeah... cleansing the blood. Thanks to this cleansing I lost the good Indian traits of my grandma's side of the family. I was a little lucky to have been born with the baby face gene. But the never-aging skin? Oh, no, this one I didn't get. I got the regular aging white people's skin. It will be nice and wrinkly when I get old. And , oh, my poor unborn children!!! Guess what I did to them!!! I married a guy whiter than me! I'm cleansing the blood alright! My husband is so white himself that he doesn't even consider me white! Are you for real? My poor children will have a cleaner blood than me! Do you know what that means? Read on...
Thanks to this blood-cleansing fashion I lost the ability to keep my hair dark. My great-grandma had them nice and dark all the way to age 86 when she died. Yup! Great-grandma Joaninha, age 86, had a handful of white hair - you could count on your fingers! As for myself, I've had to hide undesirables since age 17, making me burn my brain cells with hair dye!
Oh, yeah, let's cleanse the blood, gang! Thanks to this cleansing the blood thing, the good things from the non-white ethnicity were going, going, gone… the only thing that the dark part of my heritage left me was this black people stinkiness! You know, it's that stink that everyone who's ever had to catch a crowded bus, at noon, in Salvador-Bahia knows very well. Yup, that smelly stink! I know it's black people's stink, because most of us in Salvador are anywhere from 100 to 50% black. And if there is one thing that gets passed on with the genes, if there is one thing that the cleansing of the blood can't get rid of is the stink. So I could literally define this cleansing of the blood in two syllables – it stinks!
So much for cleansing the blood.