X Factor star Jason Owen has posted an impassioned message on Instagram about his Indigenous heritage in recognition of NAIDOC Week.
Owen, whose mum Patricia is a proud Wiradjuri woman, said he wanted his young daughter Lyla to also grow up to be proud of her heritage.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Adorable moment Jason Owen sings to baby girl
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“Get up! Stand up! Show up!,” his post began.
He went on to reveal that he had often been told, “You don’t look Aboriginal” and had been asked if he was “half-caste or quarter-caste.”
“It’s 2022 and society still struggles to define what it means to be Aboriginal,” he wrote.
“Your Aboriginality is not represented by the colour of your skin, your culture is what is on the inside, in your heart.
“Aboriginal identity is not something that can be questioned because of the way you look.
“It doesn’t matter how much milk you add to a coffee, it is still a coffee.”
Owen said he wrote the song Proud in 2016 to describe his “struggles identifying as an Aboriginal man.”
“As a child and young teenager I never wanted to be seen with my mum because of how much bullying there was and how Aboriginal people were spoken about,” he revealed in the emotional Instagram post.
“I’m now a proud Wiradjuri man and will raise my little girl to be an educated, proud Wiradjuri woman.”
On January 26, 2019, Owen performed the Australian National Anthem in both English and Eora on top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
The singer and his wife Becy welcomed baby Lyla in March this year.
Since then he’s kept his 79,000 followers regularly updated with adorable posts of baby Lyla’s progress.
A recent photo shows Lyla wearing a cute pink knitted cardigan and huge bow on her head.
“No idea where that 4 months have gone, but I know we are very lucky,” he wrote.
Owen revealed earlier this year that he and Becy had been “baby shamed” by internet trolls after announcing they were expecting their first child.
Speaking to 7Entertainment, the singer said they were left feeling “devastated” by comments saying they were “selfish” to bring a child into the world during the COVID pandemic.
Owen said the couple was particularly hurt because they had been trying to conceive for more than 18 months before getting the happy news.
“We were starting to get a little bit worried about being able to conceive,” Owen said.
“My parents had trouble, they tried for seven years before they had me, so it was a little bit scary.
“And then to get the exciting news and cop a little bit of a backlash, it just didn’t make sense to me.
“It’s supposed to be an exciting time, and we are excited, but then these idiots come along – and they are idiots – and try to spoil it.
“For us, it was really, really upsetting.”
Owen didn’t sit on his hands when the trolls came calling – he responded in no uncertain terms.
“It’s idiots like YOU that make this world a terrible place at times,” he responded.
Owen grew up in the tiny NSW town of Albert and said being thrust into the spotlight as X Factor’s runner-up to Samantha Jade in 2012 had taken some adjustment.
“It was a complete life change,” he said.
“I’ve struggled a lot since then with being in the public eye, but I’ve come to terms with it because that’s what I do, and I love what I do.
“You learn how to deal in your own ways with negativity and criticism and hate, because you’re never going to be able to please everybody.
“Bec has been with me on that journey and been pulled into that world, but she is a very strong woman.”
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