It always bothered me on Full House, how the Tanner girls all had blonde hair and blue eyes, yet their dad, played by Jewish-American actor Bob Saget, had dark hair and eyes. The girls’ mother was of Greek descent; we know this because of their uncle Jesse Katsopolis.
Then, to further this unlikely concept, when Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky had twins, their boys had light skin along with blonde hair and blue eyes. One fan theory on the Internet speculates that it was Uncle Joey who was the true father of all 5 kids.
And while that is funny to think about, I now have come to a full understanding of how dark featured parents (like my wife and myself) have children with noticeably lighter features (like our kids).
We have to keep in mind that we adopt half of our DNA from our father and half from our mother, but in the 50% from each parent, it’s a random amount from each.
So it’s this simple, even if there is less “blonde hair, blue eye” genes in the parents, their own children may feature that “hidden” DNA. This also explains how different siblings can look from each other.
To help bring this story to life, below is a breakdown of my own DNA, according to MyHeritage. My maternal grandmother was Mexican and my maternal grandfather was Italian. My mom’s DNA test results showed only 2% Italian, but 15.2% Sephardic Jewish and 14% Middle Eastern. While I definitely received a large amount of DNA from the Mexican side, I adopted absolutely no DNA from the Italian side; which now we realize was a Jewish-Middle Eastern mix.
37.4% North and Western Europe (Germany, France, The Netherlands)
31.8% Iberian (Spain, Portugal)
21.6% Native Central American (Mayan, Aztec, etc.)
6.1% East Europe
0.8% Middle East
Now let’s take a look at my wife’s DNA. Her mother, like mine, is also half Italian. From my wife’s DNA test, we learned that in addition to being Italian, my wife is a decent amount Greek.
My Wife’s DNA:
2.7% Ireland, Scotland, Wales
1.9% North Africa
1.4% Ashkenazi Jewish
But when you break down the most abundant DNA showing up, you’ll see how our kids ending up getting the lighter features. Below are the results of me adding together the DNA from both my wife and me, then dividing it by two. I have ranked the results beginning with the most prominent. The DNA in italics are from my side, the DNA from my wife is in bold font.
18.7% North and Western Europe (Germany, France, The Netherlands)
15.9% Iberian (Spain, Portugal)
10.8% Central American-Mexican
5.05% Balkan (3.9% Balkan + 1.15% Balkan)
3.05% East Europe
1.35% Ireland, Scotland, Wales
0.95% North Africa
0.7% Ashkenazi Jewish
0.4% Middle East
So in theory, our kids largely show the German-Dutch-English-Scandinavian genes, while the Spanish-Central American-Greek-Sephardic Jewish-Middle Eastern are more hidden.
Even still, I won’t be surprised, as our kids get older, that they will begin showing more of the rest of their unseen DNA.
I now have peace with why the kids of Full House look the way they do. If you’re curious about your own DNA, you can do like my wife and I did and purchase a kit from MyHeritage.
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