I think my reactions to these statements were mostly felt in my heart as opposed to being surprising at all. I found myself re-listening to what the people were saying to truly gain an understanding of what they were talking about. I think the contradictions of what is implied as desirable and acceptable in American culture versus varying behaviors and ways of living from other cultures can be very daunting, intimidating, and discouraging.
One thing I did not consider is how little information is given about white culture and the backgrounds of European ancestry. It can be overwhelming to consider one's roots when we don't know where we came from! I think it may be another layer to consider in why discrimination plays out the way it does. The implications of superiority for just being white can also contribute to inflated ego, and I will admit, I think as an only child, I saw that in multiple ways. I think it is very damaging to self-worth later on if things don't go as planned or if things get harder later in life.
I find it interesting that among white people, it is desirable to have tan or darker skin. It seems counter-intuitive to how Black, Latino, Native American, or Asian people are treated! I have always been pale, so I have not seen it preferred so much as been a way to indicate sensitivity (both to sunburn and commentary).