A M’ija to Meet: Maria, Half Puerto Rican, Quarter Irish/ Quarter Italian

October 24, 2007 at 3:44 pm 7 comments

maria-perry-2.jpg

What I love about being Latina:  We’re beautiful, proud, and never afraid to say how we really feel.

What I love about being Americana:  We are blessed to live in a country that has privileges that many other countries do not have. 

My biggest challenge in growing up Latina in America:  Not being able to just be who I am; I’m either not Puerto Rican enough-the “white girl”, or THE Puerto Rican-I’m now one of the “token Puerto Ricans” of Fredonia.  Everything I do, or the way I act is either because I’m white or because I’m Latina-it’s never because that’s just who I am or how my personality is-it always has to be defined by an ethnicity.    

 My biggest support in growing up Latina in America:  My mother-She is Puerto Rican, and she is a very strong woman.  She always knows how to act like a professional when it comes to matters of business, and she is also very down to earth when she is in front of her friends and family.  She is a great example of a woman who doesn’t TRY to be anyone specifically-she doesn’t try to fit in and “act white”, but she doesn’t purposely try to be “ghetto” either.  She is who she is, and she has shown me that that’s all that matters.  As long as you’re true to yourself, people will either love you or hate you; and the people that hate you aren’t important, but the people who love you are.   

Why I am beautiful:  Because I am a confident, intelligent woman.  I don’t take shit from anyone, especially men.  I know the amount of respect that I deserve, and if I don’t get that, then I don’t tolerate it.  I love myself, whether other people do or not.  I know I’m not perfect, but no one is.  I’ve finally come to accept that, and I love it.   

Entry filed under: M'ijas. Tags: .

Another surprise in the research Women on rise in Latin America?

7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Liz  |  October 26, 2007 at 4:12 am

    I couldn’t have said it better myself!

    Reply
  • 2. Erica  |  December 11, 2007 at 3:28 am

    After i read this, I thought these words were my very own. I relate so deeply to what you said it’s incredible. I am half Puerto Rican, quarter German, and quarter Welsh. It is inspirational to see that there is someone else like me who posesses the same feelings about life as I do. Thank you for sharing a piece of your life with me.

    Reply
  • 3. O'NIELL  |  July 30, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    i AM AN AMERICAN INDIAN/PUERTORICANIRISHPUERTORICAN/AFRICAN AMERICAN, I GOT PROBLEMS WITH THE PUERTO RICANS BECAUSE MY SKIN IS DARK, HOWEVER, I AM OF THE IRISH O’NIELL OF PUERTO RICO WHO DECENDENT FROM PORTUGAL AND ONE OF THE ANCESTOR OF ONIELL WAS ESPAINE, AND SPAIN WAS NAMED AFTER HIM, AND ONIELL IS THE DESCENDENT OF MILO AND SCOTIA, SCOTIA FATHER WAS AN EGYPTIAN PHAROAH AND ANCIENT EGYPT IS IN AFRICA AND IT WAS THIS EGYPTIAN PHAROAH DESCENDENT ESPAINE THAT SPAIN WAS NAMED AFTER, THIS ESPAINE IS MY RELATIVE. IT IS MY ANCESTORS THAT ARE THE REAL SPANISH. THE ANCESTORS OF ESPAINE(SPAIN), WHOSE ANCESTOR IS MILO AND SCOTIA .

    Reply
  • 4. Penny  |  August 6, 2008 at 5:10 am

    Thank you for this. I am half white, half PR. My white family is a very well to do, affluent, educated family from upstate NY. My PR family is very poor, uneducated an is plagued with inner city poverty and drug abuse. I grew up experiencing both sides of life. I know exactly how you feel, not being Hispanic enough for Latinos and not being white enough for white people. I recently went to a family reunion with my sister. There were some young cousins there we hadn’t seen in years who asked my Tia why were these white girls were at “their” party.

    On the other side, my husband is of Irish descent and his family is very racist. “We don’t like blacks/Hispanics/gays, etc. but you are different” sort of people, who are also highly uneducated. Sadly, I no longer live in NY and where I am now, I am not white enough for the white people I associate with and not brown enough for the diverse Latin community around me. I think its easier being PR in NY, because we are of many different colors, whereas being a Latina in a Mexican neighborhood, my butt is too big, my hair is too curly and my skin is too white and my Spanish is not acceptable.

    It is difficult to deal with this vast cultural dichotomy. I find it very hard to deal with people who don’t know I’m PR or my history and make snide comments about working class brown skinned people being “ghetto trash” or “cholos” in front of me.

    I am so glad that I am not alone. ALL THE BEST TO YOU!

    Reply
  • 5. Karelyn  |  March 2, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Words can not describe how many times I was shunned because of my appearence. I am Nuyorican, my parents originally from Puerto Rico. I speak very good spanish, I’m olive tone with brown hair and eyes. My features are of the many mixes my family has along with being latina. Some people think I’m Brazilian while others Italian, while others Columbian, while others Cuban… the effen list never ends and it’s because people have fixed ideas about people and places that aren’t factual. They are ideas. I consider myself to be a very good looking abd bright young woman. Being of Latin descent does not make me the person I am. I do. I LOVE my ethinicity but an educated person should know that ethinicty is not define by color or the roundness of your eyes, or the slant of your nose, or the thickness of your lips. Ethicity is not a fixed breed or race or blue print to what is expected of an individual. Being Latin is an ethicity… an enculturation of people brought together through history. Being Latina is a big part of my culture, not a definition of who I am as a human being because we all bleed red.

    Reply
  • 6. Ryan O'meilly  |  March 13, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    hey 1st r u on facebook 2nd i’m 2 am half white half puerto rican my father is german/irish my mom is puerto rican thanks for expressing what i really felt also let me piont out thet ur hot n also i’ve had my entire life the same struggle i’m 2 white for pricans n 2 puerto rican for whites if you have a facebook look 4 me ryan o’meilly anywho i would like to b friends with ya bye take care

    Reply
  • 7. roberto  |  March 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    When is the Puerto Rican community in New York going to grow up. It;s time for the Puerto Ricans to come out and show the world that we are very smart and intelligent people. That we can also achieve, and become who we want . Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Nurses, Teachers, and the list goes on and on. I’m tired of people looking down on Puerto Ricans, and say , “We are no good for nothing”, that’s not true. “We are, and we can achieve”.

    Reply

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What does it mean to be beautiful in America? For years, pop culture has insisted that beautiful women are tall, thin, and blonde. So what do you do if your mirror reflects olive skin, raven hair, and a short build? Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing Up Latina offers a provocative account of the struggles and triumphs of Latina forced to reconcile these conflicting realities. Rosie Molinary combines her own experience with the voices of hundreds of Latinas who grew up in the US navigating issues of gender, image, and sexuality. This empathetic ethnography exemplifies the ways in which our experiences are both profoundly individualistic and comfortingly universal.
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