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