So this has been something that’s been essentially apart of my life ever since i was darn born. More so around middle and high school years of my life when labels and categories are what dominated social life back then, not saying they still don’t, but it was more of a problem then compared to now.
What am i talking about? I’m talking about ethnic ambiguity and everyone’s need to place someone in a certain category of race. Now, I think i have just about heard it all. In my 20 years of being alive, i have heard that i look Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Indian, Dominican, Egyptian and so on and so forth. Never once (okay, maybe someone did get it right once, but that’ll come later), has someone actually got what i truly am, correct. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, I am none of the above listed, to your wonderment I am actually Colombian-*Puerto Rican. Or if you want to be correct to the highest degree, i was born here so; Colombian-Puerto Rican-American, but I’m not one for labels and that’s truly one massive label.
(*I’m actually not that much Puerto Rican. My dad was born here, but his parents were born in PR. So to keep things simple for people I just say I’m Colombian and as a side note say I’m also a little Puerto-Rican, too. Nonetheless, PR is a beautiful island with great food, culture, and people. Onward with the post now.)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I really don’t care that people guess where I’m from wrong. It’s almost fun having people guess all the countries of the world. What get’s me going is when I finally tell them where I’m from and they’re like “oh….seriously? But you don’t look Colombian”. At this moment i almost always just look at the other person in annoyment, because I know exactly what they’re thinking. They never guessed Colombian because of the fact that I don’t “act” like one. As in, I don’t apparently wear scandalous enough clothing that shows off my body and my figure, I don’t “talk” like the Colombians you see on T.V, **EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE OTHER REGIONS OF COLOMBIA WITH DIFFERENT ACCENTS YOU IGNORANT PEOPLE (sorry, this gets me the most angry)**, or I’m not exerting my sexuality onto everyone that walks by me because apparently that is what people correlate Colombians with, too.
This all annoys me now because not only are they stereotyping Colombian women with these ideas that are shown on TV, but they also then go on to say that I’m not a “real Colombian” whatever the fuck that means. Which strips me of my pride for my beautiful people and country that my mother had left behind to find a better future for herself here. You can see how this can make me angry. Imagine someone telling you, you aren’t from a certain background because you don’t look like the generic stereotype of that said culture, or because you don’t speak the language right or correctly. Like what kind of bullshit is that? No matter where you come from, there are a million different ways in which people can look like, there is not just one way of looking like you come from a certain place. Don’t make me feel like I am not valid enough to represent my country just because i don’t look or speak a certain way. You’re taking my heritage and pride for my country away from me when you do that and no one should ever have to feel that way.
So just because society has a certain idea in which certain people “should look like” don’t buy into those horrible, degrading, and almost always racist, views. People can look and act however the hell they want to. Everyone is different. Everyone is human. Just because we come from a certain place doesn’t mean that we are all going to look, act, and sound the same. Don’t be so stupid. And for the love of God, yes, i come from a predominantly Colombian background and no, we don’t all look like Sophia Vergara.