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Author Topic: this is an odd question, but it's been bothering me
Bunni13
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Okay, my family supports me in whatever I do and they support who I want to be and what I already am. My mothers side is Italian, typically Italians are somewhat light skinned, a large variation of eye color, and have darker hair. My fathers side is Puerto Rican. I have more of this in my blood, but I love both sides. The only thing is, when I tell someone what I am mostly (Puerto Rican) they tell me I'm very light skinned (which I am AND I have freckles which doesnt help *I don't know how I got them*) and I have blue/green eyes. My hair is very dark, so that's the only point there.

My cousin and I go to school together (her mom is white but very dark complected and her dad is PR) She is very dark complected has black hair and hazel eyes. She will ONLY say she is Puerto Rican, not half (at least when someone asks me I will tell them that I DO have Italian also). I find it hard to connect with the other Latinos in my school, when they have a hard time believing that's what I am. They don't have ANY problem connecting with her. It's frusturating b/c no other Italians go to our school but one (and she's VERY hard to get along with)... I don't understand why a certain look has to go with an ethnic background. I'm very proud of my Puerto Rican background, and when someone says "well you don't look PR" it really REALLY hurts. I guess I'm just asking for someone to help me out or cheer me up. Thanks for listening to my babble.

Jerrica

*also, I don't just hang out with Italians or Latinos. I hang out with everyone. I didn't want anyone thinking I was stuck up or something [Razz]

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Posts: 65 | From: Missouri, US | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ecofem
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quote:
Originally posted by Bunni13:
I don't understand why a certain look has to go with an ethnic background. I'm very proud of my Puerto Rican background, and when someone says "well you don't look PR" it really REALLY hurts. I guess I'm just asking for someone to help me out or cheer me up. Thanks for listening to my babble.

It is completely ridiculious for people to be telling you what you look like or don't look like... since when did they become the judges of what "looks" Puerto Rican or not!?! We live in a really global community with mixed backgrounds, and nowadays it's really hard to say what Italian or Puerto Rican or German or American "looks" like. Cultural identity is a tricky subject.

But I know racial/ethnic identity has been traditionally a big question in Puerto Rico. However, considering there's historically been a mix of people of Amerindian/African/European/Asian descent, Puerto Ricans can be "Puerto Rican" and look like anything and everything. I found an article online on this, which I just skimmed over. It's called "Understanding Ethnic Labels and Puerto Rican Identity" http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2000/1/00.01.05.x.html

I think it comes down to these classmates being crappy for making you feel bad. Maybe they're unsure of their own identity or trying to determine what they "are" so they use you to understand themselves better. You should go ahead and be proud of your Puerto Rican heritage if you want and don't let anyone else make you feel otherwise! [Smile]

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Ecofem
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To maybe put this in a different perspective:

In high school (in the US) I was pretty punky in terms of mindset/clothing/music/all that jazz. In my diverse East Coast suburban/urban high school there were 2,500 students and a lot of different "cliques," including one big "punky" clique. They were the most popular and also very exclusive, such as having no girls. Does this mean that they determined who was "punk" or not? No way, there were plenty of other "punky" people who weren't in the group. If anything, the people in that one group were dumb***es and exclusionist, and could not been seen as the measuring stick for punkiness.

For another example, I had a good friend whose parents emigrated to the US from Korea. She grew up speaking only English and felt excluded by some Korean-speaking students at the school, who felt she wasn't truly Korean-American "enough" if she didn't speak the langauge. She still felt she was Korean-American, and if she felt this way, who was to say she wasn't?

So what I'm trying to say here is, cultural identity may play a role here, but it just comes down to exclusion. I know it sometimes hurts, but try to stick to the people who are nice and like you for you, not for the label they stick on you. [Smile]

[ 01-28-2007, 09:29 AM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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Bunni13
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Thank you both for your reposts. I have thought about it, and some of my friends helped, and I've come to my decision that... I don't care about other people and what they think of me. If I know what I am, then that's all I need to worry about. [Smile]

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Fact: Many teens in the US have pregnancy as their main worry- which is only one risk to worry about when you're sexually active. If you are sexually active, it's healthy to have STI tests. Please, get tested.

Posts: 65 | From: Missouri, US | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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Well, I for one think it's cool that you're in touch with both sides of your heritage. Culture makes up so much more about us as people than our DNA, imho.

as for fitting in with "my people," I gotta say, I grew up with mostly white people. i didn't quite fit in at my school, but i figured i'd find a niche at college (UC Berkeley is almost 50% asian now).

funny thing is, i TOTALLY didn't fit in with those folks either. i tried to join the asian-american association and other culture/race organizations. it wasn't what i was looking for. instead, i wound up hanging in a computer lab all the time with a motley diverse gang of nerds.

so hey, so what if they're not exactly in touch with you. you've got a good niche already with your friends and all.

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Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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