You Might Be Racist If You Don't Think I Look Mexican
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Politics and Activism

If You Think I Don’t Look Mexican, You Might Be Racist

What are Mexicans supposed to look like?

If You Think I Don’t Look Mexican, You Might Be Racist
Ana Paula Ricalde Muench

"Hair as black as ebony, lips as red as the rose, skin as white as snow. "You've probably heard that before because it's the description of one of the most famous Disney princesses of all time: Snow White. But what if I told you that (minus the hair as black as ebony) was my description as well? Cool. But what if I ALSO told you I'm Mexican? You probably wouldn't believe me.

My whole life I've had to deal with people who think it's a huge compliment to tell me I don't look or sound Mexican. And let's be real here, that doesn't even get close to being a compliment. I was born and raised in Mexico City, and I've also lived there my whole life with the exception of when I went to boarding school in Switzerland for a year and now that I'm based in Orlando for the Disney College Program.

When people tell me I don't look Mexican, I kind of feel the urge to be sarcastic and snap at them. What are Mexicans supposed to look like? Do you expect us all to have mustaches and wear sombreros? Are we all supposed to be short and chubby? Are you expecting me to say ¡Ay caramba! after every single sentence? It just drives me crazy how some people can just assume all Mexicans look, act, talk and dress the same way.

The problem is that a lot of people associate Mexican people with a certain race, so let me tell you a thing or two about race, and how different it is from nationality or citizenship. Your race is determined by things like your skin color, your hair color, your bone structure, your facial features, and all the physical aspects of your being. And even though some races are directly related to certain geographical areas, that doesn't mean that people from other races can also live in those areas. In fact, if you live in the United States and aren't Native American, your race does NOT correlate to the geographical area you currently reside in.

The same applies to Mexican people. Yes, there are lots of Mexicans whose ancestry can be directly traced back to prehispanic times, but most Mexicans actually have European (specifically Spanish) ancestry in their blood, and there's also lots of Mexicans who don't even have a drop of prehispanic ancestry in their blood at all. Mexico is a country, just like France, Germany, the United States, or Australia, and people from all over the world have migrated, settled, and started families there for decades.

I absolutely love my country and I will always be proud of it, so don't ever think that telling me that I don't look like I could be from Mexico would be a good idea. It's not a compliment, and you will definitely come off as a racist person. And if you're just feeling really inclined to tell people that they don't look like they could be from the country they just told you they're from, take a moment to evaluate whether or not YOU look like you could be from the country you live in. If that sounds stupid to you, then you finally understand why it sounds stupid to me.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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