I Learned To Love My Brown Skin
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

I Learned To Love My Brown Skin

Because Latinos do it better.

8
I Learned To Love My Brown Skin
Nancy Garzon

I learned to love my brown skin when I came to college, and realized that I stood out from my friend group. Everyone back home looked just like me, so I was not aware of the effect my brown skin could have on my own self. Sure, mainstream media appeals to the white woman, but what I grew up wanting to be part of Rebelde, having Selena Quintanilla as my idol, and admiring the women in my family for who they were. Yet, there were some instances when growing up that I wanted to have lighter skin and blonde hair so I could be pretty, because I overheard a petty white boy that I was too brown. Even the nickname “morena” would get to me every time someone called me that when passing the street, or going to el mercado.

When I came to college, someone asked me where I was from. No, they did not mean where in the United States, but where in Mexico I was from. Now at the time the question did not bother me, but with time it would build up into a bigger problem.

You can’t assume that because I am brown that I am illegal and from Mexico, (which I am Mexican but that is beside the point).

Another day at a party, a random guy was talking to my friend and I for about 20 minutes. He proceeded to compliment how beautiful we were, but what bothered me is the word choice. This white male compliments my friend by saying how beautiful she is, then turns to me and says how exotic I am. In my mind I thought of every direction this could go, but I decided just to stay quiet.

Listening in to my friends’ conversations during dinner, or when hanging out as a group, I could never relate to what they were saying.

I grew up watching overdramatic novelas, listening to music ranging from Daddy Yankee to Juan Gabriel to Vicente Fernandez. My diet consisted of enchiladas, tacos (real tacos), tamales en Navidad, and raspados on a summer day. I grew up with the banging of pots every Sunday morning and avoiding telling my mom I was bored or else she would say “pues ponte a limpiar,” and she would make it a cleaning day, and when she was on the phone with my aunt in Mexico I had to talk to her no matter what.

At that moment I realized that I was learning to love my brown skin, that it did not matter if I didn’t know the lyrics to High School Musical, or have never seen Harry Potter. What mattered to me was that I loved my culture, my upbringing, and I loved waking up to a cleaning day because that meant listening to corridos, norteñas, and cumbias.

Loving my brown skin meant I was different from everyone else, it meant that I could insult every guy in Spanish who always said to me “say something sexy in Spanish”. Loving my brown, Latina skin meant that even though my body isn’t like Sofia Vergara, I can make some bomb tacos, shake my hips to the beat of the music, sing all the words to Tragos de Amargo Licor, and break the barriers by being a first-generation college student.

Gracias a Dios por ser Latina.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

62154
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less
a man and a woman sitting on the beach in front of the sunset

Whether you met your new love interest online, through mutual friends, or another way entirely, you'll definitely want to know what you're getting into. I mean, really, what's the point in entering a relationship with someone if you don't know whether or not you're compatible on a very basic level?

Consider these 21 questions to ask in the talking stage when getting to know that new guy or girl you just started talking to:

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

Challah vs. Easter Bread: A Delicious Dilemma

Is there really such a difference in Challah bread or Easter Bread?

40649
loaves of challah and easter bread stacked up aside each other, an abundance of food in baskets
StableDiffusion

Ever since I could remember, it was a treat to receive Easter Bread made by my grandmother. We would only have it once a year and the wait was excruciating. Now that my grandmother has gotten older, she has stopped baking a lot of her recipes that require a lot of hand usage--her traditional Italian baking means no machines. So for the past few years, I have missed enjoying my Easter Bread.

Keep Reading...Show less
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

961383
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

208029
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments