A Little Anecdote from a Brown Mexican

A Little Anecdote from a Brown Mexican

This is a story about the one time I was told I have the perfect skin color for a Mexican.
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When I was younger, my dad told me about a dream he had. His uncle, who had recently passed away, talked to him in a dream and said something like “Amaris has the most perfect skin color for a Mexican”. As a young child, of course it was a great compliment to me as any compliment was nice. However, now that I’m older, I realize how terrible the compliment was.

In this first place, we should note that my skin color is pretty tan and brown. Telling me I have the perfect skintone for a Mexican is kind of like saying that all other Mexicans should aspire to have a skin color similar to mine. It’s like saying a darker skin color is ugly, while a light skin color is not Mexican enough, which is what typically is said. The problem is that there is no just one Mexican color. When you say that brown is the Mexican color, you’re essentially rejecting any other Mexican with a skin tone that’s not brown. It creates a dilemma with self-identity.

I know that brown is typically used as symbol for Mexican proudness, such saying “brown power”, and I obviously have no problem whatsoever with having pride in oneself culture. The problem is that it may sometimes make other Mexicans who aren’t brown outcasted or irrelevant. For example, we often forget about Afro-Latinx, and then this is a huge problem when it comes to anti-blackness in Latinx communities. Similarly, “La Raza” is a term that was also used as an anti-black strategy, as well to reject indigenous people. There is also definitely white privilege even in the Latinx community. One instance is Eurocentric beauty standards, with the praise of small noses, light colored eyes, straight hair, light skin. You can see lighter-toned models, but you rarely see indigenous models in any Latinx magazines.

You, of course, do not have to agree with me. It’s just an idea I have going on inside of my head. Personally, I do in fact love my skin color. It reminds me that I am in fact Mexican, and I am very proud of it. However, I didn’t always think like this. I used to hate being Mexican for some weird and odd reason. I used to hate being brown. People would often tell me that I have a sort of accent when I speak, and I hated it. And now, I could never think of feeling like that ever again. I come from a beautiful culture, and I would ever deny it from now on. I’m glad I have had the opportunity to learn more about my heritage because it represents who I am.

If there’s anything that you could have learned from this article, even us in the Mexican community have a lot of problems to address. Anti-blackness is one of them. We also have machismo, classism, anti-LGBTQ+. We have a lot of problems, but I believe that we can also fix them. Because “we're MexiCANS, not MexiCAN'TS”. One point for you if you know where that’s from.

Cover Image Credit: Amaris Duran

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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5 Ways To Promote Diversity In Your Everyday Situations

What does diversity look like to you?

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Diversity. What is it, really?

Well, according to Merriam-Webster, diversity is the inclusion of different types of people (such as people of different races or cultures) in a group or organization and a more general definition is the condition of having or being composed of differing elements. It is basically allowing yourself to be exposed to elements/situations different from yours. Seems simple enough right? Maybe, but it is still a difficult concept for many people. If you are one of those people, here are some tips I think would be good for you to implement in your day-to-day activities.

1. Get to know people you look different from you.

This is probably the most basic one. Even though I don't believe that diversity is just having friends of different races, it is definitely a big component. Having friends who only look, speak and act like you means you're missing out on a whole other culture of people that you could probably learn a lot from.

2. Get to know people who think differently from you.

This could range from people who have differing political opinions to people who have different political opinions to people who just have different personal preferences than you. Find out why they think the way that they do and how it influences the way they do the things they do. As you're exploring the other side of the coin you'll also be getting to know them better!

3. Ask about the things people say and do that you don't understand.

I know for me being a Nigerian, I do and say many things subconsciously that many Americans do not understand but when people ask me about those things, first of all, it tells me that you're paying attention to me (which I love) and it gives me an opportunity to share some of my culture with you.

4. Be intentional about learning about other cultures

I hear so many people say "I love Asian culture!" or "I just love Africa!" but which part of those continents (highlighting this because people seem to always forget that they're not actually countries)? And what are you doing to further educate yourself on those places? Being intentional about learning means taking concrete steps; joining a student organization relating to that culture, befriending people who've lived in those places and keeping up with what is happening in those places. Going on a mission trip every five years just doesn't cut it.

5. Don't be shy about asking or answering hard questions

This is a big one. Often times when you have friends of different races, hard questions come up that can often be difficult to answer or even just ask. But that is the advantage of being friends with someone; you can talk more honestly with that person than with a random person that you meet. Having those hard conversations provides the opportunity for you to strengthen that relationship and educate yourselves in the process.

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