To The POC Youth Growing Up In America Wanting To Be White
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

To The POC Youth Growing Up In America Wanting To Be White

"That’s what I wanted to be. I wanted to be white since I was ashamed having to call myself Mexican, thanks to colonization."

To The POC Youth Growing Up In America Wanting To Be White
Feminist Wire

Imagine a twelve-year old girl.

Brown hair, brown eyes, brown skin. She tries her best to speak her best Spanish to her grandmother, often forgetting what some words mean. She thinks back to the words her mom used to tell her - “I don’t want you to forget your Spanish, como le vas a hablar a tus abuelos?” But she didn’t want to speak Spanish because she wanted to be white.

That twelve-year old girl with ancestry from Mexico wanting so badly to be white used to be me.

I didn’t want to speak Spanish and have an accent because it wasn’t white. I didn’t want to listen to rancheras, corridos, or duranguense. I wanted to listen to Fall Out Boy, Paramore or Bring Me the Horizon. I didn’t want to eat frijoles and tortilla everyday. I wanted to be able to enjoy pizza and fries. I didn’t want brown skin. I wanted to be pale and white because that’s what boys liked according to all those songs and books. Pale skin, blonde hair, blue eyes. That’s what I wanted to be. I wanted to be white since I was ashamed having to call myself Mexican, thanks to colonization.

When I was in middle school, I hid away from my Mexican heritage.

When I went out with my family, we were loud. At parties, family members would be drunk and singing to Mi Gusto Es. At cookouts, I didn’t eat arrachera because I hated the taste and feeling of meat. I didn’t feel like I fit in with the rest of my Mexican family who enjoyed all of what I just listed. I was shy and quiet. I became a vegetarian, and I never liked the thought of drinking alcohol (that changed clearly). In addition, it was not just with my family but my friends, too. I was the only one of my friends who didn’t have to have a confirmation or communion. I didn’t have a quinceñera either. I was not brought up as religious. I didn’t think I was Mexican or brown enough. So why would I want to be something that I didn’t feel connected to?

Getting into high school, I began to see that being Mexican isn’t just all the listed things. The Mexican - and Latinx - community overall is a complex group.

Not just the fact that Latin America is a mixed group made up of indigenous, white, and black, but it is incredibly diverse of culture. Learning all of this, I began to feel that I shouldn’t be afraid of where my family is from. Because even though I was not born in Mexico and I am not able to identify with all the traditional Mexican aspects, I still am Mexican. I do have a sort of accent, and I’ve spoken Spanish since I was able to speak. It was my first language. I do enjoy tortillas and frijoles. I love being with my abuelita and talking to her about life. I loved every navidad and all the tamales we would have after. I live for spicy food, and I love Ramón Ayala’s Tragos Amargos. I am all of these. But I was also raised in the United States. I do like listening to Paramore and the 1975. I like readings book written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and I like Harry Potter. I like drinking Starbucks, and I actually really like avocado toast. I am all of these things.

“Ni de aqui, ni de alla” is a saying I tend to hear a lot, especially among immigrants.

I think back to when I learned about the Pachucos from the 1940s, and how this saying would resonate with them. They created their own identity of not identifying with neither white Americans because they weren’t white, or with Mexico because they weren’t born or raised in Mexico. They did not think themselves as from here or over there because they weren’t either. They were just who they were. Just like me.

I stopped wanting to be white when I realized how beautiful my culture is and how lucky I am to be a part of it.

Sure, I can’t identify with all of it, but it is who I am. I began to be proud of my brown skin and my culture. I stopped worshipping Eurocentric beauty that made me feel bad about myself, and I started to look up at women who looked more like me. Women of color who are amazing role models to not just me but other brown and black little girls. I hope to one day be a role model to a little girl who is feeling bad about her brown skin and remind her that she is still beautiful with her dark colored eyes. And even if she doesn’t feel like she is part of her culture, she still is. I’ll remind her that there is nothing wrong with hating meat or not listening to corridos, that she can still enjoy her own favorite type music and be a part of her culture.

She can hate or not identify with certain parts of her heritage, but she can still be her heritage.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Baseball Spring Training Is A Blast In Arizona
Patricia Vicente

Nothing gets me more pumped up than the nice weather and the sights and sounds of the baseball season quickly approaching.

Keep Reading... Show less

Impact Makers: Melanie Byrd

Find out how this TikTok star gets women excited about science!

Impact Makers: Melanie Byrd

How it all began

Keep Reading... Show less

22 Songs To Use For Your Next GoPro Video

Play one of these songs in the background for the perfect vacation vibes.


We've all seen a Jay Alvarez travel video and wondered two things: How can I live that lifestyle and how does he choose which song to use for his videos?

Keep Reading... Show less

13 Roleplay Plots You Haven't Thought Of Yet

Stuck on ideas for a roleplay? Here you go!

13 Roleplay Plots You Haven't Thought Of Yet

One thing that many creators know is that fun to have characters and different universes to work with but what's the point if you have nothing to do with them? Many people turn to roleplay as a fun way to use characters, whether they're original or from a fandom. It'd a fun escape for many people but what happens when you run out of ideas to do? It's a terrible spot to be in. So here are a few different role play plot ideas.

Keep Reading... Show less

Deep in the Heart of Texas

A Texan's responsibilities when introducing an out-of-stater to Texas culture.


While in college, you are bound to be friends with at least one person who is not from Texas. Now Texas is a culture of its own, and it is up to you to help introduce them to some good ole Texas traditions during their time here. Show your friends that famous Southern hospitality!

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments