There is one thing you should never do, allow someone to deprive you of who you are. There is two things you should never do, allow someone to steal your pride and your confidence. And if there is three things you should do is appreciate, cherish and love yourself no matter what you go through. It is imperative to be comfortable in the skin you’re in and embrace your beauty and essence.
At one point in my life I didn’t even follow my own advice. I let society’s perceptions and what they thought of me determined what I thought about myself. I shut myself out and listened loudly to everyone’s sentiments and opinions about who I was. This mainly took place because I was not content and prideful about my cultural identity. What is even cultural identity? It is the feeling of belonging to a specific group. It comes along with a person’s self-reliance and self-conception. Believe me ladies, not being comfortable with what you look like in the mirror could be an awful nightmare in the long run.
My challenge was indicating what I wanted my identity to be. This was either representing myself as a black woman or as a Latina women. It was easy to say I was Panamanian but that wasn’t what signified me ethnically. It created tribulations for me because people weren’t familiar with Panamanian traditions and culture. I had brown skin and it made it difficult for me to find out where I culturally fit in because I didn’t fit the representation of what a Latina looks like.
I persistently viewed other Latina women in the media and around me and I saw our skin didn’t match , our hair texture wasn’t the same . I questioned who I was and compared myself continuously yearning for lighter skin, longer softer hair and that spicy sassy chick you saw in movies or that girl everyone wanted in high school. In the back of my mind I knew the more I continued to compare myself the fewer chances I would ever become happy with myself.
This was not healthy as a young women to not love myself the way I was created. This was the chapter in my life I had to accept it and seize control over my life. I had to celebrate my presence because I was unique and I was different. But it was okay because there were more people like me so I potentially identified myself with the Afro- Latina community. It was stimulating in my eyes putting two diverse backgrounds together, so I took it and embraced it.
Our black Latinas are often underrepresented and divided from the rest of the Latina community. This is truly misfortunate because this makes it harder for people to want to culturally identify with a group who is treated differently. When it is such a beautiful thing to be associated with.
This is my purpose and my objective for #IamEnough blog to empower these women and let them know there is nothing wrong with being a black Latina. This is a movement that will be acknowledged and will prove its eminence. We will do this through persistence, courage, unification, self-assurance, motivation and determination. Through dedication and commitment we will shine the light upon our Afro-Latina women because it’s about time we get the recognition we deserved.