Author: Wit and Purl

 


As I watch you grow older, I find myself remembering my own childhood. I wish I could say that it was easy, but I promised myself that I would share my true stories with you in hopes that you will learn from them.

I first want to tell you that growing up brown and female in this world, this country, is not easy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look that like is going to change any time soon. You will be bombarded with images and descriptions that dictate the “ideal” look of a woman. Very rarely, does that woman look like me. Very rarely, will she look like you.

I want you to know now, that this “ideal” is not true, by any means. We, you and I, are worth so much more than what we are led to believe. It’s taken me nearly my whole life to finally realize this. I should have left these insecurities behind years ago, but I find us living in a place where there are very few who’s reflections match our own.

I too, attended a predominantly white school. I was the only brown Latina in my school year. After having only attended hispanic/black schools, the absolute culture shock was indescribable. I felt the need to try to ‘keep up’ in order to fit in. Their clothes were nicer, expensive, and hard to emulate. They wore make up, shaved their legs, and colored their hair. They weren’t even 12 years old yet, but the disparity between us was great. I know that your grandparents tried to provide what they could. I can’t necessarily blame them for getting frustrated with me when I asked for things beyond what we could afford.

I wish that they, instead of getting frustrated with me, would have spent some time assuring me that this was only a temporary period of my life. That I had no need to compare myself to the other girls. That just because I had dark brown hair, and brown skin, I was in no way inferior to them.

I wish that instead of scolding me my parents would have explained why. That instead of continuously pointing out the socioeconomic differences that they would have pointed out the unique qualities I possessed and celebrated them.

In college, I found myself realizing that I was not going to fit into society’s mold. I had begun to embrace those troubling experiences and look for lessons in which to make my future children more comfortable in their own skin.

From the moment I first laid eyes on you, I knew that it would be hard for you to grow up here. You do not look like any of the other neighborhood kids. Your skin is a soft, pale reflection of your European ancestry, but the lashes on your almond eyes whisper the names of native ancestors we know nothing about.

You are the legacy of a multitude of people who have struggled to keep their place in this world. We are constantly made to feel like outsiders in our own lands. We are constantly made to feel uncomfortable in our own bodies. Our looks are emulated, and yet our selves are discarded. The emotional baggage that comes with feeling inadequate is not what I want for you.

I want you to always stand proud of who you are and where you come from. I want you to find your worth within and not in what others say you must be. You are already so smart, and so beautiful in your own way. Do not lose your self value because you do not fit into the mold of society. This is what makes you most special: that you are you, and no one else can be you.

I want you to know that you are enough as you are.

 

Say it with me: I am enough.

 

Believe it with me: I am enough.

 

We, You, I am enough.

 

I am enough.

 

I Am Enough

 

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