My family is of Mexican ancestry but I was born in America. It’s obvious that I am not a movie star or a successful celebrity. I am simply a woman from Los Angeles who happened to want to make something out of herself in order to succeed in life. Being raised in LA doesn’t necessarily mean that i was born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I had a hard upbringing like most middle class people.
Many of my relatives in Mexico think that my family is rolling around in money. Not true. The fact that I happened to have been raised near Hollywood and Beverly Hills does not mean that i have celebrities’ phone numbers on speed dial. I have not been grazed by the presence of famous people. To me, that is extremely annoying because every time I go visit my family in Mexico, i always get asked questions like… “What is Jennifer Lopez like?”, “Have you seen so and so?” I know that it’s a minor thing to feel upset about, but it really annoys that that every time I go out of the country, people think that i have been privileged my entire life because I happen to be an American citizen.
Being in this country i have realized that my Mexican heritage and culture is portrayed a certain way. For example, last year on May 05 the dining commons here at CSUMB served Hispanic dishes. That was not the problem. To me, the problem was when people came to dinner dressed in ridiculous outfits and had the traditional sombreros on. Now if that wasn’t enough of a problem for me, the fact that a lot of those people who happened to be wearing the clothing, were yelling at the top of their lungs the “Mariachi yell”. It bothered me because out of these people that were wearing and yelling, many of them were not of Mexican descent. I am not saying that the fact that their appearance is different from my own is the problem or that they are attacking my culture, all I am saying is that it bothers me that the media has put this image into our minds of what a Mexican person should look like and how we should act. In many movies, whenever there is a Mexican the women have flocorico dresses on and the dresses are usually bright colors and the men have sombreros. Honestly if you were to look at the Mexican people out on the streets, count how many are dressed in that manner. If you were to travel to Mexico, no one is dressed like that. We all wear the same clothing, whether it be a t-shirt and jeans. To me the outlook of what people think is “Mexican” is a label in my opinion.