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Best of Both Worlds

todayJune 22, 2016 11

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By Asia Daggs
Blog Content Contributor

A few decades back, it was not seen as decent or appropriate to be with someone of different race or ethnicity. We have all heard stories or watched movies that display an interracial couple going through obstacles just to be together. Some would say America is now a melting pot of all cultures, or that everyone has a ‘little bit of everything’ in them. Interracial couples and biracial children are now seen as normal and not as much of a shock anymore. However, we have not completely abandoned the labels or ‘boxes’ that society tries to put us in. Multiple factors played a part in my self-discovery over the years: society’s perception, television, media and my own naive mentality.

Photo by Holly Henrichsen.
Photo by Holly Henrichsen.

Growing up, I didn’t appreciate my hair’s texture, skin color or even my name. I thought I wanted long, straight hair with bangs instead of my unruly puff balls (they were cute back then) and a more commonly used name. My mother tried her hardest to get me and my sister to understand that our uniqueness is something to take pride in, but I think I was too absorbed in what I was getting fed from society.

I am a huge entertainment junkie; all of my favorite movies and shows portrayed white families, and I idolized those characters without being able to actually relate to them. I wasn’t appreciative of my culture at that time, and now that I am older, I realize how silly I was acting. Was it all my fault, or was it the non-diverse entertainment that moved me to neglect my individuality?

I was raised with my mother’s side of the family, so my siblings and I grew up in a Hispanic dominate cultured household. Naturally, I identified with that side a little more than my African American side, but due to my darker skin tone, it was like I wasn’t allowed to be in that category. People at school and other public places would assume I was full black and then later wouldn’t believe that I was half Hispanic. I wasn’t bothered with the assumptions of me being full black, I just didn’t appreciate that my other culture would be disregarded.

It’s super common to be multiracial nowadays, so why are we still trying to be put in categories? Not everyone can fit into one certain group, and they should not be seen as an outsider for it. It wasn’t until I was older, when I started to appreciate both cultures, and now I couldn’t be more proud. It is up to us to change the perceptions and requirements of our society’s “ideal system.” Even though we are all different, we are still one enormous group of the exact same species: Humans. Always remember to take pride in whatever your culture(s) may be and most importantly, treat everyone as equals.

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