Note: Before reading you should know that this is my first post dealing with being Latina. I generally post about all sorts of things...but I was inspired as you will see below...read on...even if you are a beautiful gringa. Lub ya!
I was inspired by a post by Unknown Mami in regard to a comment she made on another blog about being Latina. I know I will get on "some" peoples nerves with a post like this, but its my blog, and you know where you can go hunny. So what does it mean to be Latina? Well I can only give you my perspective in hopes that it educates and inspires you to form your own definition.
Being Latina to me is having roots in your family tree that you know originate from a Latin country. Now, does that mean that there is a percentage given for the "amount" of Latin roots your family holds? No, of course not. I believe that Latinas are woman that can offer diverse cultural perceptions and apply these things to the very core of what makes them Latina. Latinas hold on tight to that connection with culture, and are not easily swayed from it.
It to me is that simple. If you embrace your Latin roots, you are a Latina. So what does a Latina look like? Easy right? Brown/black hair, brown eyes, and olive to dark skin. Easy enough. No really its not that easy. Latinas to me are the biggest chameleons. We can be pale skinned with green eyes and dirty blond hair. We can be shades of creamy ebony with unruly hair and eccentric features. We can be short, brown eyed beauties with large breasts and bootylicious bottoms. We come in all shapes, sizes, and shades. Does that sound like something you can categorize?
If you are culturally connected to your Latin roots and how they contributed to the woman you are today, you are Latina. More then anything, Latina is a state of mind. It is being able to hold on to deeply rooted traditions of family, loyalty, integrity, and love. More importantly it is about embracing the very thread that makes you unique as a decedent of Latin origins, while working to fight against perpetuating stereotypes and prejudices.
Personally it has always been a personal mission, to keep Mexican cultural influences strong in my family and in my children. Once upon a time, someone crossed that border to form what would later become the creation of me. How can I not admire that? The want for something better for your family, so much so that you would be willing to risk you life to get it. Now for me personally, this happened many generations ago, for others like my husband, this transition can be heard first hand from his Mexican born parents who now legally reside in the U.S.
Wherever your Latina roots stem from, I hope that you too have a little something you can stay connected to. Something that will have a life of its own and provide a blueprint for many Latin American generations to come. It is essentially about progress and the grain that makes us proud Americans intertwined with a background and history unmatched by any other. Why? Because it is yours and yours alone.
Here are some of my favorite cover girls to have graced the front pages of Latina Magazine and have continued to inspire many of us. If you do not have a subscription, you should seriously consider it. JMO