At age 11, I began to flat-iron my hair. With a straightener or even a plancha.
I wanted to be able to run my fingers through my hair.
In my eyes, my hair was too thick, too curly, too poofy.
I wanted it luscious and silky.
At age 13, I began to bleach my skin.
In 1st period Kiki called me a “guajaquita” partly because I was short and because of my dark color.
When I got home that day, I grabbed a bottle of bleach to lighten my skin because I was, “ Too Dark”
later that night I couldn’t sleep, the pain from the bleach was tearing holes in to my skin .
my knuckles split open, my thighs and face had manchas. I looked like what a toddler would ask their mama where leche de chocolate came from.
Although I visioned an Alabaster, pure luscious skin
The perfect color for a girl’s skin tone.
The creamy white hints at innocence and the skin radiating a slight glow, as if I were somehow illuminated from the inside.
I was not illuminated.
But hardiendo por dentro!
My freshman year in high school, contacts were a hit.
Brown eyes were too basic. Plane. ugly .
Each day my best friend Gloriana would have different colored eyes.
Monday she’d have blue eyes , Tuesday she’d have green. Wednesday she’d have hazel eyes. As much as I wanted colored contacts
I didn’t feel comfortable enough to be constantly sticking my fingers in my eyes.
It wasn’t until the end of my sophomore year in summer, when Jessica saw my natural hair at a sleepover and told me “ You are so stupid!”
How I wished I could wake up with curls like yours.”
And so, the beginning of my junior year I stopped straightening my hair.
At the end of semester, the day before prom a couple of girls showed up to class and walked in looking like orange painted terracotta
A fool ..
I was damaging my skin, while white girls were trying to have this glowing tan that I get from simply walking home from school.
I Didn’t know modifying my appearance was not only stripping the pigment of my skin, but my cultura as well.
I didn’t know there is no such thing as “ too dark”. As if “ too dark”, had a definition
It is simply ignorance generated from the caste system.
I Didn’t know that not speaking Spanish does not make you less of a “Mexican”
I may have kept the tongue but lost the culture.
Later to find out Spanish was not the language my ancestors spoke.
I didn’t know if I wanted to dream, I needed to be cultural conscious
I didn’t know that in order to grow, I needed to know my roots.