Spanish | African American

Photo credit: Cristopher Salas

Photo credit: Cristopher Salas

I don’t have a specific race because I have pale skin, red and blonde curly afro hair, but my African features. I don’t belong to any religion, but I believe in God, I’m straight. Both my parents are from Costa Rica, but my mom’s family is originally from Spain (she is a Caucasian with strawberry blonde hair and green eyes). My father’s family are African-American (he is biracial), they met in Costa Rica.

I recognised I was mixed-race when I noticed that I didn’t look like anyone. I was 13 years old and I was so insecure about myself, so I searched in the internet ‘Black girls with light hair’ and it was the first time I read ‘mixed-race’. As a result, I did a big investigation for knowing about who I was, my identity. I then asked my parents about their families and story. It is very important to know about your parent’s heritage and story.

Where I grew up had a little effect on how I identify with my dual heritage. There, people looked alike. They were dark skinned with straight black hair because their parents looked the same. But I was the only kid that had parents with different races. I knew I was not like the people who lived there.

My parents managed combining their cultures easily, they shared both cultures with me. It’s funny because when I was a kid, I used to think that both cultures were only one. However, when I asked them about their childhood, I noticed that everything they taught me was not only one culture, there were two cultures.

I had the big challenge of discovering who I was, because I looked like the perfect mix of my parents, but I didn’t look like anyone in my parent’s families, I didn’t look like the girls in the magazine, or like my friends. Accepting myself was the biggest challenge because I received a lot of bullying because of being mixed. The second challenge is about ignoring people’s comments like “but you are not that Black”, “you are not that White”, “you are not that ginger”, “you are not that blonde”. I used to think that I was like an alien, because according to people’s comments I could not identify myself with any race.

I live in such lovely environment since I started to love myself, people from my country now are so amazed about my story because where I live. Now there are a lot of mixed people.

My culture affects the way I connect with fashion & my hair. Being mixed-race affects the way I blend into society & connect to current trends. Many photographers are so interested in working with me because of my physical appearance. I’m a dancer so my dance mentor says that I have a unique style, so that makes me feel so happy. Now it feels cool to be different, because every single detail makes me who I am, I wouldn’t change anything.

If I had the opportunity to be reborn I would not change anything, because every single experience made who I am right know, I’m so happy for everything I have, it was a hard way before I started to accept myself, but here I am proud of my roots.