Labels Essay

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One of the many labels I am proud of it and also more upset by it is the label of being a Hispanic or Latino woman. I am a Hispanic woman and naturally that means that I must be an illegal immigrant from Central America or Mexico. I am Colombian American so I must have friend or relatives in the cocaine cartel. I’m Hispanic woman so when there’s an increase in poverty, crime, and teen pregnancy I must have something to do with it. Right? Wrong? And yet, as a person of Hispanic heritage, all of the above are labels that I had to deal with on a daily basis. Our textbook states, “Our self-concept is influence by our beliefs about how others perceive us.” (McCormack, 42). So when I started to believe that being of Hispanic heritage was a bad thing, I began to see myself as someone that needed to hide and in some cases I deny my own heritage. I started to behave more suspicious around people of other ethnic groups and stayed closer to my “own kind”, people of Hispanic heritage. I began to lie about my place of origin to avoid having to hear the demining jokes about Colombians and cocaine. “Cultural identity is part of a sophisticated definition of self” (McCormick, 52), fortunately, I realized that being of Hispanic heritage was a good very, very good thing. I realized that being a Hispanic or Latino woman was to be a strong and resilient woman. I became determined to prove to the world that Hispanic or Latino woman meant to be a person of strong loyalty to the United States and a reliable person so I served in the U.S. Army for over twenty two years. Perhaps it’s because of these labels I carry every day, that a strong urges of rebellion against labeling live within me. We all know that some people expect Hispanics to be poorly educated, so there are many who just live up to that standard, expect nothing, they give nothing. Well, that standard is not enough

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