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Breanna Macias
English 115
Professor Lawson
28 September 2016
Identity Essay: Final Rough Draft
Word Count: 1078
My Looks Dont Define Who I am
We live in a society with different ethnicities, religions, genders, and sexualities. We all
create stereotypes based on information that is given to us or what we hear. Being surrounded by
a variety of options to identify ourselves with may be confusing. An individual has their own
way of identifying who he or she really is. When a person discovers their truest self, it will help
shape their identity. Born and raised in the United States, I identify myself as a Hispanic which
makes me the person I am today. The Hispanic tradition, music, literature, food, and the entire
culture itself has been a part of my life ever since I was a little girl.
When people hear about Hispanics they automatically think of us in a negative way. In
the eyes of others, we identify as drug dealers, gang members, lazy workers, immigrants, and
uneducated. To others we cause the most trouble, but we are just like the rest. We deserve to be
respected because we are humans too. Being a part of the Hispanic culture has shaped me
because it helped me understand the struggles my family has been through in the past and to take
advantage of the opportunities that are given to me. My grandfather would always tell me, Be
proud of who you are. I am proud of who I am and the culture I am a part of because there is so
much to admire. Learning how to speak Spanish at a young age was a challenge for me because
words were pronounced differently. Even though I struggled I had my mother, grandparents,

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aunts, and uncles to teach me the correct way. Now that I am college, I applied for financial aid,
which is a huge opportunity for me because it will help pay for my tuition and other college
expenses. There are many students that do not have the same opportunity because they do not
qualify for it. My family has taught me to value everything in life. My ethnicity plays a huge role
in my identity because it represents who I am.
A person should not be defined by the music he or she listens too. There are many
different music genres to listen too, but what I listen to the most is Spanish rock n roll, banda
(band), hip hop, etc. It reminds me of driving around the pueblo (town) or sitting outside of my
uncles ranch. When I listen to my favorite rock n roll artist Alejandra Guzman, her music puts
me in such a good mood. When I attended my first concert it was one of my favorite bands,
Banda MS, it was like being at Coachella. I sang until my voice was gone and I danced all night.
If I were to attend a genre concert I am sure I would not feel like I belong there. I do not care if
people call me paisa because Spanish music is what makes me happy and it calms me down.
Instead of living the American Dream, I lived the Mexican Dream because I
experience every Hispanic tradition. My grandparents are traditional, they were born and raised
in Mexico. My grandmother made sure that I understood why specific foods were made on
certain occasions. My family celebrated various Hispanic holidays, but the one I remember the
most was Mexican Independence Day. My family would get together at my grandparents house
to celebrate their independence. What I love about this celebration is that every single family
member would bring a traditional plate. I was surrounded by different kinds of dishes; tamales,
enchiladas, pozole (pork soup), bistec con chile rojo (steak with red chile), rice, beans, and chiles
rellenos (poblano chiles stuffed with cheese or meat). Seeing all the traditional food placed on
the table it would looked like a buffet. Being involved in these celebrations made me realize how

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important they are to me and my family. I will continue to celebrate Hispanic traditions because
they will always be carried with me. My grandparents would tell me interesting stories of our
culture, and ethnicity.
Have you ever been confused with a different ethnicity? A person should not be defined
by the way he or she looks, talks, or dresses. Our civilization is filled with different kinds of
stereotypes that are given by ignorant people. I have been identified to an ethnicity that I am not
even a part of based on my appearance. Whenever I meet new people from my family or
someone at school, I get asked the funniest question ever, Are you Asian? When I tell them I
am not Asian, they give me that surprised face. I may look Asian, but it is just the way my eyes
are, with an overlap, the shape, and size of an almond. My looks should not be a form of
identification. During my senior year of high school a few of my peers would say, Me like rice.
Do not get me wrong, I love steam rice, sushi, egg rolls, orange chicken, etc. When they said that
to me I automatically said to myself, they are not saying it to make me laugh, they are saying it
because I look Asian. My Asian eyes are beautiful and unique, which is why I am not going
to change my appearance. Till this day I remember when I was in line to get my California ID,
and the lady from the Department of Motor Vehicles that attended me, asked me to stand in front
of the blue screen, and to get behind the white line. As she was ready to snap my picture she
says, Sweetie, can you please open your eyes a little more because I cant see them? I laugh
and I said, They are open, that is just the way my eyes are. I am not going to allow these
moments affect me because my eyes are what makes me beautiful.
The society we live in contains a variety of individuals with different identities. One must
not be identified based on their religion, ethnicity gender, or sexuality. We must accept who he or
she is and not judge the individual. Although, I have been confused with an ethnicity that I am

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not a part of. Living in this society, I have identified myself as Hispanic and being a part of this
ethnicity it has made me the person I am today.