You Don’t Look Like Your Name

Jessica Davila,
Rowlett, TX

I am a tanned skin, brown hair, brown eyes, Mexican American woman. My married name was Jessica Phillips. I worked at a doctor’s office on the “rich” part of town while getting my degree in biology. On multiple occasions, during phone conversations with patients, I would get the compliment on how well-spoken I am. When said patients would come in for their scheduled visit they would request for my assistance and almost all of them would be completely surprised at the sight of me. Too many to count stated, “You don’t look like your name, and you’re so well-spoken!” I am sure they meant it as a compliment, and for the most part I did take it that way, so I simply smiled and thanked them. But I was always left with the unanswered question, how is a tanned skin, brown hair, brown eyes, Mexican American with the name Jessica Phillips supposed to look or speak? I chose those six words because it goes to show how society has a perceived notion of what Mexicans, Hispanics, or Latinos are supposed to look, sound, and apparently be named. The world is so diverse and yet certain people are so boxed in that they cannot see beyond their own nose. I am much more than the color of my skin, my name, or the words I use to communicate. It is a part of who I am, but it does not compose the whole of me. I am a proud Texan with strong Mexican roots embedded in rich, beautiful American soil.


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