You’re Mexican, why’s your skin white?

Marcella Sisneros,
The University of Arizona,
Tucson, AZ

Growing up, I often received mixed signals from people trying to guess what my race is. My mom is an immigrant from Rosario, Argentina; she is white. My dad’s side of the family is from Baja California—my dad is a brown Mexican American. Personally, my skin is on the lighter side. In middle school I felt as if I was too white to hang out with the Hispanic kids, and too Hispanic for the white kids. I’ve had some people jokingly call me a “beaner” and others call me “white girl”. I would awkwardly laugh along at these demeaning phrases even though it really caused me to start thinking, what am I? Race is something that shouldn’t be ignored and shouldn’t make people feel cornered. I am not fluent in Spanish, but my household is mainly Spanish speaking. I have white skin and my brother has brown skin. My Race is not confusing, I am Mexican/Argentinian.


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