Who am I? I am more than just that light skinned girl with long hair. I am not mixed with Native American or Mexican. I am BLACK. African American if you want to get technical. I believe my race does play a major role in my identity. I believe that the color of my skin affects how people perceive me. Since people can’t simply look at me and know my background, they assign me to some category that they think I belong in (Silverman & Rader 268). I can’t even count the number of times I have been stopped and asked if I am mixed with something other than black. I identify by my gender too. I am a Girl. I think that personality plays a role in my identity. If I had to describe myself the first things I would mention are that I am NICE, POSITIVE, INTELLIGENT, SWEET, FUNNY, HAPPY, STRONG, CARING, DEPENDABLE, SHY, ALWAYS SMILING, HUMBLE, FAMILY CENTERED, DOWN TO EARTH, and AMAZING. This is how I would prefer to be identified as, but majority of the time I’m not. People, who don’t know the first thing about me or even my last name, always seem to be the first to place judgment upon me. I am often identified as that girl with the baby and of course judgment follows. Such statements as, how old is she, I’m glad that isn’t me, she must be a slut, and why does she have a baby. It is unbelievable how people can make comments knowing absolutely nothing. I am a STRONG person so the comments don’t bother me, but it’s the principle of it. It seems like the way people identify others is always in a negative way. There is always a used of negative perceptions and stereotypes (Silverman & Rader 270). I personally could care less about how someone who doesn’t know me and isn’t benefiting my life perceives me. Another major impact on the way I would identify myself is my family. I have a large family and we are all extremely close. I have grown up in an environment based on family. I think that the reason I am who I am now is because of my family. They have influenced the way I am today and have affected the way I think. They are the only people whose opinion I care about, even though at times I don’t like them. They are the only people who can criticize me, because I know they are trying to help and better me (Silverman & Rader 609). My family has molded me into the amazingly, incredible person I am and they will continue to impact my life and my identity. So, who am I? Yes, I am light skinned and I do have long hair, but there is so much more to me behind this light skin and hair. I am ARIELLE, an incredible person; daughter, mother, sister, cousin, aunt, niece, girlfriend, and friend.
Not Just That Light Skinned Girl with Long Hair March 1, 2010