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Blog

How Silver Sequin Boots Reminded me that I am "Latina Enough"

Librada Estrada

Silver bootsLast week my daughter was preparing for election day in her classroom for student council representative. She spent extra time getting ready. Right before she left for school my husband stopped her. My husband encouraged her to speak with me about her outfit, specifically her shoes.  As I looked over her outfit I went through a mental checklist-hair brushed, clean top, clean bottom, etc. All good to go. When I arrived at her shoes I realized what had prompted my husband’s comment. She was wearing a white shirt, blue jean shorts and black leggings. On her feet was a pair of boots that were covered in silver color sequins. It wasn’t what she was wearing so much as how much she was standing out by wearing her boots. My initial thought was to convince our daughter that she should wear other shoes. WHAT IS THIS REALLY ABOUT?

The first few words out of my mouth encouraged this and as I stared at her face a few things came to mind. One, this is not about my husband or me; it’s about how confident she feels wearing those boots. Second, it doesn’t matter whether my husband or I want to wear them. She’s the one in them and she has to be comfortable in her own skin. Third, fashion is about expressing your own style and pushing the boundary, trying new things, and feeling good in what you wear.

As soon as this ran through my head I stopped trying to convince her what to wear and instead asked her, do you feel comfortable in them? Do you feel confident wearing them? Do you feel good with the boots on? Is this what you want to wear? After answering yes, I told her then that it did not matter whether we liked them or not. It was her choice and that if that’s what she wanted to wear then she should. She agreed and out the door she went.

This conversation reminded me of how many times we either let others ideas or opinions influence our level of confidence and how we try to influence someone else based on how we view the world.

Something that I recently struggled with was if I was Latina enough to co-found Si Tú Quieres. Have you ever wondered this about yourself?

I went back and forth on whether my life experiences were enough, did I speak Spanish well enough, was I teaching my children enough of their Latino heritage, and so on. A big question that I kept internalizing was, would I meet others expectations of a Latina? I’ve reflected on this at different times in my life, while a student at Boston University, representing a local agency to Latinos at community organized meetings, etc.

I noticed that this question of being enough shows up when I am about to embark on something that pushes me out of my comfort zone, when I am required to stretch. Sound familiar?

As I thought about what I wanted to accomplish through Si Tú Quieres, I realized that I was trying to live up to someone else’s standard of what is a Latina, and part of that was my own, and not what I hold as true in my heart. When this crystalized for me I realized that yes, indeed I was Latina enough because I believe it to be true. I am confident in my way of thinking and it doesn’t matter how someone else might think of me. So, here I am today accomplishing a personal goal of mine because I believe I am enough. And, in case you are wondering, so is my daughter since she was elected class representative.

WHAT YOU MIGHT CONSIDER

The next time you start wondering are you enough, ask yourself:

  • Whose opinion is influencing your thoughts-your own or someone else’s?
  • If you push away all the clutter and focus, what do you really think?
  • What evidence is there to the contrary?
  • What’s happening in your life that is bringing this up for you?
  • What are you risking by not seeing yourself as enough?

YOUR TURN

Have you had an experience when you did not see yourself as enough? What did you do to get past it? Leave a comment below, let us know.