I would not be who I am today if my parents did not choose to leave Mexico, to settle in the south side of Chicago, to have four children, to take into consideration their children’s wants and needs. I would not be who I am today if I were not the second born, if I were not their first female, if I were not born rebellious, if I were not born curious, if I were not born kind. I would not be who I am today if I weren’t lucky enough to take advantage of my privilege. I would not be who I am today if my heart were never awoken, teased, or lied to.
I am Ana. I am strong. Yo soy fuerza. Yo soy urbana.
This “costume” means so much to me this year. Not only because it represents my heritage, but it also represents the environment I am in today. La Catrina was first created through satire, mocking the women of Mexico who desperately wanted to identify with the European traditions. As (what feels like) one of the few latinas at the University of Michigan, it sometimes feels very isolating. I wear this mask to distinguish myself from this cultural island. I am a latina, I have never been more proud.