Latinas: A Social and Cultural Survey

Asynchronous Assignment on Yesika Salgado and Melissa Lozada-Oliva




Reacting to the following quote from “The Fictions of Solidarity” by Ana Patricia Rodríguez, discuss (with concrete examples) how Yesika Salgado OR Melissa Lozada-Oliva interact with the proposals and aesthetics of Chicana and Latina feminist lineages.

“Latina feminist scholars [and poets] set out to produce “flesh and blood” [works]. For example, fusing personal stories into collective testimonios of struggle. Latina Feminist Group collaborated in the writing of intersectional stories, and theories bridging scholarship [and poetics] in the areas of race, class, gender, sexuality, generation, nation, among other things.” (Rodriguez 202)

*225-words minimum*


Pick TWO poems from Lozada-Oliva’s Peluda and answer their respective prompts

.In “Origin Regime,” the poet tells the story of their parents as newly-arrived migrants in the U.S., her family life, and her mom’s eventual beauty business. Thinking about all these interrelated elements, how you interpret the last line of the poem: “we can see jor face now.”

.”Maybe She’s Born with It”  states that the poet’s mom could never get away from being the cleaning lady, even when she started working in the beauty business. Expand.

. In “Lip/ Stain/ Must/ Ache” and “AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do?” Lozada-Oliva presents two confronting versions of Latina womanhood inspired by examples from literature and TV. Explain.

.Explain the connection between the poet’s self-image and the following lines from “What if my Last Name”: “she will get brown/ enough to be asked where is she/ from & this is how she will know/ she is different.”

*225-words minimum*

24 thoughts on “Asynchronous Assignment on Yesika Salgado and Melissa Lozada-Oliva”

  1. In “Maybe She’s Born with It” Lozada-Olivia mentions that her mom never got away from being the cleaning lady because she essentially switched out one profession for the other, but it still retains the same qualities. In both jobs she was working to service White women who didn’t want to do these tasks themselves so they would pay her to do so and when money was tight for them, they just wouldn’t ask for her services. They made her seems like she’s disposable and can be picked up whenever they needed to. It is essentially how America treats a lot of Latino immigrants. Many Latino immigrants take up such jobs as the cleaning lady or the home attendant which are often low paying jobs. They treat these immigrants as if they are disposable and they can just find yet another one to fill the position. Therefore, it creates this cycle where immigrants are not able to move away from these types of jobs despite being hardworking and doing their job well. In both “Lip/ Stain/ Must/ Ache” and “AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do?” Lozada-Olivia presents two instances where she felt identified as a Latina in media. In the first one she felt identified with the red lipstick and how it supposedly was made for Latinas despite the negative connotation that comes along with it. In the second poem she feels identified with the TV show in which it depicts a strong female lead who seems to have everything under her control and that makes her feel empowered. Although she feels identified with both they pose a clash of ideals. In the first we have a female who would traditionally be seen as a slut due to her pursuit of married men and wearing skimpy clothes and yet in the second one we see a woman who is cold and aloof but also badass. Despite such opposing views she still connects with both because they show how we all have different sides of us and despite such contracts we can all be both characters at different given points in our life.

  2. Option two:

    Melissa Lozada-Oliva in ”Maybe She’s Born with It, Maybe She Got Up Early” claims that the narrator’s mother could never get away from being the cleaning lady, even when she started working in the beauty business because she is a Latina immigrant. She could work in anything else besides housekeeping, but her looks would always present her as the cleaning lady. Stereotypes. People in the United States judge others based on their appearance. Also, many Latinas cannot avoid starting as housekeepers. They don’t speak English and they lack education. That’s why they have to be “the cleaning lady” most of the time.

    The lines from “What if my Last Name Got a Bikini Wax, Too” that say, “she will get brown/ enough to be asked where is she/ from & this is how she will know/ she is different” show the poet portraying herself as different. She is different because her roots are from somewhere else. Her family and herself are “outsiders”. Her skin color is also something important. She is being targeted and asked about her nationality because she is brown. A white American would not have this problem. There is a point where you don’t even know who you are anymore because people keep questioning your identity. You doubt yourself. You can even have existential crises. You want to be accepted. You don’t want to be different.

    Rosa Tejada

  3. Option one:

    In the quote…
    “Latina feminist scholars [and poets] set out to produce “flesh and blood” [works]. For example, fusing personal stories into collective testimonios of struggle. Latina Feminist Group collaborated in the writing of intersectional stories, and theories bridging scholarship [and poetics] in the areas of race, class, gender, sexuality, generation, nation, among other things.” (Rodriguez 202)

    …Ana Patricia Rodriquez highlights the importance of the literary and cultural contributions of writers who leave behind the stories of women who are deemed voiceless and secondary within a white and/or male dominated social climate. We have been introduced to multiple examples over our semester, but we could look towards the poetic works of Melissa Lozada-Oliva in her collection titled “Peluda”. In her piece “Origin Regimen” Oliva wrote, “before the beauty business there was a hot homeland with gossiping aunts, there were mountains, there were things we enjoyed more because we didn’t have enough” (Oliva 3). This verse paints the immigrants secret of success as a sacrifice to the days when their homelands provided a more simplistic quality of life despite impoverished circumstances.

    In her poem “You know how to say arroz con pollo but not what you are” Oliva wrote, “if you ask me if I am fluent/ I will tell you my Spanish is understanding that there are stories/ that will always be out of my reach/ there are people/ who will never fit together the way that I wanted them to/ there are letters/ that will always stay/ silent/ there are some words that will always escape/ me” (Oliva 16). In this verse Oliva’s description is an example of the factors of lost identities being shared through poetics for communal acts of togetherness, a prose that Ana Patricia Rodriguez identified as “Fictions of Solidarity”.

    We can also consider the works of Yesika Salgado in Tesoro. In her poem “The Women” Yesika wrote, “do I follow the bruises to El Salvador? Do I dissect each fist here in Los Angeles? I am a freight train with no conductor” (Salgado 4). Here we see Yesika illuminate the struggle in pin-pointing how bumps and bruises are acquired throughout the varied traveled trails of migration illustrated as a “freight train with no conductor”; one that carries heavy loads of cargo on a life journey that lacks a clear path but pushes forward in an unguided direction.

  4. Option 2

    In “Maybe She’s Born With It,” Lozada-Olivia writes that even though her mother found a job in the beauty business, the stereotypes of being a cleaning lady had stuck with her. Due to a language barrier and a lack of education, Latinas usually look for housekeeping jobs or other low-paying jobs when they arrive in the United States. In both the beauty industry and housekeeping, wages are meager, and Latinas often work long hours to make ends meet. The line “but I know I bought sandwiches with my mother’s tips” shows how the poet’s mother had difficulty making enough money to feed her kid and would use her tips to buy sandwiches. Latinas who come to the US may face similar struggles, and their jobs are very unreliable. The poet explained that her mother faced financial troubles when the economy crashed. In ‘What if my Last Name,” the poet is aware that she is different and will always be different because of her skin color. When the poet says, “she will get brown/ enough to be asked where she is/ from & this is how she will know/ she is different” I thought about the other readings we have read this semester. It reminded me of the stories where darker-skinned Latinas felt different than those with lighter skin. Having immigrant parents already makes her different, but also knowing she is different because of her skin color will make the poet question her identity.

  5. Option 2

    In “Maybe She’ s Born With It” Lozada talks about how how her mom changed her business from being a cleaning to lady to a beautician but she still remained in the same business in a sense. Even though the two are two different business it seems to her that her mom is stuck in the business of serving the white woman, whether it is cleaning their house, or dealing with their beauty needs, she is still serving them, serving them for needs that they have but do not want to do themselves so they pay someone else to do it for them. This also speaks in general about the jobs that Latinas seem to work in America, especially the older generations that also do not have a certain education with them, babysitting, maids, beauticians, are some of the works that they can be found in numbers. The capitalistic market is very harsh on people in general and this has allowed to create a certain treatment of people being easily disposable for certain jobs and being easily replaced, which has created a cycle among Latinas where they can not get away because everyone needs money and cant deny it so they always come back to this job positions.

    In “What Would Jessica Jones Would Do” we get another image of how the media represents Latinas. She likes Jessica and wants to root for her, but there we see how she i just another “white chick” that does all these things and gets away with it, while she feels that the same can be said about some Latina women to an extent but they do not receive the same treatment and are often judged for how they express themselves. She feels that she can find a relation between herself and Jessica but does feel a sort of unpleasant way that has to be represented through just another white girl.

  6. In “Origin Regime,” the poet tells the story of their parents as newly-arrived migrants in the U.S., her family life, and her mom’s eventual beauty business. Thinking about all these interrelated elements, how you interpret the last line of the poem: “we can see your face now.”

    This is an interesting poem because even though she does present her family life and all the interrelated elements she does it through her mother’s beauty business. Especially, through a waxing metaphor. She compares the waxing, the getting ripped of their accet, their identity as immigrants as latinos. The cleaning that her mom did before and the way in which that job marked them also is shown through this poem. It seems to mean that the job in beauty is just a mask to hide the cleaning role that immigrants are expected to have when in this country. For Latinas, having a beauty job might look like an achievement or an upgrade but she is saying that it is the same, that the real face is still the cleaning lady, we can see your face now, after waxing the hairs off of you. After unwrapping the reality of where you come from.

    “Maybe She’s Born with It” states that the poet’s mom could never get away from being the cleaning lady, even when she started working in the beauty business. Expand.
    As in the previous poem, this poem also talks about the similarities between cleaning and working in beauty. She compares the two by saying that it is just cleaning a different thing, before a house and now a body. She is saying that it’s like a fate that follows her mother, something that has become part of her identity. A cleaning lady that cleans nails, that wax unwanted hair. The love and caring get reflected on the type of services she does. cleeanning .

  7. Option 2:
    In “Maybe She’s Born With It, Maybe She Got Up Early” demonstrates that the author’s mother could never get rid of the title from being the cleaning lady. Even way she has a beauty business, her title of being the cleaning lady will always remain. In general, Latinos would take any job that people would not want to do. Cleaning is a job that usually people don’t want to do, but Latinos would take the job to earn money. I feel like this she can’t take off the name of “Cleaning lady” because she started off as a cleaning lady, but now she is in the beauty world. For me, I see it more as a positive point of view, but I can also see the negative point of view. She started working as a cleaning lady. They don’t earn enough money. Now she worked up to be in the beauty business, so she worked hard to not have the same job. She has the title of “cleaning lady” because she started off as a cleaning lady but she built herself up to work in the beauty world. In “AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do,” we see how the media can have an effect on the Latina audience. The author seeing Jessica Jones thinks that she is very similar. There is some type of connection between each other. There is no connection between each other. She is just some angry rooting for some white girl.

  8. option 2:

    In “Origin Regimen”, the couple is finally separated from the titles of cleaning people or jobs related to being an immigrant. Before the beauty business times seemed to be much simple and fun. This poem describes how owning a business can be seen as an upgrade compared to other jobs that immigrants tend to lean on. She describes that it’s not a job such as cleaning but that it’s still a service and the hard work remains. Being in the beauty business can be looked as an upgrade and that it’s a disguise that doesn’t reveal the parents roots. A business that doesn’t reveal where they came from or the hardships they’ve faced.
    In “Maybe She’s Born With it”, Lozada illustrates how her mother was never able to get away from being the cleaning lady and that it was a title that stood with her even after changing industry. However, I believe the bigger picture that Lozada wants her readers to understand is that before being in the beauty industry, her mother was taking care of others and cleaning homes but never forgot to take care after herself. Looking presentable and feeling beautiful is something that is taught to young girls by our mothers. This is something that Latinas are known for, their beauty and their way of taking care of themselves no matter the situation they may be in.

  9. In “Maybe she’s born with it, Maybe she got up early”, Lozada speaks about her mother being a cleaning lady and not leaving her title as a cleaning lady. How that title stood with her even though she switched her profession and went on to the beauty industry. In this poem, Lozada mother was always taking care of other people and never really taking care of herself or looking out for herself. Feeling beautiful and presenting yourself in a good way or I should say carry yourself well because it is taught at a young age and plays a big part when you become an adult. I feel like women have always shown that in any situation they are in, they still manage to carry themselves well even if they don’t feel like they are. “In Lip/Stain/Must/Ache” the red lipstick she felt identified with because it goes with Latinas, even though there is a bad connection stuck with it. In the poem, the author starts to illustrate scenarios of what the red lipstick represents.

  10. In “What if my Last Name” by Melissa Lozada-Olivia there is a parallel drawn between the poet’s appearance and name, which represent obstacles with accepting one’s identity amongst Latinas. One line that was particularly powerful stated, “she won’t get stuck in your teeth like some songs.” This made me think that Latinas face the issue of having a hard name to pronounce that they are hard to identify to people. They may be overlooked, simply because their name has too many syllables in it. This feeling of being overlooked is brought up in the lines, “she will get brown/ enough to be asked where is she/ from & this is how she will know/ she is different,” because it mirrors the physical aspect of the bodies of Latinas since they are continuously asked where they’re from because of their skin tone. Women from other races will be accepted for having lighter complexions. In both cases, identity plays a big role in the psyche of these women. “Maybe She’s Born With It,” shows how the importance of beauty transcends through the different levels of work that Latinas do. No matter the amount of importance of the job to be done, appearance is always an important aspect of showing up to work. Lopez-Olive writes, “mami took me into the kitchen…told me that the best revenge is looking yourself.” This line perfectly describes why beauty is such a point of emphasis in the daily live’s of Latinas, because it brings them that much more confidence to do their work with pride. It doesn’t matter what their occupation is.

  11. In Ana Patricia Rodríguez’s quote she showcases how first hand cultural experiences can help to enlighten others such as how Latina women provide their experiences and voice them through poetry to offer a different perspective as they are the minority in a male and white dominated field. One of the poets who offers a look into her life is Melissa Lozada-Olivia who provides her experiences. For example in her poem “My Hair Stays on your pillow” she interprets her poem in such a way that she is describing how her white friends felt grossed out about her hair being everywhere so she voiced anger about how that made her feel but deep down she wanted to be just like those white girls where she didn’t have to worry about her hair being a source of something to insecure of and just live her dream like those white girls from Brooklyn were doing. Another example would be in her poem “My Spanish” she describes her Spanish in a very peculiar way such as Spanish on my toothbrush, Spanish is my third birthday party. My interpretation of this would be her trying to get away from her Spanish as for her to only use English or to be like those white girls and get away from her culture, but in the end it always came back no matter how much she tried for example in her poem she describes her Spanish as “My Spanish sits in the corner of the classroom chews on a pencil and does not raise a hand” but at the end of the day her Spanish will be there.

  12. Option two:
    In the quote “Maybe she’s born with it,” Lozada-Olivia mentions that her mom never got away from being the cleaning lady because she essentially switched out one profession for the other. But in both jobs, she worked to service White women who didn’t want to do these tasks themselves, so they would pay her to do so, and when money was tight for them, they just wouldn’t ask for her services. I think it means that no one cannot take away her natural beauty by calling negative names like walking on glass barefoot.

    Another quote that caught my eye was this “Origin Regimen,” in which the couple is finally separated from the titles of cleaning people or jobs related to being an immigrant. Before the beauty business, times seemed to be much simple and fun. This poem describes how owning a business can be seen as comparable to other jobs immigrants lean on. She describes that it’s not a job such as cleaning, but still service and hard work. Being in the beauty business can be looked at as an upgrade, and that it’s a disguise that doesn’t reveal the parent’s roots. It reminded me of how some of the bad roots I had faced in my own time

  13. Option two:
    In the poem of ‘Maybe she’s born with it’. She mentioned that:” I don’t know who or what the good immigrant is”. This sentence is a provocative idea to start thinking about what makes people a good immigrant. Then the poem is talking about the occupation of the immigrant. As she wrote: “their mothers never taught them about beauty stuff.”, with the implication that the guest’s prejudice about the job. It also is seen from this sentence that prejudice or discrimination is from the early education of the family. And at the end, she responded in a very subtle way:” not trying to be more white- just more loved”. This sentence explains that some white people may not think about other people’s feelings when they speak—the problem of whether job prejudice or job discrimination are often going unrecognized when they are speaking. However, the author gives a correct value at the end of this poem: “Just more loved”.
    In the poem of “My Hair Stays on Your Pillow Like a Question Mark” Lozada-Olivia speaks about a conversation between two female roommates. The white girl uses “gross” to describe the hairy of Melissa. I think a typically educated person would not use such words to carry on a conversation. Still, it does not make sense to make someone feel this overwhelming sense of guilt. It looks like the roommate wants to make a persuasive approach without any manners. At the end of the poem, she claims that “there is not a white part inside of you or maybe there is??” Then she uses a question mark for the following of each sentence. I believe that she wants white to question themselves before they were talking; otherwise, they might need to “spray it with Windex.”, or learn how to speak appropriately. Both of these poems based on own experiences. Perhaps there are many more examples of experiences as people of color. However, just like the author said:” just more loved”, and the world will be better.

  14. Option two
    In “Origin Regime” by Melissa Lozada, the poet describes her relationship with her facial hair and her identity. Since birth, she has been a part of her mother’s beauty business and has been subject to her mother enforcing certain beauty standards upon her. Though her natural beauty is one that includes thick and dark hair, it is removed immediately to abide by these white beauty standards. This hair refers to the culture that comes naturally to her and demonstrates her relationship with her mother and her father, but because of her mother’s willingness to adapt to white culture and standards, it is removed. This is her face, after her hair is removed and her culture is ripped off, a more palatable presentation of herself is seen, one that her mother has curated after her own experience of living in a white woman’s world.
    In “ Maybe She’s Born with it” by Melissa Lozada, the author discusses how despite not being the typical job of an immigrant being a cleaning lady, her mother worked in beauty, she still worked for white women. Though both jobs are different, they both require her mother to work for white women and clean up their area. Additionally, both jobs rely on demand from white women, without that, she will lose customers. The act itself of removing hair is also related to removing parts of herself that connect her to her culture, therefore her mother’s job is part of a white culture that has found itself in her daughter’s life. This being normalized by white people causes the daughter to basically be forced to remove her hair in order to fit into the white ideal body type.

  15. Option 2:

    In “Origen Regime”, we take a look at the poet’s family’s arrival to the united states and the eventual evolution of their behavior and their culture. The final line of the poem, which is “we can see jor face now”, can have a few interpretations, but to me it symbolizes the attempt from the family to desperately learn English, only for them to mess up one of the words. Maybe they wrote it wrong, or they mispronounce it, but they say “jor” rather than “your”. To me it feels like no matter how hard the family tries to adapt and speak English, their Hispanic roots will ways be there, causing their pronunciation of a few English words to be messed up. The connection between the poet’s self image and the following lines from “What if my last name” is the following: “She will get brown/enough to be asked where she/from and this is how she will know/she is different.” To me, I think the poet is very aware that her skin tone will make her look different from the white kids in the neighborhood. She’s aware that it’s thanks to this different skin tone that people will question her out of the blue of where she’s from, since a darker skin tone equals to someone that probably isn’t from around these parts. I don’t think she considers this an insult, but rather something interesting to her, the poet being quite aware of the questions she’ll be asked, just for looking different.

    1. Lozada Oliva uses poetry and language in Peluda to illustrate the way life is seen through the lens of an immigrant speaker. In the poem Origin Regime the author mentions “We can see jor face now” from an immigrant speaker that family moved to the United States and explains assimilation and gender roles through waxing. “We can now see jor face” sets a vulnerable tone to express the oppression streaming from patriarchy and women reinforcing the beauty standards in western society that are set out for women. Women from other countries and cultures assimilate and subjects themselves by cleaning their facial hair as a way to reveal the women beneath. Moreover, the poem What if my last name states: “She will get brown enough to be asked where is she/from and this”. How will she know/she is different”. This quote is to highlight the way women that are brown reinforce these beauty standards, by reinforcing they will often be reminded who they are and where they came from. Their dark hair that grow from their brown bodies is to say they can never change who they are and where they are from. Body hair and skin tone are things that show your origin, background and who you are. I found these two poem fascinating and relatable for myself and for many other Latinas that come from different cultures and have experienced their roles as women in order to conform with the beauty standards that are set out for women in western society.

  16. Option Two:

    In “Maybe She’s born with It”, Lozada-Olivia talks about her mother’s struggle to escape the “cleaning lady” persona, regardless of her working in the beauty business has impacted her outlook on how Latinas are viewed. Usually Latinas who first immigrate to the Unites States have to take jobs that are not affected by the language barrier, such as housekeeping. Later on she mentions that the first business affected once the economy went down was the beauty business. I would like to point out that this is what is currently going on in the Unites States, immigrant women are the first ones being affected by the effect the pandemic had on the beauty business (as well as other businesses). As Lozada-Oliva implies, Latinas are viewed as disposable in their jobs, they’re not appreciated for the work they do and have a negative connotation attached to them regardless of them changing their job to another industry.

  17. Lozada Olivas Peluda is a famous Latina poet. Lozada was born on American soil, making her an American citizen by birth; her parents were immigrants: her mother originated from Guatemala and her father from Columbia. Lozada is a poem teacher. She writes books and has written different poems like ”Maybe she’s born with it”, ”Origin Regime”, ”Lip/Stain/Must/Ache”, and many more. This paper will discuss respective prompts from two poems by her, namely, ”Origin Regime” and ”Maybe she’s born with it.”
    In “Origin Regime,” the poet tells the story of their parents as newly-arrived migrants in the U.S., her family life, and her mom’s eventual beauty business. Thinking about all these interrelated elements, how you interpret the last line of the poem: “we can see jor face now.”
    The poem describes a family with a cat, a man, and a woman with an unborn child who just migrated into America; the mother and father work for a white family that is well off. The mother starts up a beauty business that includes waxing people (Lozada-Oliva, Pp.1). The poet explains how her mother struggles to be recognized in America, having the color of her skin darker than the Americans.
    ”Maybe She’s Born with It” states that the poet’s mom could never get away from being the cleaning lady, even when she started working in the beauty business. Expand.
    The poets’ mother is always viewed as the cleaning lady no matter how hard she works, even to the point of starting up a beauty business, the poets’ mother portrayed as A woman who praises beauty and values beauty to a point where she instills that virtue in her daughter, however coming from a different race, no matter how hard she worked her efforts were being overlooked just because she is a person of color.
    In conclusion, the two poems point out how hard it is for the genuine efforts and success of a person of color to be recognized no matter how hard they work. Most people struggle with becoming better versions of themselves but are still viewed as low class.

  18. Option 2:
    Poem 1: Maybe She’s Born with It
    In this poem, Lozada express how her mother never got away from the label that was put on her as a cleaning Lady. Even after having her own beauty business, her label will always be considered the cleaning lady. The poem shows how the mother’s job, as a cleaning lady or hairdresser, she always had to be around making others beautiful and not herself. That both professions required lots of hard work and that can be seen taken a toll on her physically. Her mother was never able to be the one being pampered, only the one doing the work.

    Poem 2: What if My Last Name got a Bikini Wax, Too
    The combination of the last name reference with the features of her body is very powerful. She goes to explain how her last name is so noticeable that others question what her background is. Only at that moment she realizes she is different as the other girls don’t get asked this same question. However, they mostly asked due to her skin color. That when she was not “tanned enough” the last name didn’t seem so noticeable.

  19. The reality of being a Latina in the United States makes it so she is always challenging herself on what she truly is. The acceptance and rejection, the homely-ness and the homesickness, the love and the hate. I think it is because of these very real reactions that many Latina’s have every day, that drives them to produce works that are composed of “flesh and blood.” We can see examples of this in Melissa Lozada-Olivia’s work My Spanish. In the monologue, she attaches real-life examples to better personify her feelings about her native language. For example, she says that her Spanish is scared of opening the cabinet because of all the long-forgotten words that are going to fall out. The listener can imagine this whole situation, with the words literally falling onto Olivia’s head and banging her Spanish. She makes it even more personal and fleshed out by bringing up sad and even uncomfortable situations by saying “my Spanish isn’t something you can eat and shit out” and “my Spanish is like my parent’s divorce”. Her answer to all this uncertainty that she along with her other Latina’s face we can see in her video called Bitches. In it, she shows that in order to find her answers, she along with other Latina’s accepts an undefeatable attitude, in which she lets everyone know that no one is going to disrespect or underestimate her and that she loves and accepts herself for who she is.

  20. Option 2
    “Origin Regime” – In the context of the story, first generation immigrants living closely together, the last line of the poem could be referring to the changes that occurred over their time spent there since their first arrival. Their work paying off into a new business and the change in the culture of the family over the years as it’s effected by their new environment can represent the last line of the poem as a transformation of the entire family into a new, unique unit that is somewhat separated from their old selves from the homeland.
    ”Maybe She’s Born with It” – The poet’s mother might had begun literally as someone who works to clean houses, but from the poet’s perspective, her transition into her beauty business was a transition from one form of cleaning to another – beautification as a form of cleaning. She also seems to make the point that her mother’s fundamental attitude and personality had remained the same even through this transition, so maybe her attitude as a cleaner was connected to the way she cared for her own family.
    “Lip/ Stain/ Must/ Ache”/ “AKA What Would Jessica Jones Do?” – In the first poem, Lozada-Oliva seems to represent a version of Latina womanhood which is driven by appearance and behavior which is somewhat romanticized and how that affects her self-image, and what her behavioral reaction is to that after being affected by it. The second poem, Lozada-Oliva imagines the main character of the show to be Latina even though it’s not obvious that she is, and she uses that perception to extract personalized references from her own life and culture that are connected to the attitude and behavior of the character. It also allows her to identify with the character in a seemingly more gritty and lonesome way.
    “What if my Last Name” – The connection here is that the poet is personifying her last name as a character who experiences the things that she herself has actually experienced, and as such is saying that her last name and the uniqueness of it in the eyes of others is related to the way people look at her and interact with her.

  21. Option Two
    Melissa Lozada-Oliva discusses in ”Maybe She’s Born with It, Maybe She Got Up Early” about the mother always known as the cleaning lady unable to avoid that title and stereotype that many Latina immigrants face. As the mother moved up positions in her jobs like the beauty business, there were people who still treat her as inferior first on sight. No matter the job her looks are discriminated against her based on the color of her skin. Society judges others based on first impressions meaning what they see first of the individual. Certain people view cleaning lady jobs to be below them and poor people jobs. From my perspective, Latinos come here seeking any job to provide for their family. Most of these jobs are low paying jobs but they always hard twice as hard because no one else wants these jobs.
    It brings me to “What if my Last Name Got a Bikini Wax, Too” that say, “she will get brown/ enough to be asked where is she/ from & this is how she will know/ she is different” proving that society will make sure an minority is looked down upon and seen different based on the roots she was born from. To be targeted and questioned just on your heritage is unacceptable, however when you question a white man’s history they blow up immediately stopping it. It is the one question of “Where are you from?” instantly that proves the problem and the privilege white people have. They are the one asking this question towards us demanding an answer, but we must not let it doubt our identity. We are proud to be Latinas for multiple reasons we are blessed to have culture and diversity in our homeland.

  22. Option 2
    In “Maybe she’s born with it, maybe she got up early” by Lozada Olivia the narrator talks about her experience with having her mom take care and work for white women. At first she worked as a house keeper, and then later worked in the beauty industry. The narrator complains that her mothers job has changed but she is still cleaning after or cleaning up the white lady, before it was her home and now it is her body.

    “What if my last name got a bikini wax too” explores the struggle that comes with feeling like an outsider. As I was reading I imagined young girl going through puberty, one of my sisters or my cousin Samantha. I think about how similarly they try to hide and not let anyone know where they are really from, they are not sure how other people around them will label them as or if they will be accepted. But its hard to hide who you really are, and everything about you, your taste, the way you behave and express yourself it reveals who you really are and where you really come from. The struggle that they faced finding their own Latinx identity within a white community is mirrored through the girl waxing her body hair off, but altering her. physically appearance slightly does not change that she is still Latina, her body, her name, her language.

  23. Latina feminist scholars across the diaspora, come together in solidarity with their literary work of poetry, essay’s, and personal accounts of their experiences. Their experiences bring a first-hand accounts and perspectives of the commonalities and hardships that each Latino, Chicano, immigrant or native share. Yesika Salgado’s, “Tesoro” brings together the ideas and personal accounts of the intersectionality’s of race, class, gender and nation, that Rodriguez discusses. In Salgado’s, Canela, she is defining her ethnicity, the pride in her brown skin and the array of colors that builds her identity and family. Salgado says “I am made of two languages coiled into the braid of my tongue. I belong to this country and to the one who birthed my mother” (3). It is important to note that language and the color of her skin are parts of her identity, which is a clear example of the way in which language and nationality intersect. Salgado, is telling her audience that as an immigrant you don’t have to choose one, that we are made up of multiple cultures, ethnicities and heritage. In her next peom, Mami’s Cooking, I was able to relate to the empowerment and strength that our mothers have, especially when they are cooking for the family and the community, which connects me to the stories she writes, of class and race. “An egg, queso fresco, and a tortilla can be a meal” (5). My mother would tell me how, when she was growing up in, El Salvador, she said “sometimes all you had was frijoles, queso and tortilla, and that was all we had to eat”. Salgado, embodies the aspects of producing “flesh and blood” work that is real life story telling of the experiences of herself and her family, that her audience can connect with on a personal level.

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