Have you ever wondered why most Hispanic males have a mustache? Well, in case you have ever wondered… yes, it is a cultural thing, and most men that have a mustache are damn proud of it, and can’t believe others don’t have one as well! I have no problems with mustaches; not only does my dad have one, but I think even every single one of my uncles and cousins rock one as well. Personally, I even participated in the whole “Movember” movement (i.e. where you grow your mustache for a month to raise money to battle cancer).
So why am I bringing up mustaches? Well, the point of this blog is to take the symbol of the mustache, which has become predominantly associated with our Hispanic culture, and expose a bigger issue that is underneath it…which is discrimination. In our culture, the mustache is usually seen as a sign of masculinity and superiority; before we get into that though, let’s go back in history, let’s begin by asking ourselves when was it that the men in our culture decide to start growing mustaches?
One theory is that the mustache in our culture started after the Spanish started mating with the natives and began creating what most of us are, Mestizos. Mestizo means that we have both native and European decent. Natives, genetically, did not have much facial hair so the mestizos, who wanted to distinguish themselves from the natives, started to grow mustaches to symbolize our European ancestry. You see how messed up our culture was since the beginning? In just a couple of years after the Spaniards had conquered us, we were already discriminating against our own blood. We did not want to be associated with “Indians;” we felt superior simply because we had European decent!
Sadly, we still see that in our culture today; we are still discriminating against our own people. We still differentiate ourselves from people, even people from our own home country and within our own country. For example, if we live here in America, we think we are better than the people living back in our countries of origin! Another example is that some Hispanics with blue eyes and blonde hair feel superior to the rest of us who are brown-eyed and black-haired, so then in turn, we further discriminate towards the people with darker shades of brown skin and even those who are shorter. Even most of Mexico discriminates against the people of southern states, like Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz and Yucatan by calling them names such as “oaxaquitas,” and we see them as inferior; we think we are better than them. It is just an ongoing chain of discrimination and we are completely wrong! We are doing the same thing that occurred here in America during slavery, when light-skinned slaves discriminated towards darker- skinned slaves. We are not better than someone just because we look different then they do; we cannot feel superior just because we are taller and lighter. This might sound repetitive but we are all human beings and we should not discriminate simply because of physical differences. Let’s stop discriminating one another and instead value and learn from each other. Let’s stop making such comments such as “oaxaquitas” or “inditos” because those are just derogatory terms. Let’s grow and mature together.
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