“You Stupid J-A-P”!!! **this post may trigger a lot of you**
That’s what I was called over and over again. After the 3rd time, I made a decision that I would no longer identify with being Jewish [I was only 14-years old].
A “JAP” is/was a derogatory name for “Jewish American Princess”
This horrific term that’s meant to define all Jewish American women as spoiled, materialistic and gold-diggers was never going to be me.
I didn’t want to be “her” and at 14… I had no idea how to boldly declare who I was and still hold onto an identity that clearly aggravated other peoples.
I wanted to fit in.
I wanted to be “normal”. I wanted to be a part of the “accepted” culture
How far would I go to hide this? *Straightened my hair. *Got a nose job at age 15 to remove “the bump”.
*Dated only Christian boys and later married Christian. *Never celebrated a Jewish holiday as an adult. *And you guessed it… my daughter goes to catholic school
Recently I was having an afternoon car ride with one of my favorite humans, my daughter. She’s 12 years old, ½ Hispanic and ½ Jewish… and she’s so freakin PROUD of her combined heritage. She OWNS her strong features, her culture and her uniqueness. I want her to always own that and later that night, I looked in the mirror at myself and decided to reclaim who I am
I’m so proud of who I am and where I come from.
WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE: We are all god’s children and we all get to own our uniqueness, embrace it and celebrate it (even if our celebration is a party of one)
It’s taken me 48-years and my most remarkable 12-year old daughter who’s proudly 1/2 Hispanic and 1/2 Jewish to teach me to love myself in a whole new way
If you’re anti-racism.
If you’re anti-bullying.
If you’re anti-shaming.
Share this post. I’m celebrating every strong, confident, powerful and loving person who reads this. YOU are my people and I love you for whoever you truly are.