Behind 'Labeled'

"Rise Up," the theme of our 2018 Spring issue, inspired me to write about racial stereotypes. After living in Costa Rica for over 20 years, I moved to the U.S. to attend college. I came to this country with fresh eyes. It did not take me long to realize how important race and skin color is here.

In a country where people from many races and cultural backgrounds merge, I hoped for cultural awareness and understanding. Instead, I found that many people make assumptions based on the stereotypes and generalizations that surround the Hispanic ethnicity.

By telling my experience, I am not looking to complain or shame anyone. I am looking to invite you to reexamine the ideas you have about other races and ethnicities. Read, conduct research, ask thoughtful questions. Most people feel comfortable discussing their culture as long as you are coming from a good place and are not making assumptions.

Every human being is complex and unique. Stereotypes are not accurate portrayals of everyone who identifies under a specific race or ethnicity.

Hear beyond the accent.

See beyond the color of the skin.

Alexis Alexander

Phoenix Bussey

Mary Wright

Photos were shot by Aurola Wedman and feature models Alexis Alexander, Phoenix Bussey and Mary Wright. On some of the photographs, you will notice a long exposure that presents multiple outlines of the same person. These silhouettes represent the different ways in which someone may be seen: according to who they are, or according to the stereotypes that surround their race.

Makeup Artist: Jerianna Harden

Assistant: William Víquez

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