This is a sponsored post in collaboration with JCPenney for #HispanicHeritageMonth. All thoughts are my own.
I wish I could say that I am one of those people that has always been comfortable with themselves. The truth is, it took me a long time to get here. I can remember being a kid and feeling different. While I did grow up in Los Angeles, we lived in the suburbs (aka “The Valley”) and often I was one of the only Hispanic kids in my classroom. Plus, while I wasn’t overweight as a kid, I was “chubby” and hated looking so different from everyone else. All I ever wanted to do then, was fit in. I can distinctly remember one day, my mom had bought these gorgeous ponchos from Peru when she last visited and she wanted me to wear mine to school. The poncho was warm, and so unique, and so very much part of our culture…and yet, I refused to wear it.
I didn’t want to stand out.
I ended up never wearing that poncho and it’s something I regret to this day. I rejected my culture more as years went on, especially as a teen. At times, I even refused to speak Spanish, despite having learned both languages at the same time. Then, I left home at the age of 20 to live in a Philadelphia suburb on the East Coast. For many years, I lived in an area where I was really, one of a handful of Latinos in the area, and I discovered how much of me was missing without my culture surrounding me. For those years, I was on a road to discover who I am, and learned that my culture is to be celebrated, not hidden.
I also learned to be comfortable in my own skin, and not care what people might say about the plus size, colorful, wildly opinionated gal. I learned to that my style and my culture all make up who I am.
I was born to stand out.
Now, as a mother, self employed business owner, and proud Hispanic woman, I celebrate Hispanic Heritage month by owning my style with JCPenney. I love picking out amazing outfits that are budget friendly, and yet trendy, stylish and truly allow me to stand out.
Be Bold…Never Basic…that’s how I celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.