Singer Becky G has dismissed the assumption she doesn't take pride in her Latin roots because of her status as a second generation Mexican-American.
The Shower singer's grandparents immigrated to America and laid down roots in Los Angeles, California, where the 19-year-old grew up. Becky has been hit with criticism over the years for assimilating too much into American culture, and not enough in her Latin heritage, but in a powerful essay for PopSugar Latina, the star opened up about her own quest for personal identity.
"Everyone has their own version of the American dream. People come from all over the world to live in the land of the free. For my Mexican grandparents, the American dream began with a need for a better life, better education, and better job opportunities for their loved ones. For some, like my grandpa Miguel, it also means leaving family behind for a while to secure a life and home of their own."
"'You don't look Latina' or 'You don't even speak Spanish,'" she continued in the essay penned in honour of Hispanic Heritage Month. "These are the remarks that us second- and third-generation-born American Latinos often hear. The truth is, the lack of language knowledge does not lessen the Latin blood running through our veins or the stories our last names carry. There is no 'look' to the passion us Latinos carry within us.
"Although my Spanish is flawed and I didn't grow up in Mexico, I take pride in my roots. My family's history and the fact that all the traditions and morals passed down have shaped me to be who I am today is what it means to be a second-generation-born Mexican-American for me. I might not speak Spanish perfectly, but I honor my grandparents and culture in many other ways."
Becky, who is dating soccer star and first-generation Argentinian Sebastian Lletget, went on to describe how important food and music are in keeping her grounded to her Latin roots.
She ended the post by encouraging other Latinos to fight through any adversity they may come across in life, writing, "we must stay driven and keep hope, and we must never lose sight of our dreams."