Behind a selfie

Socioeconomic status


The aspects of my identity that are visible are my gender and ethnicity. It’s obvious that I’m a female and people would generalize me as of Asian decent rather than Filipino. The aspects of my identity that aren’t visible are my socioeconomic status and sexuality. Even though I’m pictured with a male, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m heterosexual. My selfies can produce a sense of my identity by my appearance. People can tell that I’m a female with Asian features just by simply observing me. My selfies obscure my sense of identity because looking at the picture of me sipping on a can of juice doesn’t show the background of my socioeconomic status. I financially live comfortably with my family and the significance of that picture shows that being middle class, my family and I were able to afford a trip to Hawaii and attend various activities such as a luau. Again, being pictured next to a male obscures my sense of identity because it doesn’t always mean that I’m heterosexual.

So what?

This is significant in relationship to how others see me because how I display myself in photos and media gives others an impression or perception of myself. They can create their own stories of myself and interpret everything based on what I post out there, yet they won’t truly know my personal story. My identity is different from my parents’ generation because their views and how they carried themselves was different. The views on sexuality and its controversial definition have drastically changed throughout generations, making our generation more acceptable and open of other sexualities. There is also a change of my parents’ socioeconomic status because they worked very hard for their achievements. They came from a low income family in the Philippines to a middle class income in America.

Now What?

My identity, single stories, and stereotypes inform me to keep an open mind when I’m working with the students in the community. I can’t hold an appearance and stereotype as the only identity of a student against them. Everything that is on the surface doesn’t dictate the student as a whole because they have a story behind them that I would need to make a connection with them. Pictures will inform you of their obvious identity, single story, and stereotype but in order to understand the students, you would need to dig deeper than just their appearance.

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