So, I’m thrilled that I was asked to be part of the Wapsi Girl project. I’m a recent addition to the Wapsi fans (Wapsites? Can’t be “Squares”…we’re way too cool for that!). I was shown the comic because of my similarities to one of the main characters, Monica. We’re both 4’11”, we’re both half-Latina, and we both use the upper end of the bra alphabet. At first, it was just a neat “wow, cool” factor, but then I started reading the strip. I devoured the archives in a couple days, and I was blown away by the storytelling and the feminist and body-positive elements to it.
So, the big question…what is a Wapsi Girl. To me, it’s someone who keeps going when the world tries to convince her she can’t, or that she’s not good enough, strong enough, or anything-else enough. How so I fit into that?
I’m a girl in the middle of two cultures. Dad is Russian. Mom is Mexican. And that made me anything but fitting in with the rich white folks that lived where I do. I was the only brown girl in my class at school several times. And sadly, the people where I lived were racist as heck. Then there were the physical elements. When everyone else was getting their growth spurts and growing up, I was getting mine and growing out. So here I was, a midget whose boobs were as big as her head. Or at least, that’s how I felt.
It wasn’t until I got to college that I found any kind of self-esteem. For the first time in my life, I was determined to make it on my own merits, not just because of dad’s money. And after falling out with my mom, I didn’t have a lot of choice. So I had to get a job of my own, find roommates. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it. I had to find that strength, to keep going despite the world telling me everything I couldn’t do.
Then I started to get into modeling. And let me tell you, when you look like I do, that’s nothing but a list of people telling you every way in which you’re not good enough. Too “ethnic”. Too short. Too busty. Not cookie-cutter enough.
But I’ve stopped listening to everything about what I can’t do. Sure, I might never be a New York runway model. I’ll never be tall, I’ll never be slender and willowy. But I’ve got friends, I’ve got a career, and I’m HAPPY, on my own and following my dreams despite everyone trying to kick the legs out from under me.