In our AP Literature class we were asked to write a Literary Selfie on “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid and this is what I came up with.

I want to say no but I can’t. Life is unfair so deal with it, you must do what I say for your own good.  Stop questioning everything–I didn’t question anyone. No men will want a woman who can’t cook, clean, and wash. Now wash the dishes. Why aren’t they helping, why do I have to do everything for them? They are boys and you must act like una señorita decente. It looks bad when you try to be a rebelde and it makes me look bad. Be more feminine! Why are you wearing those baggy pants!? fix your hair and try to look decent no one is going to want a fodonga like you. This is how you iron and sew. This is how to make tea. Listen! You never mix whites and colored clothes. Chores come first then your homework! You must know how to sweep and mop. You always Iron double-thickness fabric on the inside first, then on the outside. Can I go play? Will that help you in life? Now help me fold the clothes. As the older one you must set the example and help me the most. If you can’t make a pot of pinto beans then that makes you a fracasada. You must sit like a lady and act like one. sit like a statue? And act like a marionette? Be serious for once! this silliness won’t take you anywhere in life. What about school? That’s important but this goes first, It is important that you know how to act like a lady and do well in school. Will you teach them how to act like gentlemen? Stop questioning me. You must know how to clean the stove. After School you must come home right away. Stop running around you’re going to get yourself dirty, don’t play matatenas you are not a boy.  Don’t wear bright colors and a lot of makeup it will make you look like a slut. You must know how to bake pan de elote. You must stop trying to change, this is the way life has been for many years, you’re a girl and you must act like one. Why?

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CC BY-SA 4.0 “Marionette” by Luz is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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2 Comments
  1. Yahaira 8 months ago

    Dear Luz,
    I am amazed by the number of things I could relate to in your post by being a Latina. One sentence that you wrote that stands out to me is, “You must stop trying to change, this is the way life has been for many years, you’re a girl and you must act like one.” This is because I feel that all those stereotypes that have been made are kept and it is an obligation for the rest to follow them. However, a person doesn’t know someone’s personal story. The reasons why they choose not to follow certain beliefs, all the challenges that they’ve had to go through. Additionally, I liked how you used Spanish words because they stand out when making your points.

    Thanks for writing, I look forward to seeing what you write next.
    -Yahaira (best friend)

  2. Annie 12 months ago

    Luz,
    Your piece was unbelievably electrifying and a true beauty to read. I truly have never read a student piece so powerful and personal as this. I can’t even begin to relate to the situation described in your piece because of what a privileged life I’ve led, and how I’ve grown up. This kind of writing strikes readers right in the heart, and the images it brings to mind are realistic and fathomable. The mix of language in your writing shows the influence your culture has had on you and ho you’ve responded to these effects. I’m so impressed by this piece, and truly want to hear more based on this piece specifically. The message of staying true to the gender you were assigned at birth, and the so called responsibilities that come with that is so important to bring to light in our world today, and this piece does so in a creative, imaginative, beautifully immersive way. I’m so happy I got the opportunity to read this! It was truly astounding!

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