My Shadow Box

By: Kassandra Santillan

(Outside of box) On the outside, it has images like people holding guns because since I’m from Oakland, “I must be violent; I must be in a gang”. There’s also an image of a lady with a slim waist, with text saying “Firm Flat Abs Tight curvy butt No more jiggle!” kind of saying girls MUST be skinny to have a “perfect body”. There are texts like “Eat pretty” and “Make dinner” and an image of a lady taking care of a baby, like the expectations of a girl / woman. The rest of the box is just plain, because since I’m from Oakland, people that aren’t from here may think we’re nothing special (inside of box). The inside is who I am. I’ll talk about a few of the images and why I put them there. First, I chose to put a( Fin and Jake) image, of these two guys eating, because it’s like talking back to the “Eat pretty” statement. “EAT LIKE A GROWN UP” is also a counter narrative to “Eat pretty”, because I can eat however I want, and I’ll just keep “eating like a grown up”. The sleepy snorlax (pokemon) is also a counter narrative to girls need to be skinny to be perfect; The sleepy Snorlax isn’t skinny, but still beautiful / cute. “Why so blue?” and “WHY SO ANGRY”  texts, are like what people ask me when they notice my heads down and that I’m not talking to anyone (because I’m shy). The Elmo and the girl (with the, kinda, annoyed and tired face) are my reactions when people ask me that (why so angry / blue?), I just have a plain face that looks pretty annoyed, but I’m too tired to say anything. I really am okey, I’m just “TIRED”. The images around my name are just things I like that don’t really have to do with my identity; I like “Music” and “Books”. Some foods / candy I like is pizza, “Lucas” candy and mazapan (De La Rosa). Music that I like is, the musical, “DEAR EVAN HANSEN”. Also, I put a pikachu because he’s just cute, also showing I like pokemon. Mexican flag shows that I’m mexican, which I am proud of. Thereś photos of me as a child, because those were some happy times. The photograph of my family are just showing something very important to me, where I come from. My family is very important to me, because I love them so very much, and because of them, I am right here, because they support me so much and always make me laugh, which makes my day. Thank for taking your time to read this!


CC BY-SA 4.0 Kassandra’s Shadow Box by Kassandra is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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  1. Lupita 2 weeks ago

    Dear Kassandra.

    I am mesmerized by your eye catching shadow box. I love how you connected the outside quote “Eat Pretty” to your inside quote “EAT LIKE A GROWN UP”. This shows how you can find a counter narrative for every dominant narrative out in the world and prove those dominant narratives as simply a stereotype that doesn’t need to be true. Your cut out pieces of magazines are my favorite part of your shadow box because you took parts of things that look at daily at made it represent you and your beliefs. Your shadow truly represents what all women should see themselves as on a daily basis and it really warmed my heart to see those things on your shadow box. Thank you for writing about your powerful perspective on your life. Keep writing because it will bring a powerful life changing perspective to our world.

    Lupita Morales-Cordova=)

  2. Clara 2 weeks ago

    I relate to your stereotypes presented about being a woman. I too feel like there is unnecessary pressure to conform when I can just do what I want. It is admirable how much you shared about yourself and I applaud you for being so vulnerable! By sharing your stereotypes that you feel, I feel more comfortable with myself. It is awesome how we feel the same things sometimes yet we are different in a lot of ways too!

  3. Emma 2 weeks ago

    Kassandra, thank you for sharing so much about yourself. The way you examined stereotypes and who you are at your core was admirable. The modern world holds us to high standards, and it’s often difficult to push past them and realize our individual worth. If you continue to focus on the good in yourself rather than the unreachable standards of society, you’ll find ultimate happiness. Thank you again!

  4. Penelope 2 weeks ago

    I really love this project! You did very well on this. Stereotypes are pushed on us in the worst ways. As a woman, I understand the ones with the “perfect body” and a “slim waist”. I’ve always struggled with my self image due to the way society portrays us. You were very brave to share that information with us. I love seeing that you are completely different than how people see you. Love this!

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