Hilaria Baldwin was always Hillary Thomas, a white American mujer from Boston. Her family used to take vacations in Spain throughout her childhood, and those vacations became her late-in-life justification for adopting a come-and-go Spanish accent, telling people she was “from Spain,” describing herself as “Spanish and American” and pretending she didn’t know certain English words. All of this began to come out last Christmas, as old interviews, videos and lies were brought out and reassessed. Hilaria tried to do damage control by giving an interview exclusiva to the NY Times, and it just made things worse. There is, how you say, something not right in her cabeza. And now it’s really starting to feel like poor Hillary is just a full-on Rachel Dolezal. Hillary posted a lengthy Instagram about how she is, how you say, culturally fluid.
I had a very special experience-I spent time with my family for the first time in nearly 2 years, due to Covid.
We talked about how we grew up, our languages, our cultures-multi & very valid. We discussed belonging & how there are people who want to deny others their right to belong.
When you are multi, it can feel hard to belong. You are constantly going back and forth, trying to be more this or more that. You feel you have to explain why you are the way you are, trying to fit into a world of labels when there might not be one that perfectly defines you. You will never quite fit in because the other parts of you shape and influence all your parts. Nothing inside you can truly exist in a segregated environment. It’s not a light switch that cleanly switches on & off-more of a sliding dial that simply shifts through a rainbow of colors.
We all get to curate our individual expressions of our cultures, languages, who we love, what we believe in, how we dress, present ourselves. This is the right that each person should have.
People who don’t have your life experience can:
1. Accept it at face value & move on
2. Be curious & want to learn
3. Connect & find similarities to relate to
What they shouldn’t do is devalue. You are valid, worthy & you don’t need to explain or get into the uncomfortable “prove it” conversation. You don’t owe that to anyone. Just be a good, kind human of this earth.
We need to normalize the fact that we are all unique-our culture, languages, sexual orientations, religions, political beliefs are ALLOWED TO BE FLUID. No two of us are completely alike.
People will try to find reason to invalidate you, therefore their attacks seem justified in their eyes. They can hate, poke fun & shame-because you “asked for it” through your audacity to be you.
What I had to learn through a very painful experience is that many people relate…so, if you are suffering, please know that a loving group see your validity and belonging. We love & accept you, just as you are.
You don’t need to be this and then that, switching, dancing to the beat of someone else’s drum. You can be 100% you all the time. Ebb & flow, in your brilliant fluidity, as your very legitimate you
What she’s trying (and failing) to describe is what actual multiracial people feel – I feel it as someone who is half-white and half-Indian, feeling like I don’t really belong on either side and I’m not “enough” of one side or the other. I’ve dealt with that all my life. I don’t describe myself as “culturally fluid” though because… that seems to suggest, Rachel Dolezal-style, that you can just decide to claim another race or culture that does not belong to you. I get that Hilaria’s parents retired from Beacon Hill to Spain when Hilaria was an adult, but that does not actually make her able to appropriate the lived experiences of a Spanish woman. Loca. Totalmente loca.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.