Como la muñeca dominicana,
I have no face.
My face is blurred by the mixture.
I am first generation.
I have no real excuse.
Call it vergüenza.
Call me, Vergüenza.
All the Dominican-isms—
I caught them. Like a virus, coño.
Immersed in the culture. Dismissed by the culture.
Seeking comfort, like Goldilocks.
God, I wish I had golden locks.
Sin rizo, planchada.
Intermediary—A stranger in my skin.
Not quite morena. Not quite canela, blanquita en febrero.
Soy una muñeca sin rostro.
Frustrated by my ambiguity. I am invisible. I am hyper-visible.
No soy nada.
Yo soy todo.
Soy hija de la diáspora. Soy una muñeca sin rostro.
Fueled by repression. Chugging along like a steamboat. The pressure perpetuates stigma, letting out steam through loud outbursts that rattle your mente.
¡Escúchame! I am loud. I am Latina.
I am worthy.
Today, I relinquish my Vergüenza.
I am María— a happy Latin stereotype
¡Soy una fuerza!
Ahora, yo sé. Ahora, yo entiendo.
I am more than just a silhouette—
a blurred face. I am a reconciliation.
I am the faceless doll.
Perfectamente imperfecta. americana, dominicana, africana, indígena, Spanish. Ish. Soy la muñeca dominicana.
~ Maria Lara-Bregatta
Maria Lara-Bregatta, a Dominican and Italian-American raised outside of Philadelphia, later transplanted to Vermont. Today, she runs Dominican Fusion Restaurant, which serves up delectable dishes steeped in tradition and culture. When she's not busy cooking up a storm, you can find her tending to her small homestead, where she raises chickens and grows an array of culturally significant vegetables.