who is ‘us?’

Posted on May 30, 2007


Vanessa MinnilloNow here’s someone you generally don’t hear a lot from in self-help circles: MTV and Entertainment Tonight television personality Vanessa Minnillo.

If this is the kind of sense she usually makes, I wouldn’t mind hearing more from her (which is a lesson to those of us with tendencies to write off television-presenting former beauty queens).

from the March, 2006 issue of Self magazine (p.180):

My mom is Polynesian-Hawaiian-Filipina,
so I didn’t look like everyone else.
After I entered the 1998 Miss Teen USA pageant on a dare and won, a guy told a friend of mine, “How can she represent the United States, looking the way she does?”
It was so hurtful.

And so off-base, too. Given that all races and ethnic backgrounds in North America except Aboriginal are in fact immigrant and generally polyglot at that, who could better represent them? Wear your hyphens or your nonyphens proudly, O Irish-Italian-Polynesian-Hawaiian-Filipina-Americans, and you Polish-Scottish-Métis-Canadians, and you Haida, and you Navajo, and you, too.

You own this place; you are this place.

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