Do you look how you are "supposed" to look? Or act like you are "supposed" to act? I for one, do not. In today's society, there are people believe that they can read you instantly, based on your appearance. Just look at all the television shows about how to look your best, how to make the perfect first impression, all around teaching society today that it really is about how you look. In Teja Arbodela's essay, "Race is a Four Letter Word", he discusses his life experience involving racial discrimination. He also deals with the topic of stereotyping, and how he has coped with such complications. Although some people believe otherwise, they cannot always see who you are by how you look or how you act.
Arboleda's experiences with stereotyping and racial discriminated started young as he wrote in "Race is a Four Letter Word":
"My brother Miguel and I became curiosity factors when we appeared
in public with her."(pg. 121)
Whenever Arboleda and his brother (who are Philipino and German) were seen with their full German mother, people would not initially see that she was indeed their mother. I have had experiences identical to Arboleda's. Being of Black, Japanese, and Mexican heritage, I have a very different appearance than my Black and Japanese father. Whenever my father was a chaperone on a field trip, or I forgot to grab my lunch, he would appear. Instantly, the whisperings of "Who IS that?" could be plainly heard. Once they connected the dots, the following question would be "That's your DAD?". It seems that people don’t really think about the effects the words may have before they speak. In elementary school, you were always shown people who looked alike to be the iconic family. They never showed a Black man with a little Asian girl standing next to him, standing next to a Mexican woman who is holding a little boy who doesn't look like any of them, labeled as "Family".
In explaining how he conforms to society, Arboleda write: