Maria G Torres
Childhood protects us (or in my case, protected me) from the ugly sides of life that later in life reveal. I was lucky to grow up around people that resembled me complexion wise, but even still there was that pressure to be fairer than the rest. I did not realize the magnitude that this type of thinking could reach until I came to America. Like Kamala, I have experienced my share of being treated differently, being made a joke of, being judged wrongly, and people calling me names among many other things, including my own dose of self-demeanor.
In the same manner in which Kamala questions certain things about their family and mode of life, is the same manner in which I would question myself about my appearance. I too, at some point, felt like confronting my parents with that question, as Kamala did her dad (Abu) as to whether the reason she could not go to the party was because she was a girl. But I knew that there was no answer to that question. In fact, I could have ended up being given a good whopping.
I would admire the white people because they seem to have their lives figured out. Everything favored them due to the nature of their skin color. They work in best paying jobs, attend the best schools, have higher living standards, they make up the most of our TV stars, they are the inventors of most things we see today, produce the best movies, are generally the wealthiest, they live in the wealthiest nations; and the list goes on and on. I on the other hand, nothing good associated with my skin color.
I started reading comic books when I was young. My parents would always buy them for me, first to learn how to read and then later to make me happy as I had come to love them. One thing that I noticed about these comic books, the super heroes, who I loved so much and even wished to be them were always white. And for some reason, the bad people, who we all hated, were color people. This amplified my desire to be white and even considered them superior. This also had an equal negative effect on my perspective about people like me (dark skinned people).
I relate so much to Kamala’s situation when she thinks how stupid it was for her to try and fit in and even become one of them. In my efforts to fit in, I would try to emulate white people way of living and how they carried themselves around. I would try to speak like them, enjoy the kind of music and sports that they do, adopted a white name, and associate more with them. However, that still did not turn me into them, or make me one of them. I still felt insecure about my skin color and inferior to them. But later on, as with Kamala, I realized that there was no need in trying to be something that you are not. All we need is to love ourselves the way we are and appreciate our races and everything that make us unique.
This comic book has been able to capture and bring out the challenges that most children face on a day-to-day basis because of their skin color, religion, nationality, and race among other things. It brings out the insecurity that these children live with. Through using Kamala, who based on her religion, nationality, race, gender, and way of life is considered inferior, backward, and weak as the superhero this comic book gives kids a new perspective in life. Young girls from Arab nations can find someone that they can relate to and look up to for inspiration. Imagine the kind of message this sends out to kids in school.
I am advocating for the production of additional comic books with superheroes from different races. Individuals’ perspective regarding themselves and life in general are natured from a young age. That means that if you feed them negative information about themselves, they will grow up hating who or what they are and the reverse is true. This comic book is trying to change all that by creating a female, Arab superhero.
I have learned throughout this project that we need to appreciate ourselves and what makes us unique, as well as respect other people for who they are. What we think about ourselves play a huge part in our development, especially mentally and emotionally. I can implement the lessons I have learned in this class in real life, by treating other people nicely and learning to fall in love with myself. Also, I can use this information to reach kids who go through the same or more things, as I and Kamala did, and rebuild their love and respect of self.
This comic has different angles with which one can analyze it. It is educational, entertaining, based on real life situations, while at the same time fictional. I opted to give more life to my analysis by making it partly about my life experiences. This helped me to bring out the themes in the comic and express them in a way that is easy to understand. The process of peer review helped me to obtain deeper insight of the story making my analysis easy.