Elisa Smith

Since I come from a mixed-race background, I am no stranger to people asking what I am or complimenting that I look “exotic.” When I get those kind of comments I often feel like a spotlight is being put on me, that people focus on what they think a Pacific Islander or black person should act like. At a glance no one would think I would know how to crochet, something I picked up when I was little. They probably wouldn’t know I like to wear hoodies and sweatshirts instead of crop tops and shorts either. There was a time when a classmate in high school told me I would look good in a bikini because I was going to the beach, even though I never said I was going to swim there. It really makes you think on why people assume that about a person. I hope that with this particular artwork piece, people would think to see me for who I am, not what my appearance suggests I should be.