It was 1991 when the Leband Gallery at the Loyola Marymount University had a show of ten Latina artists. And in that show, they told us they wanted us to do works that refl ected our personal experiences and so I did a painting. It was a self portrait. But it was called “Names Can’t Hurt”. It was a self portrait of me putting the make up on in the mirror but the make up is dark, is like a

darker type of make up. And around the mirror frame is words that I was called throughout my childhood and growing up. Like Güera, Green Eyes, Cat Eyes, White Girl and stuff like that. I did have an identity problem for awhile there. When I grew up in the housing projects, I remember a lot of other Latinas and Chicanas telling me, “. . . you think you’re better than we are because you have green eyes.” And I never even thought-that never even came into my mind! And so I developed this sort of insecurity-or what is that? A complex about being light skinned . . . Maybe I became really involved in the Chicano art scene and worked with the UFW because of this desire to like prove that I’m Mexican or whatever. I don’t know. . . . It felt good to do that painting [the self portrait] because I had never dealt with that issue of being a light skinned person and having seen it as a problem rather than an asset.2