Racialized Identity: Perceptions of body in “The Story of
Women writers have always emphasized
the conection between their bodies and their experiences through
writing. Latina writers, in particular, have done so with
their experiences of immigration and identity formation.
Many of these Latina writers have arrived in the United States
at a young age while their identities and their bodies are
still developing. The dramatic changes in the surroundings
impact their sensibility and their internalized perception
of the world and of themselves. These internalizations occur
because of the external environment, which judges them and
perceives them based on their appearance. Perceptions based
especially on the color of their skin and the shape and size
of their bodies.
This paper analyzes the use of the
body by Latina writers to express the experience of immigration.
How are their bodies affected by the transition from their
native countries to their adopted land? How is identity affected
by others’ concept of the body? How are Latina identities
formed? In “The Story of My Body” Judith Ortiz Cofer states:
“I was born a white girl in Puerto Rico but became a brown
girl when I came to live in the United States” (132). Thus
immigration, identity and race become embedded through/in
the concept of body.
Copyright © 2003