Two Styles, Two Worlds, One Person


One’s style can say a lot about you. From your beliefs and values, to your culture. But, for others not born in the United States, it can be a stark distinction of difference. 

Style, like many other cultural aspects, can set someone apart from the norm of the country they now live in. Grandview students are no exception to this bleak reality. 

“I’m from South America, specifically from Venezuela,” said junior Valeria Rondon. “[I’ve been in the U.S. now for] three years.”

Similarly, freshman Alessia Montoya currently resides in a different country than her place of birth. 

“I’m Hispanic,” said Montoya. “I was born in Spain.”

Although Spain and Venezuela share a similar cultural background, they are two different worlds in regards to fashion, but they share common characteristics when compared to American style. 

“American style is really open about it,” said Rondon. “They literally let you do anything you want with yourself.” 

While Rondon focused entirely on the positive, Montoya noted the more negative aspects of American style.

“[American style is] more of a relaxed style, but you can get judged [for what you wear],” said Montoya. 

Despite this, people who descend from entirely different regions of the world, can still come together on the major differences in their own fashion and American style. 

Senior Isnita Thakur can share in this similar mindset, as someone who’s heritage can be traced back to the Himachal region of India. She noted the major differences between the two countries she considers home.

“It’s very different here, you show more skin like wearing a crop top and shorts,” said Thakur. “Over there, you are more covered, especially for girls.”

As to be expected after settling into life in a new country, some began to adapt their old style to fit the new environment while others changed just to fit into their new settings. 

“I was wearing things other people wouldn’t wear, so I tried to blend in,” said Montoya. 

Still, no matter how hard one may try to fit in, the judging eye of others is sometimes inescapable, and can continue to be felt even years later after settling into a new country. 

“[American style is] negative,” said Montoya. “When you try to fit in [since] you look different because you are trying to be liked by people.”

Another aspect of attempting to blend into the major culture of their new country is the nagging pull of one’s former home as it can be a constant reminder in the back of your mind. 

“I’m technically part of two cultures,” said Thakur. “I have to adjust to both. I have to dress like both, so it gets really confusing.” 

Rondon added onto this, calling back to an age-old moral most would have heard throughout their childhoods. 

“Of course outside appearance matters, because people may judge you from what you look like, but they need to know you to know if you’re a good person or a bad person,” said Rondon.

Even when faced with adversity against their native styles, many students have chosen to persevere through, and offered advice to others facing similar circumstances. 

“No, they shouldn’t [change their style to fit in],” said Rondon. “Just follow what you believe in.”

In the end, it can only boil down to the opinions someone has of themselves that allows the outside to shine. 

“Just try to be yourself and to love yourself.”