How has being on Girl Code affected your personal life?
I learned that I’m not alone in the things that I go through. A lot of times, certain topics are taboo and we can’t talk about them openly. But, the girls on Girl Code are so open and honest about everything that we have in common. All girls should be more comfortable with themselves and talking about these things. Most girls feel super uncomfortable about going to the gyno. The first time you see a penis is scary. A lot of girls think they are alone when they feel that way.
What was it like growing up in a Puerto Rican/Italian household?
I kind of felt like I had an identity crisis. I don’t speak Italian. I don’t speak Spanish. I wondered where I was from. I can identify with two different ethnicities.
I grew up in Brooklyn, and a lot of people there are of mixed ethnicities. I was able to make friends and talk to people about it. I’m actually talking to people now that are Latina and go through the same thing. They feel like outcasts when they go to reunions. That makes me feel better about–that other people feel the same way. My family teases me, though! They say that I’m a fake Puerto Rican, but I’m very proud of being Puerto Rican. I’m a real Puerto Rican.
I don’t speak Spanish, but I understand it. My family is really pressuring me to learn the language! There are so many different countries that speak Spanish, and I think it’s really beneficial to my career. I get a lot of opportunities that involve speaking Spanish that I have to miss out on.
Melanie shares her favorite Puerto Rican dishes on page 3 >>>