Being Pretty in Europe

Anna Ortega
July 18, 2017

This last weekend I went to Killarney with a few of my friends. It was a rushed last minutes decision but it was so worth it. We rode the train in on Saturday, ate dinner, got to our hotel and slept. Sunday we had booked a tour for the gap of dunloe. The gap of dunloe is a seven mile hiking trail—or a 7 mile horse drawn carriage ride, which is what we chose to do—which takes you through a mountain pass, into the black valley, and ends in the national park. Our tour included a boat ride through the lakes of the national park to Ross Castle which we were then free to explore. At the end of the trail there is a tea shack where we had lunch. Walking around the area we saw many deer. The weather was perfect and even though I am slightly scared of boats, it was all a very positive experience. The gap is beautiful and taking the carriage made the whole experience that much quainter.

            My time in Dublin is coming to an end, unfortunately. Sadly my last few days here are going to be filled with studying and paper writing. Still, I am glad that at least I am studying here, which makes it a little more enjoyable. However, in reflecting upon my overall time in Dublin I cannot help but be reminded of the prevalence of Eurocentric beauty standards. It is easy to forget about eurocentrism, especially because of the community I am apart of online, and in real life, where very many people I know do not have Eurocentric features. Coming to a majority white European country, has been a shock for me. As I wrote about in one of my first blogs, people stare at me, and many times people have asked me “what are you, where are you from?” Although I am confident in my sense of self, it is difficult to not feel bad when the media here is very centered on Eurocentric bodies. Not only this, but men’s disgustingly obvious fetishization of Latin American women a hard pill to swallow.

            This was an aspect of my study abroad experience that I did not expect. The neighborhood where I live in Dublin is fairly diverse, but I was reminded with my trip to Killarney that not everyone is used to seeing “other” people. The hotel manager seemed oddly uncomfortable with me, and the waiter at the restaurant where we ate dinner didn’t seem to realize it is rude to stare. I had similar experiences in Belfast, however not anywhere I went on my trip to England. This uncomfortable aspect of my trip has not been entirely negative, and did not in any way make my experience worse. I think that it is important to see how different groups of people perceive identities that they might not be familiar with and conversely, it is important to understand how you fit into someone else’s world view.  That is ultimately the goal of living in a community outside your own.

Anna Ortega

<p>Hi! My name Anna! I study history and folklore at Indiana University. I&#39;m a young chicana who loves hot Cheetos. My favorite holiday is Halloween because I&#39;ve always been a spooky kid at heart!</p>

2017 Summer 1, 2017 Summer 2
Home University:
Indiana University
Explore Blogs