SeriesLIVE
Earlier this month, Karolina Shiino won the Miss Japan beauty pageant and set off a firestorm because of her Ukrainian birthplace and heritage. She has since given back her crown after it came to light she’d had an affair.

What Do I Look Like?

Marcela Alcala talks about her life as a Japanese Mexican in light of the controversy over a Ukrainian born Miss Japan.
Show transcript
00:00
So I wanna ask brother,
00:01
do you refer yourself as American,
00:04
Mexican, American, Mexican American?
00:06
Me too, Mexican American.
00:08
But I get told that I do not look Mexican like if
00:12
people were to be like,
00:13
oh wow. Like I speak Spanish?
00:14
Oh wow. I thought you were just white and I'm just
00:18
like, oh OK.
00:20
Did you ever talk shit in front of you?
00:21
Like in Spanish? No,
00:26
not that I've heard of actually.
00:28
No, no, actually I have a story for you that
00:32
happened recently. Carolina Shino was just five years old when her
00:37
family immigrated to Japan.
00:39
She is a TN Ukrainian and that is her.
00:44
And so she grew up in Japan,
00:46
her friends and classmates were Japanese,
00:49
you know, and you know,
00:50
she, she's very well into the culture and like many of
00:56
you know, our immigrant parents,
00:57
how they moved into the US and,
00:59
and when they were young and,
01:02
and ourselves too, even she entered Japan's National Beauty Competition
01:08
and she won and there was controversy because they were questioning
01:15
oh, well,
01:15
she doesn't look Japanese.
01:17
How can she win Japan's National Beauty Competition there was just backlash
01:22
and then they come to find.
01:24
So the haters dug up some dirt about her about an affair
01:29
that ultimately led to her giving up her crown earlier this week
01:33
So I think the fact that she did not look Japanese
01:38
and then they wanted to go in even deeper and they dug
01:41
up that and it's just a whole controversy.
01:44
Porque. No seve,
01:44
I mean, it sounds like the kind of thing.
01:48
But if she's, if the rules didn't state that she had
01:52
to be specifically Japanese,
01:54
it's like in maybe go back to the rule of that's how
01:57
you really feel about that.
01:59
I think, you know,
02:00
luckily for us to help us understand the reality,
02:04
we're actually joined by Marcela who is also known as Mexican
02:09
but Japanese. So we're gonna talk to Marcela about this
02:13
Hi, Marcela.
02:14
Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for having me.
02:17
Thank you for joining.
02:19
We wanted to ask you your opinion on this.
02:21
So like does this reaction to Miss Japan's crowning come as a
02:25
surprise to you? I mean,
02:27
like you mentioned, you know,
02:28
she grew up in Japan,
02:30
it seems like she grew up there from a very young age
02:32
as a young child,
02:33
her whole life, her culture,
02:35
her language is Japanese.
02:36
So it makes me think about myself,
02:40
you know, I am half Japanese,
02:41
I am half Mexican.
02:42
And if I were to be in that position,
02:45
where I maybe had the opportunity to represent Mexico.
02:50
But would I not be accepted?
02:53
Maybe to be the face of Mexico?
02:56
Because I am half Japanese,
02:57
even though I was born in Mexico,
02:59
even though Mexico is,
03:01
I mean, Spanish is my first language.
03:03
My entire family lives in Mexico.
03:05
And I think that would make me really sad because I
03:09
am very Mexican and I've seen your content.
03:12
You're very much Mexican,
03:14
very much Japanese. You're both in one.
03:17
How is it when you go to Mexico and when you go
03:19
to Japan, how's experience?
03:22
I mean, again,
03:23
I was born in Mexico,
03:24
grew up in Mexico.
03:25
So Mexico for me is home.
03:27
I've only been to Japan once,
03:29
maybe five or seven years ago and we went to me and
03:33
my sisters took my mom to meet her Japanese side of the
03:37
family and it was wonderful.
03:38
I had a beautiful time,
03:40
but I am still new to my Japanese culture.
03:43
It's a part of me that I'm still exploring that I'm still
03:46
learning. But I mean,
03:47
Mexico is just, is home for me.
03:50
And I guess, I mean,
03:50
I've heard that you have a growing family.
03:52
So congrats on that.
03:54
Do you plan,
03:56
I know you actually have a little Mexicano baby on the way
03:58
coming next month. So I'm excited to.
04:04
Yes. Exactly. So,
04:05
yeah, I wanted to see like,
04:06
do you plan on teaching your Children all three languages or?
04:09
No. Absolutely. So I don't speak Japanese.
04:11
So I only speak Spanish and English.
04:15
And it's really, really,
04:16
really important for me,
04:18
for my daughter to speak Spanish.
04:19
I mean, I want my daughter to get the full experience
04:24
even though we live in the US and to be able to
04:26
communicate even with the rest of my family.
04:28
Right. A lot of them don't speak English.
04:30
So I am speaking to her in Spanish.
04:32
My husband speaks to her in English and we're going to do
04:34
our best to keep it up and for her to learn both
04:38
Well, thank you so much,
04:39
Marcela. We really appreciate you joining us and congrats again on
04:43
your little blessing. And Tambien,
04:46
where can people find you on social media?
04:49
Oh, yeah, I am at Mexican but Japanese and you
04:53
can find me there.
04:55
Yeah, I'm there.
04:56
But thank you so much again for your time and we'll talk
04:59
soon. Have a good one.
05:00
Yes. Thank you.
05:01
Thank you. Thank you for coming.