In Your Skin

Debbie Gonzales

As a first generation Mexican American, Debbie Gonzales has dedicated most of her life to helping others who struggle with similar obstacles that she has faced. What once felt like a weakness has beautifully evolved into a defining characteristic that has informed her involvement with the organization Kids Of Immigrants, that celebrates the fact that while everyone is cut from different fabrics, together we make a whole.

Tell us about a challenge you've faced, specifically when a personal attribute made you feel insecure or unworthy, and a specific instance that stands out.

Growing up in a Mexican immigrant household we were taught to give even when we had nothing. To greet and treat all people with love and respect. To me being a good person is someone that is kind, compassionate, and wants the best for everyone without any expectations. As I got older I remember people telling me I am too nice, that I care too much, or simply people skeptical that good people exist. It left me second-guessing myself at times, especially in an industry like music and fashion where being a good person isn’t as celebrated.

If it is possible to boil down your life into moments, was there a specific instance that changed your thinking about feeling insecure or insufficient into something that could, in turn, be motivational or empowering?

I remember meeting Daniel Buezo and Weleh Dennis, co-founders of Kids Of Immigrants, and we instantly aligned on what we didn’t see and what we wanted to project on to the world as individuals, a team, and as a brand. Our manifestation was to be good people, doing good work, while spreading love and inspiring others along the way. 5 years into Kids Of Immigrants, we have realized that we don’t have to compromise who we are. We can be creative, successful, good people, and give back and don’t have to be a charity or non-profit to do so. This has empowered us to continue pioneering this new way of thinking. 

How do you continue to celebrate the fact that your kind and giving nature is a part of your cultural identity? What are your rituals around self-acceptance?

I now view it as my superpower. Through therapy and spirituality, I have learned that I am my best when I am a service and that my purpose in life is to be a good person and do good work that inspires and empowers. Therapy continues to teach me healthy boundaries and my spirituality ground me when I begin to doubt myself. It helps me tap back in with myself and live my truth. I truly believe that the work I have done internally has helped manifest and open up space for abundance.

Are there other moments in your journey of self-acceptance, such as an inspiration or any resources, that you'd like to share?

Aligning myself with like-minded people has helped me along my journey. I feel like once I set my intention I was able to attract everything I dreamed of and more. I’ve also actively meditated as often as I can. Some things that I’ve enjoyed along the way: Anything Yung Pueblo, Tara Brach podcast, Source Messages IG and The Power of Now book

“We exist to make women feel confident, strong, sexy and elegant, and believe in the inherent style and power of women.”

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