Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google+ Share on Reddit Share on Pinterest Share on Linkedin Share on Tumblr What is not to love about Steven Universe? It is a high art form that promotes nontraditional love, body positivity, and gender equality. The soundtrack will make you dance and cry, and forget Bali because Beach City is where you want to be. While I do admire the show for all of these attributes, what draws me to the show is Steven’s identity crisis for being a half human, half gem. “So where are you really from?” — a question that is central to my existence, and yet I do not know how to answer it. Born in New York and raised in Bangladesh, I have had the best and worst of both worlds. Despite spending almost my entire life in Bangladesh, I am still regarded as a “foreigner” to my own people. I am told that my views are too liberal, the way I dress is too modern, and many other labels are slapped on me to make the same point: I am Americanized. READ: Need another in-depth analysis of your favorite show? See our article on choice and autonomy in Steven Universe! Now, let me give you a rundown of how I live my life. I spend my weekends doing homework, and occasionally watching plays or going to art exhibits. I do not drink or party; it is just not my definition of fun. Most importantly, I do not eat bacon. I know, I am missing out on a whole world aren’t I? After moving back to New York thirteen years later, I tried to assimilate as much as possible. I wanted to fit in, even if that meant permanently erasing my Bengali identity. That, of course, didn’t work out too well. Eventually, I had to come to terms with who I am. No matter how American I tried to be, I have certain values rooted inside of me that come from my Bengali heritage. I am not an American to American people. Being a brown-skinned person with a slight accent makes it all the more visible. Although my passport is American and my roots are Bengali, my cultural identity is still not apparent to me. Sometimes I wonder, am I American or am I Bengali? Am I both, or am I neither? I may seem out of the ordinary for my unique lifestyle, but then I look at Steven and find immense solace. We have a lot in common, although I must admit, his life is far more intense. He, too, is torn between two different identities and struggles to fit in both worlds. The challenge of being half human and half gem is real, and in many instances, I was able to relate to him. Being Too Much Of A Human To The Gems This has been particularly evident in the first season when the Crystal Gems were hesitant to take Steven to dangerous missions. Steven was considered the weakest member despite having the gem of their former leader. Being a human means he needs sleep and food to function, which is a form of recreation rather than a necessity for the rest of the gems. Steven’s emotions may also sometimes inhibit him from utilizing his powers to the fullest, as seen in the episode, “Steven Floats,” (Season 3, Episode 6). On top of that, his human form has caused other gems to believe he does not belong. In the episode, “The Trial,” (Season 5, Episode 2), Yellow Diamond humiliates Steven, stating that he should be shattered simply for looking the way he does. READ: What Steven Universe can teach children about being a good, bad person! While all gems know their reason for existence immediately after they are formed, Steven is lost in perplexity about the purpose of his life. Much like us humans, his journey to realize his true mission is much more complex than finding a treasure in the Pyramids. Being Too Much Of A Gem To Humans Despite having many human attributes, it is sometimes difficult for humans to understand Steven’s peculiar life. Unlike kids of his age, Steven does not go to school. On the episode, “Steven’s Birthday,” (Season 2, Episode 23), Connie tells Steven that she sometimes wishes he was taller than her, which took a toll on his self-esteem. He struggled with the fact that he does not age like normal human beings and tried to age by shape shifting. Connie is not the only one — even Steven’s dad, Greg, is unable to comprehend Steven’s intense adventures with the Crystal Gems. Although he could win the Best Cartoon Dad Award with his words of wisdom, Greg cannot always help his son cope with the many unanswered questions he has about his existence. Thus, even though Greg desperately wants to spend time with his son (“House Guest,” Season 1, Episode 27), he understands that Steven is better off living in the temple with the Crystal Gems. The Bright Side Of His Identity Crisis Being half human and half gem has led to an identity crisis in Steven’s life; however, it has also worked as an advantage. Regarding powers, Steven is immune to hazardous gem weapons. In the episode, “Jail Break,” (Season 1, Episode 49), the Gem Destabilizer could not puff Steven as he is half human. Consequently, he was able to unite the eternal lovers, Ruby and Sapphire. READ: This Steven Universe graphic novel tackles the education system! While most of Steven’s powers belonged to Rose, his identity crisis is a strength of his own on a much deeper level. His ability to empathize with both humans and gems is a power that no one in Earth or Homeworld has. As a result, he fits in both worlds, although not perfectly. His identity crisis is a huge part of his identity. Therefore, he does not have to resolve it because it is what makes Steven the incredibly wonderful human/gem that he is. Resolving My Own Identity Crisis Steven helped me realize that I do not have to be one or the either. I no longer feel ashamed of being seen as too American or too Bengali. When I am criticized for not living my life the American way or for not adhering to all Bengali traditions, I do not feel the need to justify. Instead, I remind myself that it is okay to have my own set of unique, culturally mixed values. There is absolutely nothing wrong with belonging somewhere between the gaps of two entirely different identities. I can be both Bengali and American, and fit in both worlds imperfectly. My identity crisis is part of who I am. I take pride in the fact that it is an amazing superpower that I share with my favorite cartoon character.