For many children of immigrants, their roots and culture play such a formative part in they people they are and will become. So, we gave five people dramatic makeovers to re-create their archived family photos and turn them into their ancestors.
First up was Andy, who was re-creating a photo of his great-great-grandfather.
Andy's great-great-grandfather came to America from Northern Iran around the turn of the century, to escape the massacres at the time.
Time to transform Andy!
The results had Andy looking just as dapper as his great-great-grandfather. "It's funny because people growing up said I kinda looked like him. And now, I totally look like him."
Chris re-created a photo of his father, who immigrated from Hong Kong.
Chris' father came to America in the '60s and financially struggled upon his arrival. He started off doing restaurant work but eventually worked his way up to an engineer.
Time to transform Chris!
Chris' makeover left him feeling appreciative of his culture. "It can take second-generation kids a little bit more time than other kids to develop that feeling of self-worth."
Jenny was re-creating a photo of her grandmother, who immigrated from Cuba.
Her grandmother came over in 1967 via the freedom flights. When Castro came into office, her grandmother was forced to leave everything behind because of the close eye the government kept on people who wanted to leave.
Time to transform Jenny!
Jenny worked her grandmother's look perfectly. "For me it was a big deal just moving across country. But to know you're never gonna see your family again... and no communication except a phone call every now and then, that's just — what?!"
Selorm was re-creating a photo of her mother, who came to America from Ghana in 1979.
Her mother's father died when she was 1, and her mother died when she was about 10 years old. Selorm described her mother as thoughtful and someone she would be honored to grow up like.
Time to transform Selorm!
"I only know the cultural things that she's passed down to me. So, to be able to wear this and have a connection to not only her, but also my grandmother who owned this, it's really nice... because I don't always get to share those things with her."
Ochi was re-creating a photo of her grandmother, who immigrated from Mexico.
Originally, Ochi's grandfather came to America first and was sending money back to their family. Ochi's grandmother decided it was more important for the family to be together, so she sold all their possessions and followed her husband to America.
Time for Ochi's transformation!
"Knowing the sacrifices she made, and all the things she did for her family... I just wish I had understood that and appreciated that when I was younger."
Ochi was a mirror image of her grandmother!
Overall, the experience was both emotional and heartwarming for everyone. It connected them with their family and their roots in a new, profound way.
"You can't let fear stop you from moving forward and making a better life for yourself."