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Chloe Shelby

Chloe Shelby
Some attributes
First Bachelor's in Public Relations
Second Senior
Third JMC 4453- Race, Gender, and the Media
Other attributes
Fourth Published: April 29, 2013


My name is Chloe Shelby. I am getting my bachelor's degree in public relations and graduating the spring of 2013 from the University of Oklahoma. I enjoy learning about different cultures and am getting my minor in Spanish. I hope to travel to Spain in the near future. Although my future is unclear to me, I plan on staying in the Oklahoma area once I graduate. My dream is to work at a well-established advertising agency and to love what I do each day.

Where the Shelby's come from...Edit

My father’s side of the family came from Germany to the United States in 1753. Valentin Zahniesen, my distant grandfather, with his wife, Juliana, and son, Mathias, set out for a new opportunity in Philadelphia. Valentin died on the way but his wife and son settled in Philadelphia where many generations of my family members stayed, including a distant relative named Howard Zahniser- Eventually, Walter Zahniser was born. He was my grandmother’s father who lived in Unionville, Pennsylvania. He worked as a clerk and married a woman named Faye. Then they had my grandmother, Jane Zahniser. She then married my grandfather, Dick Shelby. Eventually, they landed in Oklahoma and had my father Michael Jay Shelby. My father grew up in Chickasha, Oklahoma before he attended the University of Oklahoma, where he met my mother. 

We do not have as much information on my mother’s side. My mother’s side of the family came from France in the 1800s. My mother’s side has been in America for the past five generations. My mom’s father served in World War II. Once he returned he went to school to be a dentist and then he met my grandmother, Beverly Buird. After their marriage, they settled in Oklahoma City and had my mother Cindi Ann Shelby. My mother was raised in Oklahoma City and eventually attended the University of Oklahoma. Then my father and my mother met and four months later they were married.  After 14 years of marriage, they had my sister, Cathleen Shelby and me.

I am mostly German, French and Scottish.  I am the fifth generation that has resided in America from my mother's side. Oklahoma City is where I was raised with my close-knit family. We would all call Oklahoma City are home. It is where my parents started and raised their family and where my sister and I grew up. I plan to continue my future in Oklahoma, my home sweet home.

My family is culturally American but we connect with our ancestors through different family traditions. Traditions are important to my family and we have always kept them as a way to connect with past generations. For example, taking one tradition from Germany, we hide a small pickle ornament in our tree at Christmas time. Then my sister and I look for the tiny pickle camouflaged in our tree. The person who finds it has good luck all year. 

Picture 2

My family tree! Picture created at

The Shelby Family ValuesEdit

My family, often referred to as the loud family, love to get together for family dinners biweekly and catch up on the latest news. Closeness and openness has always been an important aspect of my family. Coming from the loud family, I have many beliefs and values that I live by and that have shaped me into the person I am today. As a woman of the Shelby family, I have never felt stereotyped against for my gender. My parents taught me to be a strong woman and strive for anything I wanted. As a child, I danced and played soccer and basketball. Although I did end up choosing dance as my sport from a young age, my parents were sure to never push me in one direction based on my gender.

My parents are a strong example of how a marriage should work. Each parent had the same amount of power in the family and their duties were not assigned based upon their genders. This example has led me to be an independent woman. Growing up, I was taught that everyone should be treated as an equal and never to judge anyone based upon their gender, race, class, appearance, or more. Therefore, the main values I live my life by are loyalty, independence, and equality. 

  • My mother Cindi Shelby and my sister Cathleen Shelby
  • Cathleen Shelby and I
  • My Parents- Cindi and Michael Shelby
  • Father, Mike Shelby- Mother, Cindi Shelby- Sister, Cathleen Shelby - and me at brunch in OKC
Family Structure

Family is a changing structure in our society. Family ranges from the traditional format to the modern day format. My family structure is surprisingly stereotypical with two married parents and their two children.  

Marriage has always been important to my family in the past and present. Divorce is almost non-existent in my family. My grandparents and parents have all been great examples to my sister and I in the way that a marriage should work. They lean on each other in hard times, enjoy each other in good times, and appreciate each other all the time. My parents have always shown how much they appreciate each other and constantly compliment one another when they have accomplished something. My parents are very equal in their roles and strongly believe in equality in a marriage. There is not a “head of the household” in my family structure.

I have one other sister that is two years older than me. We were taught as children that we would be each other’s best friend throughout our lives. To my mother, it was very important that we were friends and got along well. My mother and her sister have always been close and demonstrated the importance of siblings. I do not know where I would be without my sister’s constant friendship through everything in my life.

Gender and EmploymentEdit

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Cindi Shelby enthusiastically working at her clothing store!

My family has always appreciated a quote by Steve Pavlina, who said, “Passion and purpose go hand in hand. When you discover your purpose, you will normally find it’s something you’re tremendously passionate about.” This quote expresses the idea that my family holds true, to find what you’re passionate about and make a career from it. My mother owns a clothing store; to say that she is passionate about it is an understatement. She absolutely lives and breathes her career and is always thinking about style and how to make something beautiful. My father does the business side of the store, dealing with financial matters. My mother cares most about connecting with her clients and making them feel good about themselves, while my father does the mathematical side of the business dealing with sales, taxes, etc. In this situation, my parents both hold the stereotypical job for a man and woman.

It is also interesting to look back at my grandparents’ profession in relation to gender. One of my grandfathers owned his own dentistry, where he worked long hours each day. His wife, my grandmother, did not work and was responsible for raising their two girls and having dinner on the table when he came home. My other set of grandparents had similar setups, however my grandma did work for a short amount of time. My grandpa was a surgeon and my grandma worked as a nurse’s assistant for a short time. These examples show that there were gender differences in the profession that each person chose. My great grandparents also are a good example to look back at to see how gender affected women and men’s’ profession choices. My great grandmother was a schoolteacher while my great grandfather was a priest. As a priest, my great grandfather felt the responsibility to lead his wife and children and teach them the ways to lead their lives and pray.

Read about my parent's clothing store:

Race RelationsEdit

In terms of race, my family members are all Caucasian. This is not due to any racism but just based on past family member’s choice in a spouse. No one in my current family is racist towards any race and will stand up for anyone who is being mistreated. My father was raised by an African American woman and spent a great deal of time with her as a child. He kept in touch with her even after he grew up. She served as a mother figure to him and my father still holds a very important place for her in his heart. My cousin is in the process of adoption and does not have any preference in the baby's race. She says that race is not a factor to be considered in adoption.

In Terms of ClassEdit

My family has always been pretty in line with the average earnings of a middle class person in the United States. My great grandparents worked as teachers, ministers, and farmers. My grandparents worked as dentists, nurse assistants, and surgeons. My grandparents went through hard economic times in their lifes during the Great Depression, along with everyone else growing up in that time. Growing up my grandparents always would spoil me but would be sure to tell my cousins and I of the "harder times" so that we would appreciate what we had. My parents say that they always felt like they had all the necessary things in life but never had material items to excess.

When I was growing up my parents were both salespeople. They worked hard each day at what they did and were happy in their careers. Today, they own a clothing store in Oklahoma City. I always felt safe and secure in terms of basic needs and material things. I believe that the average lifestyle is a good place to be. Then, you do not grow up expecting everything but you are not struggling to get by, this is what I hope to have for my future children.

Generations Past and Generations to come...Edit

Times have changed significantly, even looking from now back to my parents’ generation. There have been drastic changes in people’s values and the way that the world is run; this includes people’s views on minorities, marriage, religion, and more. I believe that my family is a strong family with well-built views on the importance of equality, family, and religion. These views have influenced me to be a woman that will fight for what I believe in and not just stand by. My family has influenced me to trust wholeheartedly in Jesus Christ and to spread love each day. As times keep changing, I hope that my family will stay strong in their beliefs and that my future children will enter into a world that is free from hate and racism.

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