March is Women’s History Month. This is the time where we recognize women from the past and from our present that have changed the rights and futures of girls to come. I have always had strong women in my life showing me what it means to be a woman. The women in my family have taught me what hard work, sacrifice, and love means. The most important woman of all, my mother, has taught me so much. She has taught me to fend for myself and to never let a man tell me who I am. She has always told me to get an education, be independent, and work my ass off so I can provide for myself. Gracias mama for always showing me how to love unconditionally and to never stop fighting for my future. I could write pages about the women in my life but I also want to share with you women in the media who have changed the course for women. Here are just a few of my favorites!
In my previous post, “The Reality of Being Plus Size” I mentioned how I’ve struggled with loving my body. I never saw women who looked like me in the media being recognized as beautiful. That was until I learned who Ashley Graham was. Ashley Graham is a plus size supermodel and body activist. I am obsessed with her. I absolutely love how she is so in love with her cellulite and her curvy body. Anytime I feel self-conscious I look on her Instagram feed and think, “If she loves all that she is then I should too!” Her confidence is so contagious and beautiful. She is constantly advocating self-love and showing girls that their beauty is not defined by the number on the scale. Ashley has shown that plus size girls can be fashionable, sexy, and beautiful. She has broken the mold for plus size women and her representation is making a huge impact for girls all over the world.If you watch Netflix, you have to watch Jane the Virgin. Gina Rodriguez is the star of the show. What made me love Gina was the strength she shows in Jane the Virgin. She portrays a Latina character who is real, not just typical Hispanic stereotypes. I never really saw Hispanic women on English television when I was growing up, especially not in lead roles. What is so amazing about Gina is that she wants to be known as an actress, not a Hispanic actress. To elaborate, most of the time when Latina women are on television they are in a role that calls for a Latina. Gina is trying to break that mold, she wants to get a role because of her talent, not because she fits the race that they need for a particular role. On her instagram, she is constantly posting pictures of other Hispanic women and telling their story. Check it out to learn more about the amazing Latina women she features.
Another Latina that I HAVE to talk about is my QUEEEEEEN, Selena Quintanilla. I. LOVE. HER. SO. MUCH. I love the fact that her fans are keeping her memory alive and that more people are recognizing the queen that she was. I remember in the fifth grade we had to talk about a famous person and I wanted to talk about her. She has always been in my life whether that be listening to her bops in any family gathering or on my Instagram feed as more people find out who she is. She was a legend that died too young. What made me love her so much was that she was Mexican-American like me! She didn’t speak perfect Spanish but her talent and beautiful personality out weighted it. When I was younger I wanted to be a singer and she was definitely someone I always looked up to. She will always mean so much to me. Selena makes me feel proud for being Mexican-American. A female YouTuber that has influenced me is Cambria Joy! If you don’t subscribe to her, you should! What I love about Cambria is that she emphasizes the importance of taking care of your body mentally, spiritually, and physically. Cambria is a wonderful example of listening to your body and treating it like it is a temple. She has the best advice when it comes to self-love and knowing how to take care of yourself. Whenever I need a boost of motivation or inspiration I love coming to her channel. Her vlogs brighten up my day and I am so happy to have discovered her channel all those years ago. In every video, she shows her audience what passion and perseverance means. She is a woman who I admire and strive to be like!
The most educated first lady in ALL U.S history, give it up for Michelle Obama. You can think whatever you want of Mrs. Obama but you can’t ignore the fact that she is changing the way the world views women of color. Not only was she the first black first lady but she is the most educated first lady. She attended not one, but two Ivy League schools, Harvard and Princeton. She worked extremely hard to give herself a bright future. She is constantly spreading a beautiful message to young girls to receive an education and to view being a woman as a strength and never a weakness. Girls of color now have Michelle Obama representing them in the white house which was never done before. Thank you, Michelle Obama, for showing women that they can have whatever future they want, no matter the color of your skin.
Finally, another wonderful woman is activist Tarana Burke. Burke is the founder of the #metoo movement. I admire how she made survivors feel like they weren’t alone and that they could talk to someone. She created the movement specifically for survivors to empathize with one another. Burke created a safe place for women and men to share their stories and to be heard. Because of her, we are one step closer to eliminating sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. Because of this woman, we are finally having a conversation and eliminating those that have abused their power for far too long.
The women I’ve mentioned constantly inspire me to be myself and to be proud of who I am. Being able to see women who look like me succeed in their careers motivates me, even more, to succeed and hopefully inspire other young girls. Every day women are becoming more fearless and unapologetic of who they are. I am dedicated to taking this platform I have created for myself and making it a place where women can see themselves being represented. Where women can feel they are in charge of their lives.
Happy Women’s Day and Happy Women’s History Month. Viva la Mujer!
(All rights reserved to the owners of these pictures. I do not own any of these, just spreading some girl love!)