Culture

This Army Recruit Just Got His First Haircut In 15 Years And OMG He’s Unrecognizable

As a society, we place a lot of importance on hair to impose a set of standards, etiquette, and mores on each other. Thus, I don’t take it lightly that U.S. Army Private Reynold Arroyo had a big  — no, massive — chop so that he could enlist. Arroyo donated a whopping 150 inches or 12.5 feet of hair to Locks of Love

Hair can be such an expression of who we are, that it’s not uncommon for people to cry after a bad haircut. Hair can be such a reflection of beauty standards, that it’s not uncommon for us Afro-Latinxs to cry over our alleged “pelo malo.” Boys have short hair, girls have long hair, blondes have more fun, brunettes are brainy. There are hairstyles and haircuts (usually the black and brown ones) that are banned in schools, offices, and institutions. 

Now, are you as exhausted as I am? Take it from me, if you have the freedom to wear your hair without restrictions, take advantage. Get weird!

Long hair, don’t care.

When 23-year-old Arroyo decided to enlist at the Army recruiting station in Missoula, Montana, he knew he would have to make some changes. The California native had moved to Montana just to enlist.

“I moved out here from California, and I’m just really excited to be enlisting in the Army,” Arroyo said. 

The only problem was Arroyo hadn’t cut his hair in 15 years. His last haircut was in 2004. I have a medium-sized afro that is home to several squirrel families, I can only imagine what’s in Arroyo’s mane. 

Tío Sam ain’t playing.

The Army has strict grooming guidelines and as it stood, Arroyo’s 150 inches of luscious locks weren’t going to work for Uncle Sam. Tío Sam was like, “Nah, your hair is to dope for this job where everybody has to look the same for strategic reasons and important military things, bruh.” 

I can’t imagine what it is like going through a military makeover. According to the longstanding policy, men’s hair must be “neatly groomed” with “sideburns neatly trimmed.” This clearly leaves little room for swag or rock and roll, although Arroyo makes due.

15 years and 150 inches later…

While the army provides haircuts, Arroyo decided to get a headstart on the makeover. As soon as he enlisted as an Infantryman with the Army Airborne at the Missoula Army Recruiting Station, our boy was ready to trim his follicles for a good cause. Bruh has got spunk! 

A stylist put Arroyo’s hair into multiple sectioned ponytails before she snipped and buzzed 12.5 feet of locks. His hair was longer than an NBA player. His hair has more square footage than every New York City apartment. His hair is so long, Rapunzel was like: do you use Morrocan oil? I must have your secrets. Before he was serving hair metal, now he’s serving … metal tanks at the military (I don’t know anything about the Army, but he looks good)! Get you a man who can do both.

When the stylist was finished there was so much hair it filled up two bags. The Salt Lake City Army Recruiting Battalion shared Arroyo’s transformation on Facebook. 

“He decided to cut his hair in exchange for a brighter future with the Army and donate it to the Locks of Love foundation,” they wrote in the caption. 

Locks of Love.

Arroyo donated all 150 inches to the organization Locks of Love. The nonprofit charity, founded in 1997, uses human hair donations to provide wigs for Canadian and American children in need of hair due to medical conditions. The organization was spearheaded by Madonna Coffman, a cardiac nurse, who lost her hair to alopecia in her 20s after receiving a hepatitis vaccination. While Coffman eventually recovered, 13 years later, she was shocked to discover her 4-year-old daughter had alopecia too. Locks of Love was born out of a mother’s pain and compassion. In over three decades, the nonprofit has provided thousands of wigs and hairpieces to children. 

We stan a benevolent king.

“Today we’re going to be cutting my hair. Hopefully, some lucky little girl’s gonna get it,” he said in the video.

I think several people will probably get your hair, Arroyo. Although, it would be nice to think that there is one bratty little kid who demands all 150 inches of hair so that they can strut around the playground like a boss. 

Shout out to Arroyo for not one but two acts of service in a day. I am sure he will have many more once he gets his juices flowing in the Army. 

LA Dodgers Visited A School To Hand Out Grocery Gift Cards And This Is Why We Love Them

Entertainment

LA Dodgers Visited A School To Hand Out Grocery Gift Cards And This Is Why We Love Them

Dodgers / Instagram

Sports teams are more than just a source of entertainment for the masses. Teams work as hubs for community cohesion and as a social glue that brings people from different backgrounds together. We can’t think of Boston without its fierce and amazing Red Sox fan communities. We can say the same of our good old Los Angeles, which the great late novelist Carlos Fuentes described as the multicultural city of the future. Los Angeles is in equal measures the city of dreams, tinsel town and the place where millions of people from all over the world come to get a piece of the American Dream. Besides the rich Latino presence in the city, there are equally strong ethnic communities such as the thriving Korean, Ethiopian and Central American comunidades. 

It only fitting, then, for the city to have a baseball team that represents the spirit of solidarity of these communities. That team is the MLB organization Los Angeles Dodgers. 

They did not originate in Los Angeles, but Los Dodgers are as Cali as it comes!

Credit: Instagram. @ dodgers

Contemporary fans might not know this, but Los Dodgers were established in Brooklyn, New York, in 1883. They moved to Los Angeles in 1958 and the rest is history. They have been part of the community for decades due to their charity efforts and just plain awesomeness. The Dodgers Foundation holds multiple events throughout the year. Here, we can see player Ross Stripling reading to more than 100 chamaquitos at the Enendale Library. 

This week The Los Angeles Dodgers and Mayor Eric Gracetti visited children in need.

Credit: Instagram. @mayorofla

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was joined by the extraordinary L.A. Dodgers, L.A. Dodgers Foundation, and the Getty House Foundation to present gift cards to young people experiencing homelessness. This initiative was part of MLB’s ‘Home Plate Project’ to take action against food insecurity. More than 650 kids whose families are experiencing homelessness received $50 dollar gift cards. This is a a huge help for families who are basically surviving meal by meal. Said Garcetti during the event: “Who’s been hungry in this room before? … We believe that it’s the right of every little boy and girl and big boy and girl and young men and young women to make sure that they don’t have to worry about their next meal”. Many of these kids come from Latino and African-American families. 

The Dodgers have deep roots in the Latino community.

Credit: Instagram. @dodgercelebs

Latinos have a deep and cherished sense of solidarity. Mario Lopez, who was raised in a working-class Mexican Catholic family, is a big fan. Just look at those dimples, totally happy being there with his kid under the Los Angeles sun, just watching the game and enjoying a much deserved chelita

We still can’t get over Karamo’s Dodgers hat collection! 

Credit: Instagram. @karamo

And of course one of the Latinos of the moment, Karamo Brown from Queer Eye (yes, he has Cuban blood sabor!), has a huge LA Dodgers hat collection. His overall awesomeness and love for just causes just fits with the Dodgers, right?

And being a Dodgers fan is a family tradition for many proud Cali Latinos.

Credit: Instagram. @val49ers4life

If you go to Dodger Stadium in Elysian Park you will see a lot of Latino families enjoying the game. Nothing cutter than seeing a gown-up Latina watching a game with his papito santo or their abuelo. 

Los Angeles Dodgers are basically el equipo de la gente.

Credit: Instagram. @karlablue23

According to estimates drawn by Jaime Jarrin, the Dodgers’s Spanish-language announcer, an average crown at Dodger Stadium is 45% Latino!

They have a whole Spanish-speaking media team to connect with the community.

Credit: Instagram. @losdodgers

Yes, you can follow the team in the official Spanish-language website https://www.mlb.com/es/dodgers. And of course los puedes seguir on various social media platforms. The management really knows how to connect with aficionados

And of course, the love Mexican-Americans have for Los Dodgers started with the legendary Fernando Valenzuela.

Credit: Instagram. @marichiloco_1

It all changed in 1981, when Mexican pitcher Fernando Valenzuela became a huge star. In a New York Times article Dodger fan Angie Varela said: ““In the ’70s, I didn’t feel the love so much. Then, in the ’80s, there was a huge number of Mexican-Americans that came out because of Fernando Valenzuela. But now? This is the most I’ve ever seen”. Yes, Dodger fandom is alive and well! 

Valenzuela is a cultural icon that went far beyond sports and defined what hard working talented migrants look like! 

Credit: Instagram. @officialdannytrejo

For many Mexican-Americans, Valenzuela was the hero they had long waited for, a sports figure that mainstream America could learn to respect. And he is still admired by all, including our very own amazing Latino Danny Trejo, a community leader in his own right

Alejandro Sanz Launched A Project To Help Support Dreamers And These Latino Celebrities Came Out To Help

Entertainment

Alejandro Sanz Launched A Project To Help Support Dreamers And These Latino Celebrities Came Out To Help

LuisFonsi / India_Martinez_Oficial / Instagram

Alejandro Sanz has landed in the U.S. to kick of his La Gira tour and with that he is creating a new movement in support of Dreamers – undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age and have lived their entire lives stateside. Many A-listers are getting behind La Tortura singer’s Dreamers initiative which can easily be supported by means of a t-shirt. Ricky Martin, Camila Cabello and J Balvin are a few of the Latino celebs who have shared selfies wearing the charitable and comfy-looking tops.

The all-black shirts come in an array of styles including the classic t-shirt style, long sleeves, sleeveless and racerback tank tops and are available to purchase for the budget-friendly price of $26.99. Each of the shirts features #Dreamers written across the front with the letter A written upside down and encircled.

Funds from the shirts will help the Ascend Educational Fund which provides funds for their education, the Dream Big Nevada DACA renewal fund and the Immigrants Rising’s that provides subsidies to undocumented entrepreneurs who work to create positive social change.

Luis Fonsi

The Puerto Rican singer shared a photo wearing the classic style tee. Next to it he wrote, “Every great dream begins with a DREAMER. Don’t let anyone threaten your dreams or make you feel like you don’t belong.”

Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin supported the Spanish singer by posting a selfie where he looks completely chill and relaxed. He wrote, “I’m joining my friend Alejandro on this great initiative to support the Dreamers in the US. Because #WeAllDream. We all belong. We are all one. And EVERYONE matters.”

Camila Cabello

The Señorita singer didn’t fall behind as she also supported Dreamers. On her stories Camila shared a selfie and wrote, “I’m joining my friend @alejandrosanz on the initiative to support the #Dreamers in the US!!!” She continued, “Because they are kids just like us just trying to do the best they can in this world.”

Ricardo Montaner

The Venezuelan-Argentine singer did his part and supported the cause with a snap that he captioned with, “Alejandro asked me to call your attention, in his name and those of #dreamers… I also join this beautiful campaign.”

J Balvin

Colombiano J Balvin didn’t hesitate in purchasing a t-shirt and a coffee to go. The Con Altura singer shared a stylish pic wearing an all-black ensemble and standing next to a food truck. “A good coffee and a good cause CharityStars.com/Alejandro #WeallDream.”

India Martinez

The Spanish singer took part in the movement with a pic showcasing her support (and her flawless skin!).

Paty Cantu

The Mexican singer shared a radiant, fresh-faced selfie simulating a polaroid. “I think, then exist. I dream, then live. All dreams are important. And we can do more than by supporting with words. We can support with actions,” she wrote.

Ana Lorena

The Mexican-American actress proudly supports Alejandro with a stunning photo she captioned with, “I like people that don’t just stand still in moments of unease or discomfort. I like the kind of people who actually do something for change. That’s why I’ve joined @alejandrosanz, the #DreamerTeam and the Dreamers in standing together to fight for this cause.” 

Alejandro Sanz

Of course, Alejandro himself also took to social media to share how he wears the charitable shirt by posting his own smiling pic. “I wear the t-shirt of dreams fulfilled, and you? #DREAMERS #DreamerTeam #WeAllDream”