Culture

Here Are 25 Reasons To Love The #LatinaFuerte That Is ‘Jane The Virgin’ And The Latina Behind The Show, Gina Rodriguez

@hereisgina / Instagram

If you have not seen “Jane the Virgin” yet, ?? stop ?? what ?? you’re ?? doing ?? NOW. This is your modern day telenovela, chock full of an actual immaculate conception (read: artificial insemination), Puerto Rican abuelitas that are everyone’s Nana, and d r a m a  that could only brought to you by the Latinas that basically run the show.

Here are 25 more reasons to love the show that just keeps giving back to us all!

1. “Jane the Virgin”  gave the CW Network their first Golden Globes nomination.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Why? Because everything Latinas touch is gold. That’s why. Don’t even question me on this one. Gina Rodriguez is also pretty awesome soooo…..

2. Oh, and Gina won that Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy.

CREDIT: Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

In her acceptance speech, she thanked God and her father, saying, “”My father used to tell me to say every morning, ‘Today is going to be a great day. I can and I will.’ Well, Dad — Today is a great day. I can and I did.” I’m not crying.

3. The next year, she was included in Eva Longoria and America Ferrera’s joke about the Globes mistaking Latinas for each other.

CREDIT: Entertainment Tonight / YouTube

The Globes mistaked Gina Rodriguez with America Ferrera during the nominations ceremony for the 2016 Awards. America Ferrera introduced herself as “America Ferrera, not Gina Rodriguez,” pointing out that Latinas on screen aren’t one and the same. SMGDH

4. Ivonne Coll, Abuelita in the showwas no nun in her hayday.

CREDIT: @ivonnecollofficial / Instagram

Caption: “Tbt 1969 when I was a hippie! The communes’ name was “El K-rajo” I was surrounded by musicians, artists, craftsmen…and that is the place where I stand that is the place where I started to find the Artist in me… #puertoricolohacemejor #AbrahamBonilla #condominioelcentro #ivonnecoll #AlbaVillanueva #Janethevirgin” ? ? ?

5. Gina Rodriguez, aka Jane, was given a director role in the last season.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Oh and she slayed. “We do magical realism, we do fantasy, we do crazy costume changes, we do green screen. For my episode I had a wolf, a stunt, green screen,” Gina told Variety. 

6. …and she hashtagged #TimesUp in her announcement.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Caption: “#Janethevirgin Add another Latina director to that list. #TimesUp” She told The View, “As a woman of color, I think that being able to have the opportunity to direct and to be able to direct my show is very exciting.” Agree, agree, agree!

7. Eva Longoria also directed the show for an episode.

CREDIT: @EvaLongoria / Twitter

Because you can’t have enough Latinas telling everyone what to do. It creates the actual magic of “Jane the Virgin,” tú sabes?

8. Gina calls America Ferrera the ‘Moses’ of Latina roles.

CREDIT: America Ferrera in Ugly Betty (2006). Digital Image. IMDB.com. 21 March 2018

In an interview with Backstage, Gina gushes about America: “I think America [Ferrera, who played Betty] did a lot of amazing things for women who weren’t born naturally thin, and America is gorgeous. We are all gorgeous in our own beautiful, unique, perfectly imperfect ways. … That was very helpful to have those people that came before us; the Moses, if you will…the parting of the seas.”

9. Gina Rodriguez gives credit of her talent to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

CREDIT: BUILD Series / YouTube

In an interview with BUILD Series, she literally points out her teacher, Rosemary Quinn. “Rosemary Quinn is the best. You want to be an actress? Learn from that woman. ‘Cause she will change your life. Clearly, clearly.” And then she started tearing up. #Same

10. Before that, Gina was one of thirteen teenagers accepted into Columbia University’s Theatrical Collaboration.

CREDIT: Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

She was 16. Look at that muñeca linda, I just want to pinch her cheeks!! And now I want to pinch myself. I am my mother.

11. Like ‘Ugly Betty,’ Jane doesn’t wear makeup.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

America Ferrera is one of the first to represent a normal Latina in American living room televisions and us more curvy, non-beauty pageant winning Latinas felt more fire than ever. And while not all of us are pregnant virgins, Jane is guapa AF, just like us.

12. Oh, and she’s not about being pigeonholed in her sexuality.

CREDIT: @HereisGina / Twitter

So don’t ask, k? Just embrace that we’re all attracted to her, no matter how you identify.

13. Gina is all about using her “Jane the Virgin” fame for good.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Sometimes, your T-shirt says it all in this pic of her at the Women’s March in 2017. Caption: “Sisterhood squad. #WomensMarch”

14. The executive producer, Jennie Snyder Urman, wanted the show to be a cross between “Ugly Betty” and “Gilmore Girls.”

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Brava, especially if you want to add “Como Agua Para Chocolate” and ‘True Detective’. TBH, “Jane the Virgin” is chock full of hallucinations of choirs singing about sex, actual characters impaled on ice sculptures, everyone’s telenovela-obsessed abuelita and a modern day immaculate conception.

So, yeah. It’s not like any other show.

15. Gina Rodriguez declined a breakout role in Devious Maids before auditioning for “Jane the Virgin.”

CREDIT: @deviousmaids / Instagram

“I want to affect people, I want to create change, and there are sacrifices that come along with that.” Gina was offered a role in “Devious Maids” and, because it didn’t align with her mission she sacrificed that break-out role, and good thing!

16. Diane Guerrero, aka Lina, also auditioned for a role on “Devious Maids.”

CREDIT: @dianeguerrero / Instagram

“I wanted the part so bad,” she told Remezcla. Guerrero didn’t get the role, but we’ve been crushing on her hard all throughout “Orange is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin.” I don’t think my heart could handle another show.

17. Gina is the youngest of three sisters.

CREDIT: Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

All the academic theories about youngest siblings are lost on Gina. She paves her own path (in case it wasn’t the most obvious).

18. Her older sister paid for her education at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

CREDIT: Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

Ivelisse Rodriguez Simon is an investment banker, and I trust her with all my money. The middle sister, Rebecca, is a doctor. That is a well-educated group of Latinas. #BoricuaPrideAF

19. Their parents are Puerto Rican.

CREDIT: Video Screenshot 2Digital-Image. Time.com. 21 March 2018.

They were born and raised in Chicago, and taught that they can do anything they set their minds to. They grew up Catholic and Gina recalls giving up any self-doubt while waiting to find out if she got the role of Jane to God. And then screaming on the street when she did snag the role. #BoricuaFire

20. Gina once played Frida Kahlo in a play.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Oh, and it was a world premiering play called, “The Last Moments in the Life of Frida Kahlo” at the American Stage Theatre. This pic though is just your casual celebration in a Frida Kahlo themed party.

21. You’ll probably find Casper the Dog on set.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

#WomensRights & #AnimalRights–you’ll find it all on the set of “Jane the Virgin.” And all throughout Gina’s Insta account. I mean, Casper *deserves* to be treated like a star.

22. “Jane the Virgin” is based on Venezuelan telenovela “Juana la Virgen.”

CREDIT: RCTV / YouTube

In the original, Juana is only 17 years old and ends up escaping to the mountains with Rafael, her baby daddy. Here’s to hoping Jane finds her happy ending… on a mountain of grilled cheese sandwiches.

23. No Latina-run show could tolerate anything less than leading male actor, Justin Baldoni’s adorable obsession with his now-wife.

CREDIT: Wayfarer Entertainment / YouTube

Watch this 25 minute proposal video and don’t cry. Then watch his TED Talk, “Why I’m Done Trying to be ‘Man’ Enough”. Don’t cry. Dare you.

24. Gina is the co-founder of ethical lingerie company Naja.

CREDIT: Gina Rodriguez. Digital Image. Naja.com. 21 March 2018

Naja is a lingerie company that primarily employs single mothers, allowing them to work from home while still taking care of their families. It also uses recycled goods, and is ethically sourced. Of course Gina is part of this. Yes, I’ll buy your lingerie, bae!

25. Gina wants to be the Latina Meryl Streep and we’re here for it.

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Ever since she was 15, she’s had the dream to be the Latina Meryl Streep. Gina tells Backstage, “[Meryl] transforms and gets gritty and peels off layers of her skin. She’s not afraid. And I’m not afraid either. Jane is a gift I can give, a platform I can use to talk to girls and women and say, ‘Yeah, I’m not makeup-ed up, I’m not weaved-up, and I am beautiful.’ ”

Here’s The Story Of One Undocumented Family Torn Apart During The Devastating Attack On 9/11

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Here’s The Story Of One Undocumented Family Torn Apart During The Devastating Attack On 9/11

Robert Giroux / Robert Giroux

Luis Alfonso Chimbo and Ana Soria had come a long way since they met as children in Cuenca, Ecuador. They were married, living in Brooklyn with their son, and 34-year-old Chimbo was working for the Windows of the World restaurant–the very top floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Chimbo had been promoted to a management position in the receiving department that takes inventory and stocks supplies. They were living the American dream as undocumented immigrants in New York City. In August, Ana Soria suffered a miscarriage. He took nearly a month off to be with her and care for the family. 

He was due to return to work on September 11, 2001. 

The morning of 9/11, Chimbo got up at 5 a.m. and left for work.

Credit: “Luis Alfonso Chimbo at the Windows on the World restaurant in New York, circa 2000.” Digital Image. Time Magazine. 10 September 2019.

The night before, he set his clothes out for his first day back and prepared a bag. He was always prepared. Chimbo would usually kiss Soria as he got out of bed. That morning, he didn’t. Soria went to their window and said, “Goodbye, my love” as he drove away.

Hours later, while working at the restaurant, Chimbo was trapped on the top floor of the North Tower after a plane was flown into the tower.

The Windows of the World staff included immigrants from over 24 countries.

Credit: @JuedischeOnline / Twitter

The 9/11 attack killed 170 people in Windows alone. Chimbo was one of 73 employees who perished. Arguably, those employees were some of the least-paid victims of the attack, which presented a moral challenge for Special Master Kenneth Feinberg, who had to allocate the $7 billion in the Victims Compensation Fund. Five thousand five hundred and sixty people applied as injured or dependents of the deceased. Feinberg’s initial formula was based on “economic loss”–meaning families of stockbrokers would receive more money than Chimbo’s family. The formula also rested on the presumption that lower-income workers would remain in their earning class for the rest of their lives–the antithesis of “The American Dream.”

Stories like Chimbo’s made a “tremendous impact” on Feinberg’s new formula. 

Credit: @ayemojubar / Twitter

In fact, the owner of Windows of the World and the executive chef Michael Lomonaco testified to Feinberg on behalf of lower-paid employees with a high potential for further promotions. In the case of Chimbo, they gave Feinberg evidence that he started out as a stock boy and grew to become a manager in the receiving department. “The structure of the restaurant reflected the American Dream, which I don’t use as a cliché but as an actual possibility,” Debra Steinberg told Tom Roston, the author of “The Most Spectacular Restaurant in the World.” 

Steinberg represented Soria along with thirty-seven other Windows of the World workers. “When you drill down into the stories of the immigrants who worked at Windows on the World, most of them said that it was the dream job. They walked with pride in their step. It was an astonishing place.” Feinberg told Roston that he used “discretion to bring up the lower end worker and reduce the stockbrokers and hedge fund managers,” granting higher payments to lower-paid victims of the attack.

A dozen of the Windows workers were undocumented.

Credit: @jonthompsonDC / Twitter

Feinberg looked to the congressional statute that allocated the funds and said it became clear. Documentation or nationality was not a factor into who becomes a legal victim and who does not in the eyes of the United States. The fund was for all victims of the attacks. 

As an undocumented person, Soria was terrified to ask for help in the days after the attack.

Credit: @Sept11Memorial / Twitter

“I was scared,” she says in Roston’s book. “[And] I was thinking that maybe I did not deserve it because this was not my country.” Finally, it was her son that prompted her to recall that at least he is deserving of medical care. Amidst the terror, her son needed asthma medication, so Soria went to Manhattan. Still, she doesn’t remember much about that day but remembers the help of fellow Americans to ensure her family got what they needed.

Would undocumented immigrants be met with the same courtesy today?

In the decades that have since passed, Soria has become a chef.

Credit: Luis Eduardo Chimbo

She was taking culinary lessons at the time of the series of tragic life events –the miscarriage, the terrorist attack, the loss of her husband. Six years after 9/11, she returned to culinary school. Fifteen years after 9/11 tore her family apart, she received a green card. Her son has become a photographer and captured the above image of his mother.

She goes to the North reflecting pool every year on 9/11. Last year, she went on his birthday and left a flower and a birthday card which read: “To the love of my life, happy birthday to you. Surprise, you didn’t know I was coming.” 

READ: Three Years After Cancer Diagnoses, Luis Alvarez, A 9/11 First Responder, Dies At 53

Yalitza Aparicio’s Appearance Alongside Hollywood Veterans In Rodarte’s Spring 2020 Lookbook Proves She’s Still Rising

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Yalitza Aparicio’s Appearance Alongside Hollywood Veterans In Rodarte’s Spring 2020 Lookbook Proves She’s Still Rising

Back in February of this year, “Roma” actress Yalitza Aparicio dominated fashion headlines after her appearance on the red carpet of the Oscars. The actress made her first appearance at the 91st Academy Awards as a Best Actress nominee for her breakout role as Cleo a maid of Mixteco heritage working for a family in Mexico City during the early 1970s. Aparicio had already had a big night, not only had she nailed a coveted nominee slot, she’d done so for her first role ever in a movie. And while awe over her talent was much talked about, it was the mint-green and silver metallic tulle gown she wore by Rodarte that caught so much attention.

The fashion brand has long been an established designer on red carpets but there’s no denying the actress has helped raise interest in its designers. The red carpet match of the designers and the actress proved not only to be a success at the Oscars, but it also proved worthy of a lasting partnership.

For the fashion brand’s latest lookbook, Aparicio was selected as a model.

The rising star wowed in the brand’s dreamy fashion shoot.

Aparicio appeared in the Spring lookbook in a polka-dot belted black and white dress and a pair of sheer gloves studded with pearls which also speckle her hair. She modeled the dress in a magazine that featured Hollywood veterans such as Gabrielle Union and Kirsten Dunst.

Aparicio appeared in simple colors and extravagant gowns.

For her other appearance, the actress could be seen wearing a black and white plaid dress that featured a ruffle color and puff sleeves.

Of course, it didn’t take long for reactions to Aparcio’s appearance to set fire online.

Fans of the actress were quick to call her a “reina” and other celebrities including “Mad Men” actor January Jones, who also appeared in the shoot, commented “Love. ❤️”

Aparicio’s feature is another reminder, that the indigenous actress has her heels dug into Hollywood and the fashion industry and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Back in January of this year, Vogue México honored the actress with a feature and photoshoot that served as an ode to her culture and home state of Oaxaca. Not only was she featured on the magazine’s cover, but she was also thrown a party at the Patio del Huaje en el Jardín Etnobotanico in Oaxaca.

While the finicky nature of Hollywood and its attention to actresses of color has a strong pattern, Yalitza’s star does not seem to be dwindling. In fact, her appearance in the lookbook nearly seven months after her appearance at the Oscars, and without any announcements of new roles, proves she must have a lot coming up for herself.