Culture

Critics Are Saying Miss Puerto Rico Should Be Stripped Of Her Crown Because She Doesn’t Know Spanish

The crowning glory of this year’s Miss Puerto Rico was tarnished for 23-year-old Madison Anderson Berríos with the backlash since, unlike previous winners, she wasn’t born or raised on the island. 

Born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Orlando, Florida to a white dad and a Puerto Rican mom, Anderson Berríos doesn’t speak Spanish fluently so the idea of her not being “Latina enough” quickly came up on social media. After her win, #NoMeRepresenta began trending on Twitter and during the telecast, she was booed by the audience when she explained her first language wasn’t Spanish.

“I am representing the new generation of Puerto Ricans who do not need to live in Puerto Rico or speak Spanish. If you were born in the United States, you are not less Puerto Rican,” she said in an interview with El Sentinel Orlando. “These are feelings that you carry anywhere. That’s the new generation of Puerto Ricans,” she added.

But her place of birth wasn’t the only issue she candidly addressed, she was also open about her trouble learning to speak Spanish. 

It was hard, especially when it came to the language, but I’m so happy with the work I’ve done,” Anderson Berríos said during an interview with Pégate al Medio Día for Wapa TV which broadcast the pageant. “Yes, [I practiced] with everyone,” she said. “With my family, people on the street, even when I needed to order [at a restaurant]. Even things that are so easy, I wanted to practice, and it helped me so much.”

The beauty queen told Metro that she plans to continue to study during her reign, practicing every day. 

Her dedication to learning extends to her schoolwork having studied marketing and public relations. She’s passionate about social work and raising awareness about domestic violence having mentored women during a trip to the Caribbean Island of Saint Kitts and Nevis with plans to do the same at Hogar Ruth Puerto Rico, according to Hola!. 

Her poise and push for authenticity come after some practice on the pageant stage.

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Aquí les comparto un corto video de mi última visita al Hogar Ruth, @hogarruthpr y Damaris les explica un poco en que consiste la ayuda que proveemos desde aquí. El hogar Ruth sirve como albergue para mujeres y niños víctimas de violencia doméstica en sus hogares. Entre los servicios de rehabilitación y ayuda que ofrecen están: – Intervenciones en crisis familiares – Intercesión legal – Talleres para auto manejo financiero. El año pasado hubo un total de 5,846 casos de violencia domestica a la mujer y cada vez la cantidad va en aumento. Es nuestro deber como seres humanos educar y crear lazos con nuestros amigos y familiares en los que haya un canal de diálogo abierto. También, una forma de ayudar es identificar las señales que presenta la victima. En muchos casos las mujeres tememos a hablar, pero es importante que nosotros como familiares y/o amigos podamos identificar ciertas acciones y comportamientos para diligenciar la ayuda. Algunas de la señales son: – No toman decisiones sin el consentimiento de su pareja. – Se muestran sumisas ante la figura de l hombre. – Presentan síntomas depresivos y/o ansiedad. – Recurren a excusas. Las utilizan para incurrir cualquier tipo de rasguño o moretón del que se les pregunté. – Justifican a su pareja. – Suelen tener pocas interacciones en sus redes sociales o un grupo muy pequeño de amistades. – Cambian su manera de vestir. – Entre otros.. Si has identificado algún de estas características en algún amigo y/o familiar, sé un agente de cambio y muéstrale tu apoyo. Gánate su confianza y busca ayuda. Ninguna mujer merece ser víctima de violencia doméstica! La violencia la detenemos nosotras! #Niunamas #HogarRuth #brillalabelleza #metamorfosis #Amovivirsinmiedo @muniversepr @hogarruthpr

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In 2014, she participated in Miss Teen USA and two years later represented Puerto Rico in Miss Grand International. In January, she was the first runner-up in the Miss Florida USA contest, although she has always identified herself as Puerto Rican, according to  El Sentinel Orlando

Now she’s prepping to represent Puerto Rico in the 68th Miss Universe international contest taking place in December in South Korea.

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Está bien… Dios siempre está en control. Hoy puedo sentarme a escribir estas líneas para ustedes ya con lo pies en la tierra, luego de dos días en las nubes viviendo mi sueño. Ya puedo mirar mi corona y mi cinta que dice Puerto Rico y realizar que todo esto es verdad y que podré gritar nuevamente el nombre de la patria que me enseñaron a amar desde niña ante el universo. Cada verano y navidades que pasé en esta tierra con mis abuelos y el resto de la familia, fueron aumentando el amor por mis raíces y hoy con orgullo puedo decir #SerBoricuaSeLlevaEnLaSangre y en el corazón. Nunca olvidaré el día que Peter Morales dijo: “ella será Miss Puerto Rico” a penas era una niña. Gracias por ayudarme años más tarde a descubrir el potencial en mí. Gracias por haber traído a mi vida @dianamcortes , no pudiste haberme puesto en mejores manos. Diana, nunca voy a cansarme de agradecerte todo lo que haces por tus hijas adoptivas, tu amor, labor y entrega hacia nosotras es incalculable. Más que una promotora, eres familia. Que el mundo sepa que como tú no hay dos. Cuidas cada detalle, nos proteges y nos pones en las manos de los mejores recursos y tu única recompensa es vernos felices y ayudar a otras chicas a cumplir sus sueños. Que Dios multiplique lo que haces por mi y por todas en salud, amor y bendiciones. Gracias a todo mi equipo de trabajo que se desvivieron en ayudarme a lucir bien en cada faceta. A Denisse Quiñones y toda la organización de @muniversepr GRACIAS. Gracias por darnos la oportunidad a 28 candidatas de aprender y adquirir herramientas que nos servirán para toda la vida. Gracias por diseñar una plataforma perfecta donde crecimos, no solo como candidatas, también como mejores seres humanos. Gracias Carmencita por cuidarnos a todas como lo haría una madre. Mensaje continúa en los comentarios. Gracias @tofervg por la hermosa fotografía que capturaste.

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“It’s my dream. This is not just for my beautiful people of Puerto Rico, but for the diaspora because being Puerto Rican is carried in the blood,” she said in an interview with Wapa TV. And that’s a sentiment that’s just like her Instagram bio reads: #SerBoricuaSeLlevaEnlaSangre 

Kat Von D Just Announced That She’s Totally Cut Ties With Her Makeup Line Effective Immediately

Fierce

Kat Von D Just Announced That She’s Totally Cut Ties With Her Makeup Line Effective Immediately

katvond / Instagram

Kat Von D has become a titan in the beauty industry due to her eponymous makeup line’s ultra long-wear highly pigmented products that also happen to be vegan and cruelty free. 

And although fans have long looked to the Queen of Ink because of her unconventional aesthetic and beauty expertise, the Von D recently announced she has decided to permanently step back from her successful business to focus on other projects as well as her new family.

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This past year has been one of great change for me. As many of you know, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, launched my vegan shoe line, and am now busy prepping to release my long awaited album in the Spring, followed by an international tour! As much as I wish I could balance all of this, on top of continuing my makeup line, it has become clear to me that I just can’t do everything at the maximum capacity. It's hard to admit this, since I’ve always said “You can do everything and anything.” But I don’t think admitting one's limits is a bad thing. With that said, I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that. The transition for you, my loyal customers, will be seamless. In order to avoid any confusion with such a big change, Kat Von D Beauty will take a moment to rebrand itself, so you will start noticing the change from KatVonD Beauty to KvD Vegan Beauty. I'd like to thank my beloved fans+followers who supported my vision to create a brand that stood for compassion, true artistry, and challenged modern ideals of beauty — most of which I never could relate to. I was able to create a makeup line that made outsiders like me feel like we have a place in this “beauty” world, and gave myself and others the tools to express ourselves in our own unique way, whether it was embraced by the majority or not. And I just couldn’t have done any of this without you! Lastly, thank you for understanding+respecting my choice, as it was a difficult one to make, but one I am proud of regardless, and am confident that the team will continue the KvD legacy! Here’s to many, many more years of KvD Vegan Beauty!

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On Thursday via Instagram, Kat Von D announced the unexpected news that she was selling her shares in Kat Von D Beauty in order to focus on other projects.

@thekatvonD/Instagram

In the lengthy statement, Von D explained that 2019 had been a year of “great change” due to the birth of her baby boy as well as her expansion into music. She went on to explain that, while she tried to balance all of her projects to the best of her ability, she wasn’t able to fully contribute to each of her projects at “maximum capacity.” Therefore, she would be officially stepping down from Kat Von D Beauty.

“I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years,” she said. “This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that.”

Von D went on to reveal that the beauty line would be re-branded as KvD Vegan Beauty in order to “avoid any confusion” for the brand’s customers.

@kvdveganbeauty/Instagram

Although the Sephora-based Kat Von D Beauty came out of the gate strong–even being named Sephora’s fastest-growing brand in 2018–the brand subsequently suffered from a highly-publicized dip in sales after Von D herself was embroiled in multiple controversies. Among the controversies was Von D declaring that she would not be vaccinating her child. Additionally, Von D had long been plagued by accusations of antisemitism throughout her career. 

The line will in all likelihood be in good hands with the LVMH beauty incubator Kendo, which also produces other popular brands like Fenty Beauty and Marc Jacobs. The former Kat Von D Beauty website has already been updated with the name change along with a statement from the CEO of Kendo. “I want to thank Kat for helping to change the beauty industry with us,” the statement reads. “We are fully positioned to continue the brand’s growth and development in both product and marketing…The same KENDO team that made history with KVD Vegan Beauty is ready to do it again.”

Since its inception, Von D has been extremely hands-on with her makeup line, involved in every aspect of the business from product inception to packaging.

@thekatvonD/Instagram 

“I name every shade, design every piece of packaging, help choose the colors and textures, the finishes and formulations,” she told HELLO! magazine in 2016. “There isn’t a font used on my packaging – I personally design and draw every letter on it. I even curate the content for our Instagram. I poured myself 100 per cent into this and I know that my customers appreciate that.”

And the tattoo artist and television personality obviously hit a chord with customers who felt connected to her through her products. In addition, Kat Von D’s products were truly high-quality at an affordable price-point. You could say that Von D was a trailblazer in the media personality-turned-businesswoman model that so many celebrities have since tried to replicate.

As for fans of Kat Von D, they took the news with a mixture of admiration, disappointment, and acceptance. 

Kat Von D has such a devoted fan base that many of them would follow her to the ends of the earth.

This person expressed undying devotion to Von D, no matter what she decides to do next:

Some Kat Von D supporters are ride-or-die.

This person thanked Kat for all she’s done for the beauty community.

Part of Kat Von D’s appeal is that she’s always marched to the beat of her own drum. For her, makeup was a means of artistic expression, not a means of blending in with everyone else.

This person shared a touching story about how Von D’s past generosity changed her life.

This kind of personal touch is hard to replicate once a brand becomes super corporate. 

This person was 100% supportive of Von D’s decision to step back.

It’s especially hard to juggle so many products as a new mom.

This person was just excited to hear Kat’s new album.

Not many people go from being a makeup mogul to being a rock-star. Talk about a pivot.

A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

Things That Matter

A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

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There is sad news out of Vieques, Puerto Rico where a young teenage girl has passed away after suffering flu-like symptoms. Jaideliz Moreno Ventura, 13, died on Sunday after her condition worsened she began convulsing. Now, her family is pointing the blame on the island’s inadequate medical facilities. 

Vieques, a Caribbean island off of Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, hasn’t had a working hospital in over two years. That’s because its old primary hospital, Family Health Center Susana Centeno, was closed due to damage from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island more than two years ago.

What started out as just flu-like symptoms turned into a tragedy within the span of three days. 

It all started last Friday when Jaideliz told family members that she was experiencing flu-like symptoms. According to local media, her uncle, Carlos “Prieto” Ventura, said that she had “a fever, a sore throat, and a headache.” She was then taken to a hospital in Puerto Rico for a checkup and to be tested for influenza. While the results of the test came back negative and she returned back home to Vieques, things got worse over the weekend. 

By Sunday, Jaideliz’s symptoms only got worse as she began to have spasms and severe head pain. After the family took notice of her increasingly worse conditions, she was taken to the only health facility on the island, the Center for Diagnostics and Treatment, which was due to Hurricane Maria destroying its old hospital. According to NBC News, the clinic lacked proper medical equipment to help Jaideliz. Her cousin, José Ventura, told the news outlet that the facility didn’t have a working mechanical ventilator for oxygen, only an older manual air pump. 

By 11:30 a.m. local time Jaideliz was pronounced dead as she was being transported to Puerto Rico on an air ambulance. 

For those living on Vieques, receiving medical attention isn’t easy. Many have to take a boat to receive medical attention in Puerto Rico where trip times vary from 30 minutes to multiple hours. 

There is growing anger and blame about the teen’s death with many people pointing blame at the inadequate assistance that Puerto Rico and nearby islands have received since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. The situation in Vieques is a perfect example of that as residents lack nearby health services and aid. 

“If we had more resources, she would be with us right now,” her cousin told NBC News. “They have forgotten about us.”

Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary, Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, says that he has ordered an immediate investigation into the death of Jaideliz and which circumstances could have caused this tragedy. Back in December, Democratic lawmakers requested an investigation into why FEMA hadn’t done anything to help rebuild Vieques’ only hospital. But lawmakers alerted FEMA about this issue in May but there was never any response. 

“In Puerto Rico, we talk a lot about how we are treated as second class citizens, but the people of Vieques and Culebra [another island off the coast of Puerto Rico] are being treated as third-class citizens,” Edgardo Román Espada, president of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association, told NBC News last May. 

Jaideliz’s family is using this tragedy as a wakeup call for health officials to do something about the deteriorating situation on the island. They are hoping for more medical supplies and equipment so this situation doesn’t happen again.

On Wednesday, a vigil was held in the girl’s honor as her family called for help. They say that they “don’t want Jai’s death to be in vain” and made the plea for more medical assistance. Her mother says the island needs to “have a dignified hospital, with medical equipment and supplies —so that no other mother will have to go through what I am dealing with now.” 

“Up to a point, the people feel abandoned, that politicians come and go, and there are no bonds of affection and our feelings are obvious. We live this problem and that is why our pain here. All this adds more regret and anguish to our people,” her uncle told local media. “This is what you live every moment on our island. We need more sensitivity. ”

This tragedy followed what has already been a tough start of the year for Puerto Rico as a 6.4 magnitude quake shook the island back on Jan.7, killing at least one person, destroying homes and leaving most utility customers in the dark. There has been an estimated $110 million in damages caused by the quake. 

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