Culture

‘Our Quinceañera’ Is A Documentary Featuring A Principal Who Has Been Throwing Quinces For Students Who Can’t Afford Them

In the small Mexican-American town of San Benito in Texas, many girls dream of the day that they will make their debut as women to their family and community. But the tabs for orders of gowns, crowns, food, decorations, and DJs often run so high that for awhile such events for the girls in town were out of reach.

Then, Gilbert Galvan, the principal of San Benito Veterans Memorial Academy, came up with an idea that meant that not a single girl would be forced to miss out on the opportunity to take part in the tradition.

Since 2015, San Benito has hosted an annual quinceañera event for young girls and their families.

CREDIT: Avenida Productions

Nearly five years ago, Gilbert Galvan Sr. found himself being invited to quinceañeras by the students at his school. Then one day, some of the answers from the young women at his school caught his attention. After a few of his female students opened up to him about the fact that they did not have enough money to afford a quinceañera, Galvan Sr. was inspired to do put on a party for them on his own.

In just a matter of months, the educator sought out donations from his community to put on one massive quinceañera. Donations and gifts came in all forms– from cakes and dresses to crowns and the volunteered time of makeup artists and mariachi singers. That was the first year.

In the years that have followed, Galvan Sr. has continued to put on the event where as many as 40 girls have attended at a time. Today, donations for the girls come in from across the country.

The community quinceañera has gained so much attention that it’s now becoming captured in a documentary.

CREDIT: Avenida Productions

As reported by FIERCE by mitú last year, Galvan’s son, Gilbert Galvan Jr. —who has worked in the entertainment industry for ten years— was inspired by his father’s efforts and pitched the event as a documentary concept to Fanny Véliz, the award-winning filmmaker and CEO behind Avenida Productions. Now, having been directed by Véliz and given the name “Our Quinceañera” appears to be closer to its release. According to the documentary’s site, the film is in submission for festivals!

During an interview with FIERCE last year, Galvan Jr. said he hoped the documentary will inspire viewers to “embrace their heritage and celebrate the power of community… We want to document this historic event while empowering and inspiring Latina girls across the country to pursue and achieve their dreams.”

Check out the full trailer below!

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

Entertainment

Disney Is Debuting Their First Jewish Princess And Surprise! She’s Also Latina

We all know by now that is no “one way” to be Latinx. Latinos come in a variety of forms, from Black to white, tall to short, descended from Indigenous, African, and European populations. And while Roman Catholicism may be the dominant religion in most of Latinidad, it goes without saying that Latino culture is not a monolith. Latinos practice a variety of religions, from Islam to Buddhism to, yes, Judaism. 

And while most people don’t necessarily think of Judaism when they think of Latin America, there is, in fact, a small but proud population of Jewish Latinos who keep their culture alive through tradition and a strong sense of community. But being a part of such a small community within an already-marginalized community can feel isolating at times. Especially when there are no public role models to see yourself reflected in.

That’s why Tuesday’s news that Disney is debuting a Jewish-Latinx princess sent shock-waves through the internet. 

Walt Disney Television Animation News announced via Twitter that an upcoming Elena of Avalon episode in December would be featuring a “visiting princess” from a “Latino Jewish kingdom”.The as-yet-unnamed princess will be voiced by Jamie-Lynn Sigler, the actress famous for her portrayal of Meadow Soprano on HBO’s seminal masterpiece, “The Sopranos”. 

The Tweet also revealed that the princess would also make an appearance in Elana’s “royal coronation special” next year. Although we do not know any further details of Sigler’s character or her storyline, “Elena of Avalor” writer Rachel Ruderman gave a small preview of what’s to come. “A little over a year ago, I had the honor of writing an Elena of Avalor episode featuring Disney’s first Jewish princess,” Ruderman said via Twitter. She continued: “Jamie Lynn Sigler knocks the role out of the park (wait ’till you hear her song!) Can’t wait to share this one”.

In a move of conscious-casting on Disney’s part, Jamie Lynn Sigler herself happens to be both Latina and Jewish–a giant step for a media giant that can sometimes miss the mark with casting.

Raised by a Jewish father and a Cuban mother, Sigler grew up in New York City as part of a multicultural family.In the past, Sigler has talked about being raised Jewish–attending Hebrew school, having a Bat Mitzvah, and even going on a Birth Right trip to Israel in 2008. 

This episode can serve as an educational experience for many people (including those of Latinx descent) who are unaware that Jewish Latinos even exist. In fact, what some people might not even know, is that the term “Sephardic” (a term used to describe Jewish people of European descent) literally means “of Spain or Portuguese descent” in old Hebrew. In other words, it’s not a stretch to imagine a character of both Latin and Jewish roots on our TV screens. In fact, it’s completely historically plausible!

Naturally, both the Latinx and Jewish Twitter population is super excited at this groundbreaking news.

As we mentioned before, the acknowledgment of Jewish Latinos in popular culture is such a rarity. When the media shines a spotlight on such a marginalized group of people, the advent is worth celebrating. And even though changes are slow in the making, any progress on the representation front is a step in the right direction.

Jamie Lynn Sigler herself expressed her excitement at the news, calling to attention the novelty of her position:

Yes, it’s exciting that the Jewish Latinx population has finally gotten some princess representation, but it’s still a little bit frustrating that we had to wait until 2019 for a Jewish princess. We have a long way to go.

This Latina Jew was incredibly excited at the prospect of having the chance to see her own unique lifestyle reflected onscreen:

The self-styled “Jewyorican” is one of many New York-based Puerto-Rican Jews who identify fully with both cultures. It’s not as rare as people think.

Some Latinx Jews took to Twitter to give some suggestions on how Disney could go about bringing the new character to life:

This Hispanic Linguistics Professor suggested incorporating the ancient Judeo-Spanish language of Ladino into the show. 

This multi-cultural woman celebrated the inclusion of multiple cultures in one character:

Families like hers are the way of the future–at least according to statistics. Although many media outlets still see American families in black and white, the rest of us living our lives know that our identities are increasingly a hodgepodge of cultures. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Nicole Richie’s Style Evolution Will Leave You With A Serious Case Of Whiplash

Fierce

Nicole Richie’s Style Evolution Will Leave You With A Serious Case Of Whiplash

Nicole Richie, who is of English, Mexican and Creole African-American ancestry, has had quite the style evolution. This party-girl turned entrepreneur has cycled through trends in a way that would make the average person’s head spin. Richie entered the spotlight around 2004 when she burst onto the scene in the trailblazing reality show “The Simple Life”. After the public recognized how cute, witty, and downright watchable this girl was, she pretty much has never left our screens since.

Throughout Richie’s tenure in the public eye, she’s always brought her own personality to everything she does. Back in her reality days, it was her biting, deadpan humor. Now that she’s older, her personality is reflected not only in her personal style (which is always on point), but her fashion projects as well (she’s the founder and creative director of the House of Harlow 1960 fashion line). Here at FIERCE by mitu, we’ve compiled a list of classic Nicole Richie trends that will make you realize why this Latina entrepreneur is such a force in front of and behind the camera. Take a look below!

1. Two-Toned Hair

@PetiteAnge_/Twitter

When the hit reality-show “The Simple Life” aired in 2003, Nicole Richie was rocking a really on-trend hairstyle at the time: two-toned hair where the “low lights” were much darker than the rest of the hair. We can’t say this is our favorite look of hers.

2. Tube Dresses

@ShamirBailey/Twitter

In the early aughts, Richie also gravitated towards monochrome tube dresses that looked just as at-home on the red carpet as they did in the club circuit.

3. Bright Orange Faux Tans

@missemilyjayx/Twitter

Even the naturally darker-complexioned Miss Richie wasn’t immune to the early-2000s allure of a spray tan back in the day. As you can see from the above picture, she may have gone a bit over-board with the trend (we’ve all been there).

4. Blunt Bangs

@Kamaria24k/Twitter

Richie has never been one to shy away from bold hair experimentation (see her Met Gala look from 2017). We love how she always changed up her tresses, like when switched her usual hair-do to some chic blunt bangs. She really can’t go wrong.

5. Smudged Eyeliner

@ITSPARISBXTCH/Twitter

When Richie first hit the scene in 2004, she had a signature makeup look that always turned heads. She rocked a “grunge-chic” look that included tousled, bedhead hair and a smudged smokey eye that looked like she had been up all night partying.

6. Super-Sized Sunglasses

@ccyeez/Twitter

Once Richie started to transition out of her reality TV days, she really began to come into her own, style-wise. We have a feeling that Richie began donning mega-glasses because it successfully shielded her from the paparazzi, but it also cemented her as a style icon. One could argue that it was Richie who put the over-sized sunglasses on the map for good.

7. Over-Sized Clothing

Pinterest via Amy Joyce

Not only did Richie develop a penchant for over-sized sunglasses, she also started to gravitate towards baggy clothing around the same time as well. This was a massive change from her previous style which consisted of mini-dresses and skin-tight polyester.

8. Side Bangs

@wmag/Twitter

If you look through a catalogue of Richie’s past fashion experiments, a common thread will weave through all of it: bangs. Richie has always been a big proponent of a fringe, whether it’s an aforementione blunt cut or her signature side-swept style that she usually opts for. In fact, it’s hard to think of a look as classically Nicole unless the bangs are both prominent and sideswept.

9. Boho-Chic

@TangerOutlets/Twitter

There may not be a celebrity in all of Hollywood that does Bohemian as well as Nicole Richie does. Not only is she tasteful and fashionable with her choices, but she’s also adventurous and playful. Richie’s bohemian phase was the look that launched a thousand copy-cats–celeb or otherwise.

10. Scarf Headbands

@ccyeez/Twitter

Richie has been a fan of the scarf-as-a-headband since her “Simple Life” days, and her affinity for the accessory doesn’t seem to be dying down anytime soon. These days, however, she sticks to smaller, top-knotted headbands as is evidenced by her most recent Instagram posts.

11. Curly & Natural

@MJHIStorySource/Twitter

Although Richie has opted to straighten her hair since her early days in the spotlight (no judgement from our side), she’s recently gone the au naturel route, leaving her mane to reveal its curly glory. We love how Richie is never afraid to experiment in any aspect of her look

12. Sleek and Simple

@nicolerichie/Instagram

Lately, Nicole Richie has been all about simplicity when it comes to her personal style–especially when it comes to her hair. This is a big departure from her bygone days when her mantra seemed to be “the more the merrier” when it came to hair and makeup.