25 Times Amara La Negra Inspired Us To Love Ourselves
Since becoming a breakout star on “Love & Hip-Hop: Miami,” Amara La Negra has become an important voice and face in bringing visibility of the Afro-Latinx experience in America to the forefront. With that has come showing reverence and appreciation for her body. As black women face endless discrimination, bigotry, policing and ignorance around their body, it’s vital and beautiful to see a woman stand proudly and defend every part of herself. Here are 25 times Amara La Negra inspired us to love our bodies!
1. Showing us how our bodies are works of art
Women, particularly black women and other women of color, are constantly judged for their bodies, but Amara won’t have it.
“My Body is Art! For many years I felt insecure about my body and my curves,” she posted on Instagram. “What I use to think were my “imperfections.” People can be very cruel with their comments and made me doubt myself and my self esteem. Until one day I decided to love me & embrace who I was. No matter what other people had to say about me. It is the only body that I have and God gave it to me. Why be Ashamed of not being perfect if in the end none of us are.”
2. Using her voice to combat racism in Latinx culture.
Amara went on the mother of all Latino news programming, “Primer Impacto,” to discuss the very real issue of racism in the culture, and how she uses her voice to talk about her experiences with racism in life and the music industry. It’s not just amazing, but also necessary, to see her on a show like “Primer Impacto,” which reaches the homes of millions, talking about the issue honestly and pointedly. As she says, “Es importante para mi saber que yo utilice mi voz y mi vida para hacer una diferencia en este mundo.”
3. Her melanin pride!
Amara took to Instagram to show pride for her dark skin. “The Power of The Sun on my Skin! #Melanin,” she wrote. Showing love for her skin and the melanin that gives it is its gorgeous color empowers other dark skinned girls and women to be proud of their skin, especially in a world that reveres Eurocentric standards of beauty and light skin.
4. Showing appreciation for all she has!
“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living,” she wrote on Instagram. “If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” These are strong and inspiring words that promote the self-love and appreciation for all we have we all need.
5. Sharing her wisdom on listening to those with hateful comments to say.
Someone will always have something negative to say, about your talent, your worth, your body. However, when on a panel at NYU, Amara had some words to share on that. “If you have anything negative to say about me I am so sad to inform you that IDGAF!” she said. She added, “You can’t live your life to please others perspective of what your life should be.”
6. Tackling the severe lack of representation of Afro-Latinos in Latin media.
“It’s unfortunate that when you talk about Latinos, you talk about Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Sofia Vergara, Thalia. You talk about these women that look a certain type of way but you never mention women that look like myself,” she said during an interview. Calling out the faces and bodies we always see in media, and who is ignored in the casting process, when recording contracts are given, and who gets the big opportunities is important in understanding the erasure of black women.
7. Asking the necessary questions when it comes to representation.
During an interview on “The Talk,” Amara spoke nothing but facts on Afro-Latinx representation that helped open up eyes on the impact it has for someone to see her on screen.
“There isn’t a Latin country where you don’t have Afro-Latinos. Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, Honduras, it doesn’t matter where you go, there’s black people. But why aren’t we portrayed in the magazines? Why aren’t we in movies? Why aren’t we in novelas or soap operas? What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I represent what a Latina woman should look like?” she says. “That’s really what bothers me. I feel that it’s sad for the new generation coming up because they don’t have anyone to admire within their own community that’s doing well.”
8. Putting her money where her beliefs lie.
Not only does she have enough self-love enough to wear an awesome jacket with her image on it (so dope!), she used it to change the lives of other young black girls looking to change their future. Amara started a scholarship called Black Girl Magic, which assists first-year black women at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Proceeds from the sale of this jacket helps to benefit those college students. That’s incredible and helps young black girls feel empowered to attend college.
9. On loving her dark skin, and learning what it meant.
“My mom is everything. She built me the way that I am and made sure that I always knew that my color was beautiful,” Amara once said. “She always would tell me, ‘Because of your color, you’re always going to have to work twice as hard to be recognized for your work.’ I never understood it until years later — and she was right.” Sharing this part of her experience, which millions of other black people can relate to, amplifies the racism they deal with in life. And finding strength and beauty in oneself is vital to keeping your head up.
10. Speaking on her Afro-latinidad, and that of others.
“I am also LATINA! I am an “AFRO LATINA” and I will continue using my Voice and my platform til the day that I die to give hope and keep opening doors for women and girls like myself!” she wrote on Instagram following her debut as a cover girl for Latina magazine. “For my people! My race! My culture! & Guess What? Im not going ANYWHERE! Im just getting started.”
11. She’s not afraid to say just what she is.
And that’s a strong black woman. In fact, she rocks it on her swimsuit. Amara is proud of who she is, and will never let anyone deny her blackness. “All because of my looks or because I am dark-skinned,” she once said. “But, that doesn’t make me less Latina.”
12. Speaking further on representation of black women in Latin media.
After appearing on the cover of Latina magazine, Amara took the publication and other Latin magazines and media companies to task on the representation of black women on their covers.
“This Exactly What I mean! This is why representation is Sooo Important and I Talk about all the time,” she posted on Instagram. “You barely ever see woman like myself in Any “Latin Magazine EVER!” That’s why I am so grateful and I want to thank @latinaMagazine again for giving me this amazing opportunity to be in the cover. #AfroLatina”
13. On what having a role model meant for her.
Growing up, there was next to no one for Amara to look up to; someone who looked like her, who’d make her feel seen and show her that her dreams could come true. No one, except for Celia Cruz. “In the Latin community, she was the only Afro-Latino who made it worldwide, and she was like our Michael Jackson. Celia Cruz was the only Afro-Latino that looked like myself and made me think, ‘Oh my God. You know, when I grow up, I can be like her.’”
14. On learning early on to love her pelo, regardless of what anyone says.
Her feud with Young Hollywood on “Love & Hip-Hop: Miami” over her afro wasn’t Amara’s first brush with ignorancia, as you can imagine. Even as a little girl on “Sabado Gigante” she faced hair hate, that in effect is hate against her blackness. The show’s stylist told Amara’s mom that Amara’s hair was unmanageable and needed to be permed. She had to learn one day to stop listening to those voices. “I understood that I needed to love myself the way that I was,” she said about the incident.
15. She proudly shows off her curves.
No doubt about it, Amara was blessed with a beautiful body. Bodies like hers are too often sexualized, fetishized, and policed. However, Amara doesn’t allow those harsh realities to make her afraid or ashamed of her body. She loves every part of herself. That inspires us to love our bodies as well.
16. On battling colorism.
Taking on colorism hasn;t been easy for Amara, but that hasn’t stopped her from speaking out about it. “Looking at social media, and reading the comments, I know I’m not the only one. Others have said, ‘We felt it, we just didn’t want to say anything. We felt comfortable staying in the shadows.’ I don’t,” she once said. “You have to take the good with the bad and I’ve been hit with backlash, but I’ll take it.”
17. Speaking facts on being a black artist in the Latin market.
“Being an Afro-Latina in the Latin market is particularly difficult because you essentially have to work twice as hard to prove yourself,” she says. “As much as people want to say that racism is over and it doesn’t exist, it does, especially in the Latin market.” Amara has spent her life grinding for a place in the Latin music industry, which hands out contracts to artists that look like J.Lo or Shakira quicker than they’ll ever do for Afro-Latin artists.
18. On how she keeps her confidence strong.
“It’s come to the point where I don’t even acknowledge when people look at me,” she says. “I’ve learned to block the negativity in order to preserve my self-confidence.” This has worked for Amara in order to keep her feeling good about herself and her body. She has no time for the negativity, or anyone making her feel bad about herself. It inspires us all to keep feeling ourselves!
19. On loving your skin and yourself.
Amara had a piece of advice to give to all the people out there struggling with self-confidence. “Be proud of who you are. Be proud of the skin you’re in. You’re one in a million,” she said. “There’s no other you, and you got to embrace that shit and rock out.” If those aren’t the words to get you struttin’ down the street feeling good, I don’t know what is.
20. Why keeping it O.G. is the way to be.
“Don’t try to fit in. Don’t try to mimic what you see in the magazines, ‘cause all of that is photoshopped anyway,” she said. “Everything you see from mainstream media is bologna. It’s conditioned us to believe all of us women should look a certain way – our bodies, our hair. It’s bologna.” Don’t forget it!
21. On loving her afro.
Amara has fiercely defended her afro from ignorant people. It’s given other women with afros and natural hair the courage to stand up for their hair and selves. “Yes, I naturally have an afro. I enhance it by using extensions because it’s kind of hard to have a perfect afro 24/7,” she told Charlemagne The God on The Breakfast Club. “But I do have an afro. I love my ‘fro … I just feel more comfortable like this. I think it goes more with my personality.”
22. Schooling people on having a ‘fro and being Afro.
It’s sad to think she has to explain this at all, but Amara went on The Breakfast Club and had to discuss why she doesn’t need an afro to be Afro-Latina. “I can say I’m Latina — even if I had an Afro, didn’t have an Afro — I mean I’m still Afro-Latina because I’m from African descent,” she said. “So that’s what it is.” Those words were so important in understanding and stamping out ignorance of the afro-latin community. And like she posted on IG, “So While Others Spend There Time hating on me! Talking about my hair and all There Nonsense Im here actually doing something with my Career.”
23. Knowing her purpose, even with all the noise.
She posted, “Other people’s negative opinions about me will never make me question who I am as a person and my purposes in this world. I’m too focused! Too ambitious! Too determined!” Remember, that when the world wants to question your body, your existence, to not let anyone dull your shine. You’re here for a reason. And don’t forget, as Amara says, “A True Bad Bitch doesn’t Have to Say She is a “Bad Bitch” You See it! You can Feel it in her Presence.”
24. On having to prove herself as an Afro-Latina.
“The fact that I have to feel as if I have to prove myself because every single part of me is being questioned. Just because I feel there’s a lot of ignorance when it comes to Afro-Latinos,” she said. “We come is so many different shades that it’s like why is it so hard for people to understand or accept me? There isn’t a Latin country that doesn’t have people that look like me.”
She’s bringing an important visibility that is much needed in the Latin and American market.
25. The fact that she goes by Amara La Negra.
Her name says it all. She’s Amara La Negra. It’s in Spanish and it proudly proclaims she’s a black woman. This is so important is showing love for yourself, and has inspired us all to do the same.