Entertainment

On Our Way Into 2020, We’re Thinking About The Fierce Latinas Who Dominated The Last Decade With Grit And Talent

To us, it seems like the decade has gone by in the blink of an eye but a lot has actually happened the last 10 years. Reminiscing about that time has us remembering all the amazing events that made up the decade. However, we can’t talk about all that without highlighting some impressive mujeres and the equally remarkable decade they’ve had. 

From art and music to sports and activism, Latinas have fiercely dominated their fields this past decade to show us all what excellence looks like. To celebrate these extraordinary women, lets focus on a few who have had especially monumental careers over the last 10 years and praise their accomplishments. Here are some of this past decade’s fiercest Latinas. 

1. Cardi B

Instagram / @iamcardib

It’s hard to believe that we entered the 2010’s without knowing the name Cardi B but the Afro-Latina didn’t first enter the limelight until 2015 with her appearance on “Love & Hip Hop: New York.” Less than two months after leaving the reality show to pursue her music career, Cardi signed her first major record deal with Atlantic Records. From that point, there was no stopping the vibrant rapper! 

Since then, she’s released numerous #1 singles and collaborations, became the first female rapper to win the “Best Rap Album” Grammy as a solo artist, had the most nominations in a single year ever by a woman at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, set a new attendance record at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and made her big-screen debut in “Hustlers.”

2. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez  

Instagram / @ocasio2018

AOC is another fierce Latina who was unheard of at the beginning of the decade. She graduated cum laude from Boston University but had to return home to help her mother fight against home foreclosure following her father’s death. In 2016, she worked for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. After the general election, she traveled across the country to places like Flint, Michigan and Standing Rock Indian Reservation to speak with locals about the environmental crisis their communities face. 

In 2017, she got a call recruiting possible progressive candidates and decided to challenge Joe Crowley, the Democratic Caucus Chair of her district. AOC defeated the 10-term incumbent and later beat the Republican nominee to become the congressperson of New York District 14. As a congresswoman, she has been a vocal supporter of Medicare for All and the New Green Deal while fighting against ICE and the atrocities of the current administration.

3. Yalitza Aparicio 

Instagram / @yalitzaapariciomtz

Yalitza Aparicio’s success didn’t hit until the later part of the 2010s when she was cast in her first acting role for Alfonso Cuarón’s 2018 drama “Roma.” Her performance was celebrated by audiences and critics alike and earned her an Academy Award nomination for “Best Actress” ⁠— the first time an Indigenous woman received the honor and only the second time it went to a Mexicana. 

She was nominated for over a dozen awards for her role in “Roma” and won the Hollywood Film Awards’ “New Hollywood Award.” In 2019, Aparicio appeared on the cover of “Vogue México” and was also named one of “TIME” Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world for 2019. Most recently, she was named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples and uses that role to be an activist for Mexico’s native people.

4. America Ferrera

Instagram / @americaferrera

America Ferrera left “Ugly Betty” back in the 2000s and hit the 2010’s hard. First, she made her London stage debut playing Roxie Hart in the musical “Chicago.” In 2015, the actress made it back to television with ABC’s hit comedy “Superstore” in the starring role an as a co-producer. In 2018, she also had two big arrivals with the birth of her first son and the release of her anthology of stories, “American Like Me: Reflections on Life Between Cultures.”

Ferrera has also spent the past decade being highly political. In 2016, she was a speaker at the 2016 Democratic National Convention and joined Voto Latino in order to help get Latinx people involved in voting. She was also a speaker for the 2017 Women’s March and the 2018 “Families Belong Together” protest. The actress also participated in the 2017 #MeToo campaign and is a founding member of the Time’s Up legal defense fund.

5. Elizabeth Acevedo

Instagram / @acevedowrites

At the beginning of the decade, Elizabeth Acevedo started out as a Teach for America Corps participant. There, she taught eighth-graders poetry and language arts. It was there that she got inspiration for her first published novels. In 2016, Acevedo released “Beastgirl and Other Origin Myths,” her first book and a finalist for the YesYes Chapbook prize. 

Two years later, she released the “New York Times” Bestseller “The Poet X,” a book that would cement her as an essential Afro-Latina author. “The Poet X” earned numerous accolades, becoming a National Book Award and Carnegie Medal winner as well as winning the Michael L. Printz Award, the Pura Belpre Award, and the Boston-Globe Hornbook Award. In 2019, she released her third novel “With the Fire on High” and has gone on to deliver several TED talks. 

6. Rita Moreno 

Instagram / @theritamoreno

Rita Moreno has been having amazing decades since the 1950’s so it’s no wonder that the 2010s would be another. She began the decade staring as Fran Drescher’s mother in “Happily Divorced” while continuing guest roles on series like “Welcome to the Family” and “In Plain Sight.” In 2015, she began a recurring role on “Jane the Virgin” and voiced Abuelita on the animated children’s program “Nina’s World.” She took on the role of Lydia for the beloved 2017 reboot “One Day At A Time” and has gained a new generation of fans.

Moreno also received heaps of lifetime achievement awards for her long history as an entertainer. In 2012, she was rewarded with the Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and then received the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2013. 2015 earned Moreno the Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award. Most recently, she was named co-grand marshal of the Rose Parade. 

7. Laurie Hernandez 

Instagram / @lauriehernandez

Phenomenally, this has only been Laurie Hernandez’s second decade on this earth but it has definitely been a big one for here. At the age of 12, Hernandez’s career began at the U.S. Classic where she qualified to the National Championships. In 2013, she was added to the U.S. Junior National Team and won the silver medal at the National Championships. Two injuries sidelined the young gymnast briefly but she later recovered to earn 3 gold and 2 silver medals at the 2015 International Junior Japan Meet.

At the Olympic Trials in 2016, Hernandez placed second in the all-around and earned a place on the 2016 US Olympics Gymnastic team. There, she won gold alongside her team As an individual, she took home silver. Since then, she became the youngest winner of “Dancing With the Stars” and published her first two books, an autobiography, and a children’s book. Most recently, she was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame and was named co-grand marshal of the Rose Parade. 

8. Jennifer Lopez

Instagram / @jlo

Jennifer Lopez has been the IT Latina since her days back as a Fly Girl but the 2010s treated her pretty great as well. At the beginning of the decade, JLo signed a $20 million deal to be a judge on “American Idol.” The following year, she launched her first headlining concert series, the Dance Again World Tour, earning $1 Million per show. She also released her first greatest hits album and her eight studio album. 

2014 saw the pop star perform for the FIFA World Cup alongside Pitbull and she also released her “New York Times” Bestseller “True Love.” In 2015, JLo announced her Las Vegas residency that spanned for 3 years and earned more than $100 Million in ticket sales. IN 2019, she announced her new concert series, “It’s My Party,” commemorating her 50th birthday. She and boyfriend Alex Rodriguez also made it official by getting engaged this year. Most recently, Lopez released the blockbuster “Hustlers” and was announced to co-headline the 2020 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGIoPFusT6w 

Researchers Say That You Aren’t Gaining Weight Because Of Your Birth Control

Entertainment

Researchers Say That You Aren’t Gaining Weight Because Of Your Birth Control

@tanzacochran / Twitter

Like anatomy in general, birth control can be intimidating, confusing, and even a little scary. But it doesn’t have to be! While there are endless ideas about how birth control affects the body (it gives you acne, it makes you gain weight, it changes your moods, lo que sea), the truth is that everyone’s experience is different. For some, all of these claims might be true—and for others, none of them may be. Yet although each form of birth control impacts individuals in unique ways, there are definitely certain trends to watch out for. So if you’re curious about how birth control might affect your body, get ready for some seriously helpful—and possibly surprising!—information.

For years, many healthcare providers and users of birth control have believed that hormonal methods can lead to excessive weight gain. While bodies fluctuate and weight gain happens naturally for lots of different reasons, people often avoid this type of contraception—which includes the patch, the pill, monthly shots, and some IUDs—in order to avoid that alleged extra poundage.

However, many decades of research seem to dispel the myth that hormonal birth control leads to weight gain.

https://media.giphy.com/media/26BRQFh7Lc6ZpMKOY/giphy.gif

A 2014 review of 49 trials comparing 52 different birth control methods led to the conclusion that neither pill nor patch caused significant weight gain. Although “the evidence was not strong enough to be sure that these methods did not cause some weight change,” the reviewers found “no major effect on weight.”

Some studies focused on the combined pill (a version of the pill that contains many different—and often synthetic—hormones), while others investigated pills containing real progesterone, a hormone that our bodies naturally produce. The result was clear: no matter the contents, neither type of pill has a side effect of weight gain. Why, then, do we associate a higher number on the scale with the use of contraception?

According to Maria Gallo, an endocrinologist at Ohio State University who co-authored the review, the notion of weight gain as a symptom of birth control is rooted in a natural human bias.

Credit: Womenshealth.gov

Gallo suggests that when people are influenced by certain ideas or patterns (for example, if a small number of people report gaining weight after starting a new medication), those ideas seem to manifest in real life—even if the data doesn’t support those observations.

“It’s the same reason why there’s this idea that vaccines can cause health problems,” says Gallo. “If you give them to a population, you’re going to have some people who have health problems, whether they’re linked to the vaccine or not.”

In regard to the connection between weight and the pill, Gallo acknowledges that adults of both sexes gain roughly a pound each year, beginning in our early twenties. She points out that this is also the age when people start using contraception. Yet while Gallo asserts that the pill-weight connection is ultimately a myth—and that weight gain is likely attributed to different external factors—she confirms that the pill definitely does change the body in other ways.

Reviews indicate that birth control can change a body’s shape and composition, affecting muscle growth, fluid retention, and overall fat distribution.

Credit: Pinterest

A 2009 study showed that women taking a pill with a certain type of synthetic progesterone were unable to achieve their desired muscle gains. The fake progesterone, it turns out, was competing with a natural hormone called DHEA, which helps promote muscle growth. The impact of the synthetic progesterone kept women from meeting their desired fitness goals, because without a certain amount of DHEA, their bodies were incapable of supporting new muscle development.

On top of that, another study found that different hormones have different effects on fat cells. Estrogen and progesterone are responsible for feminine features, like wide hips, breasts, and booty. The fat that lives on these parts of the body is called subcutaneous fat, and it contains a large number of estrogen receptors. So, the study demonstrated that pills with higher estrogen levels often resulted in more subcutaneous fat and, therefore, a more “pear-shaped” silhouette.

And finally, the puffy feeling we all know too well—bloating—may also be a symptom of the pill. While we might feel bloated after un par de tacos or a big bucket of movie popcorn, that sensation is different than bloating caused by hormones. Estrogen impacts the way our bodies metabolize water, so high-estrogen birth control methods can make the body retain more fluid. Sometimes, this fluid seeps into fat cells, causing them to swell and create the illusion of weight gain. This means that while we may not actually be gaining weight, our clothes might fit differently, and we may feel sort of uncomfortable.

All in all, birth control can absolutely impact the way your body functions—it’s designed to do that! The trick is understanding your own body and finding a method that works for you and keeps you feeling healthy.

According To This Fox News Host, AOC’s District Is Dirty Because Of Undocumented Immigrants

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According To This Fox News Host, AOC’s District Is Dirty Because Of Undocumented Immigrants

Tucker Carlson and guest Seth Barron continued to espouse their conspiracy theory-driven worldviews on his nightly Fox News show, this time targeting the residents of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s district. Carlson mocked AOC’s support of the clean energy bill, the Green New Deal, claiming that the areas of Queens and The Bronx she represents are not “clean.” 

The conservative news editor Barron then piled on saying the high percentage of undocumented immigrants in her districts is why they are “dirty.” The comments were immediately met with criticism and accusations of racism from members of AOC’s camp and other advocates. 

Carlson says AOC’s district is dirtier than others. 

“We’re connoisseurs of irony on this show, but if you claim to care about the environment, you’d think that the little piece of America you’re responsible for, that you represent in the Congress, would be clean but hers isn’t. Why?” Carlson asked of AOC during the segment.

The suggestion that AOC’s district NY-14 is dirtier than other neighborhoods is rooted in racism, not just because they’re targets of racism but because the reasons those neighborhoods might appear less tidy is racism. It has been well documented that the less affluent and white a neighborhood the less the state will invest in maintaining its appearance. Low-income neighborhoods are often the targets of dumps and hazardous waste sites

According to research by the University of Michigan, “Several decades of research in the field of environmental justice has established clear patterns of racial and socioeconomic disparities in the distribution of a large variety of environmental hazards. Hazardous waste sites, polluting industrial facilities and other locally unwanted land uses are disproportionately located in nonwhite and poor communities.”

This October the New York Lawyers for the Public Interest released a report claiming low-income neighborhoods in the Bronx and Queens, where some districts are represented by AOC, have become the reluctant receptacles of private waste haulers. 

“Private waste companies increased their use of truck-based transfer stations by 35 percent, with 81 percent of all commercial trash hauled through these stations via truck, the report asserts,” according to the Queens Daily Eagle. “The locations where they stations are, however, such as Southeast Queens, the South Bronx, and Northern Brooklyn, have left residents complaining about the strong smell, air pollution and road hazards from the increased number of trucks.”

Perhaps, this is the reason why AOC supports clean energy and sustainability initiatives: they are in the best interest of her district’s constituents. However, Barron claims that AOC’s district is just downright un-American. 

Barron claims the reason AOC’s district is dirty is because of undocumented immigrants.

“Well, part of the reason is because her district is actually one of the least American districts in the country,” Barron quickly responded. “And by that, I don’t mean that it’s not part of America, but it’s occupied by relatively few American citizens. A very high percentage of her district is, in fact, illegal aliens.”

According to the Huffington Post, there is little evidence that the immigrants who live in AOC’s district are there illegally or that undocumented immigrants, who commit fewer crimes than citizens, are somehow dirtier. Barron said undocumented immigrants ruin the environment by pouring pig grease, which is organic matter and biodegradable, into gutters. 

“So they wind up producing a lot of garbage that the landlords don’t want thrown out normally,” he said. “So hence, you wind up with a lot of garbage on the streets. You have illegal food vendors pouring their pig grease into the gutters. I mean I worked out there, it can be a little gross.”

This year Carlson came under fire for defending child rape and convicted child rapists, calling women “extremely primitive,” and saying he felt “sorry for unattractive women.” Carlson, along with Fox News has seemingly been bleeding advertisers during the Trump era largely due to revelations about intra-company sexual assault, sexist comments, and offensive remarks about immigrants.  

Critics respond to Carlson’s anti-immigrant remarks.

Former AOC strategist WaleedShahid said Carlson was “broadcasting the oldest variety of anti-immigrant bulls**t: ‘they’re dirty'” to target the popular congresswoman. 

Many thinkers on the left called Carlson’s and Fox News racist for the anti-immigrant views they espouse. 

“Every citizen is 100% American no matter where they’re from,” said Young Turks host Cenk Uygur. “This is what GOP thinks of the rest of us—dirty immigrants. Then they wonder why we think they’re racists.”

Barron later tried to defend his attack claiming that 46.2 percent of AOC’s district is foreign-born and that proves his point. However, Mediaite notes, “It is completely false for Barron to imply foreign-born immigrants are also undocumented or are not US citizens. Notably, the Trump administration abandoned its attempts to add a citizenship question to the census this past summer, after losing a high-profile Supreme Court fight.”