Entertainment

25 Latinas Who Have Championed Natural Curly Hair Even When Beauty Standards Have Said Otherwise

Desperately seeking straight hair, most of us have spent decades subjecting our poor manes to heat damage. In a love-hate relationship with blow dryers, straighteners and ‘Brazilian blowouts’, we tried everything to get the sleek look. But thank God times have changed. The last couple of years we’ve seen a switch from super sleek, to liberated curly locks —and boy oh boy are we happy.

Despite straight hair being the number one look in every beauty magazine, these divas never gave up on their natural locks.

@shakira

Even though flat, poker-straight hair has been the epitome of coolness since the eighties drew to an end, these curly-haired sisters listed down below never stopped championing their big, glossy locks —and with women embracing their natural hair more and more in recent years, we thought it would be appropriate to take a walk down memory lane to pay tribute to these OG greñudas.

Clara P. Flores

www.pinterest.com

This is the first curly hair photo we could dig up. Dating back to the mid-1860s, the woman depicted was Afro-Mexicana, Clara P. Flores, a resident of Guanajuato, Mexico. Funny to think that ringlets and curly locks were the trend back in the 1800s, look what the 1990s did to our hair SMH.

Beatriz Michelena

@latinxexpert

This Venezuelan-American babe was a star in many silent films. The photo, dating back to 1918, features Michelena’s loose, bouncy mane —when in fact curly hair was on trend, yes, but in a much more stylized ‘wavy’ style. Beatriz wore her hair natural, on her own terms, and we could use that positivity in our lives today.

Raquel Torres

@frenchie_alix

These were the days of finger waves and little bobs, women actually used heat tools to curl and crinkle their shortly-cut hair rather than smoothen it out. Raquel was a Mexican actress who took Hollywood by storm in the 1920s alongside her sister Renee.

Dolores del Rio

@thereallcuninghamii

Dolores del Rio is often credited for being the first Latina actress to crossover to the US. This iconic curly-haired queen wore her chinos proudly. However, del Rio’s beautiful looks, paired with her long, luscious and curly locks landed her many stereotypical ‘ethnic’ roles more often than not —not okay, Hollywood

Lupita Tovar

@theacademy

Another Mexican actress who enchanted Hollywood. Lupita’s thick dark hair was wavy and extended into beautiful curls —longer than the it-style of the time, the super short bob. Lupita rocked her long curls with a lot of glamour and probably set some trends herself.

Candita Quintana

@sdjackson360

This legend of theater and film was a charismatic and lively beauty. The Afro-Cubana Candita Quintana usually wore her curls down, flowing down her back, accentuated with flowers —if this isn’t a lewk, what is?

Lilia Prado

@ricardprez

A true old Hollywood glamazon. This Mexican actress was a star during the Mexican Golden age of cinema. Her voluminous head of hair was a big part of her stardom and allure.

Pachucas

@chicano_chicana_state_of

The iconic Chicana look of the 1940s and 50s —and precursor of the Cholas. This fashion wave was all about borrowing typically male aesthetics and claiming them for themselves, worn with ultra feminine hair and makeup. Pachucas wore their hair in bunches of curls, in pompadours and feminine wavy updos —Chicanas have been repping curls since back in the day.

Martina Arroyo

www.bach-cantatas.com

This Afro-Puerto Rican singer was an opera diva with international fame. Her stardom lasted from the 60s and well into the 80s, and she usually wore her hair in natural tight curls cropped shortly into a little curly pixie cut —very trendy at the time.

Rita Moreno

@classic1934

The Puerto Rican superstar was known for wearing her hair naturally curly. She were her signature ringlets in all lengths, from pixie to long cascading chinos.

Maria Felix

@mariafelixofficial

Another beacon of beauty, fashion, and obviously hair goals. La Doña is still to this day, and icon of Latinx beauty and glamour. Her striking dark hair was always coiffed in dramatic big, bouncy curls.

Lola Falana

@lola.falana_

The actor, dancer and singer Lola Falana was known as the First Lady of Vegas —that’s how iconic she is. The Afro-Cubanita always let her natural hair shine, showing off her beautiful ‘fro all through the 70s.

Lynda Carter

@virbarinium23

This Chicana was #hairgoals in the 70s and 80s after her role as Wonderwoman skyrocketed her to fame. The super talented beauty queen would sometimes let her curls come out to play and damn, did they look fabulous.

Rita Lucia Moreno

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Afro-Argentinian actress and singer Rita Lucia Moreno sported a cascade of dark curls that were feminine and abundant, and oh-so-glamorous.

Raquel Welch

@therealraquelwelch

I mean… look at those locks, need we say more? This Bolivian singer and actress was a true sex symbol and it-girl in the 70s —and her rizos might’ve had something to do with it, don’t you think?

Iris Chacon

@hollywood_photoplay

The Puerto Rican entertainer was a big champion of big, natural hair. She usually wore her beautiful locks in a halo of curls that framed her face and accentuated her features.

Victoria Santa Cruz

Afro-Peruvian choreographer, composer and activist, Victoria Eugenia Santa Cruz Guamarra is referred to as “the mother of Afro-Peruvian dance and theater.” She famously wrote and performed the moving poem “Me Gritaron Negra” (They Called Me Black”) with a lifelong aim to awaken black consciousness and pride in Peru.

Veronica Castro

@vero.castrofans

You may recognize this diva from the Netflx hit show ‘La Casa De Las Flores’, but her stardom goes back to the 80s. During that particular decade, La Vero’s hair was truly iconic —natural and permed big curly hairstyles were all the rage.

Celia Cruz

@salsaclasicard

The queen of Salsa is perhaps one of the most iconic women in Latino music. Celia had so much fun with her hairstyles, she never shied away from a bright color or wild look. But she did know how to rock her own natural hair when not wearing an outrageous wig —This rumbera favored Afros, braids and big 80s curls, ¡azúcar!

Gloria Estefan

@gloriaestefanbr

Ugh, just going back to Gloria Estefan’s look back when she debuted with her first album is giving us major hair envy. Her bouncy dark ringlets are all we want for our manes today.

Salma Hayek

@salmahayek

Salma’s hair has seen many phases through the years, but the curly one keeps resurfacing over and over. Her natural loose waves give her head of hair a pump of volume that many would pay good money to achieve —must be nice.

Mariah Carey

Instagram @90s_mariahcarey

Remember old school Mariah? Back in the early years of her career? Her natural curls were luscious and full of volume and we really miss this look. Can we start a petition to bring it back?

Shakira

@shakira

If ever there’s been a Latinx star to champion curls as a signature style, that would be Shakira. The Colombian bombshell sure knows how to rock a shaggy, loose mane of hair.

Yaya Dacosta

@trilogiachicago.brasil

Born Carmara DaCosta Johnson, the actress known as Yaya Dacosta has Afro-Brazilian and African-American roots. Since she first rose to fame after appearing as runner up on cycle 3 of  “America’s Next Top Model” she has been wowing us with natural hair. Since then, she has big chopped and grown back her massive crown of textured goodness — giving us hair life the entire time.

Amara La Negra

instagram @amaralanegraaln

Our last Curly-haired queen is Afro-Dominican singer, actress and Love & Hip Hop: Miami star, Amara La Negra. This star has schooled a few —her producer included— on natural hair and what it means to be Afro Latina. Amara is proud of her afro, her roots and is a huge champion of the Afro-Latinx community.

A PhD Student Made History By Writing Her Entire Thesis In An Indigenous Peruvian Language

Culture

A PhD Student Made History By Writing Her Entire Thesis In An Indigenous Peruvian Language

Lino Obarallumbo / DailySol

Scholars at Lima’s San Marcos university say it’s the first time a student has written and defended a thesis entirely in a native language. Roxana Quispe Collantes made history when she verbally defended and wrote her thesis in Quechua, a language of the Incas. While Quechua is spoken by 8 million people in the Andes with half of them in Peru, it speaks volumes that this hasn’t happened before at the 468-year-old university, the oldest in the Americas. 

Quispe Collantes studied Peruvian and Latin American literature with a focus on poetry written in Quechua. The United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages program has Peru a part of a global campaign to revive 2,680 indigenous languages at risk of going extinct. Peru is home to 21 of those languages. 

Roxana Quispe Collantes brings Inca culture to her doctoral candidacy.

Quispe Collantes began her presentation with a traditional Inca thanksgiving ceremony. She presented her thesis “Yawar Para” (or blood rain) by using coca leaves and chicha, a corn-based alcoholic beverage in the ritual.

For seven years, the student studied Andrés Alencastre Gutiérrez, a poet who wrote in Quechua, and used the pen name Kilku Warak’aq. For her thesis, she analyzed his mixture of Andrean traditions and Catholicism. 

“I’ve always wanted to study in Quechua, in my original language,” she told the Observer

Quispe Collantes traveled to highland communities in the Canas to confirm the definitions of words in the Collao dialect of Quechua used in the Cusco region. 

“I needed to travel to the high provinces of Canas to achieve this translation and the meaning of toponyms that I couldn’t find anywhere,” she said. “I asked my parents, my grandparents and teachers, and [it didn’t prove fruitful].”

Quechua entering the academic discourse can help preserve it. 

“Quechua doesn’t lack the vocabulary for an academic language. Today many people mix the language with Spanish,” she said. “I hope my example will help to revalue the language again and encourage young people, especially women, to follow my path. It’s very important that we keep on rescuing our original language.”

Her doctoral adviser Gonzo Espino told The Guardian he believes Quispe Collantes’ thesis was a symbolic gesture. 

“[The language] represented the most humble people in this part of the world: the Andeans, who were once called ‘Indians’. Their language and culture has been vindicated,” he said. 

It should go without saying but the doctoral candidate received top marks on her project.

Quechua is the most widely spoken indigenous language in South America. 

The oldest written records of Quechua were in 1560 in Grammatica o arte de la lengua general de los indios de los reynos del Perú by Domingo de Santo, a missionary who learned and wrote the language. Before the expansion of the Inca Empire, Quechua spread across the central Andes. The language took a different shape in the Cusco region where it was influenced by neighboring languages like Aymara. Thus, today there is a wide range of dialects of Quechua as it evolved in different areas. 

In the 16th century, the Inca Empire designated Quechua as their official language following the Spanish conquest of Peru. Many missionaries and members of the Catholic Church learned Quechua so that they could evangelize Indigenous folks. 

Quispe Collantes grew up speaking the language with her parents and grandparents in the Acomayo district of Cusco. Quechua today is often mixed with Spanish and she hopes that “Yawar Para” will inspire others to revisit the original form. 

Peru takes Quechua to the mainstream. 

Under the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages campaign, this year, Peru began the official registration of names in its 48 indigenous languages.

The U.N. launched its initiative to preserve indigenous languages in 2019 after the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues determined that, “40 percent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world were in danger of disappearing. The fact that most of these are indigenous languages puts the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk.”

According to the Guardian, for years, Peruvian registrars refused to recognize indigenous names on public records. They would then force indigenous people to register Hispanic or English-sounding names on government forms while keeping their real names at home. 

“Many registrars tended not to register indigenous names, so parents felt the name they had chosen wasn’t valued,” said Danny Santa María, assistant manager of academic research at Reniec. “We want to promote the use of indigenous names and recognize the proper way to write them on birth certificates and ID documents.”

In 2016, Peru began airings its first news broadcast in Quechua and other native languages, ushering into the mainstream. 

“My greatest wish is for Quechua to become a necessity once again. Only by speaking it can we revive it,” Quispe Collantes said.

An Ohio Teacher Used A Racist Meme About Dora The Explorer To Discuss Voter Eligibility

Things That Matter

An Ohio Teacher Used A Racist Meme About Dora The Explorer To Discuss Voter Eligibility

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A West Geauga High School teacher in Ohio is being investigated for using a racist image in class. The teacher showed students a meme of Dora the Explorer portrayed as an undocumented immigrant during an 11th-grade Advanced Placement government class. 

Multiple parents called the school district to express outrage and vented about the incident on social media. Some parents even pointed out that besides being offensive the information the photo was supposed to convey was inaccurate, according to Fox 8

The teacher was put on leave pending an investigation but eventually reinstated by the superintendent. 

An Ohio teacher uses a racist meme about Dora the Explorer to discuss voter eligibility.

The teacher used two photos to demonstrate voter ineligibility. One showed the mugshot of an alt-right man with a felon, the other showed Dora the Explorer with the charges of “illegal border crossing” and “resisting arrest.” One of the upset parents, Stephanie Anderson, expressed that the lesson was inaccurate according to Fox 8. Anderson noted that undocumented citizens would obviously not be allowed to vote so listing their charges would be pointless. However, the offenses that are listed are not felons but misdemeanors. 

“I was outraged,” said Anderson, “Whether this teacher intended it to be a joke, something he found online it’s simply inappropriate and outrageous.”

“Seeing that white supremacist juxtaposed with a brown-skinned child who has a superimposed black eye, blood coming from her mouth with the offense of illegal border crossing and resisting arrest combined with 666 666666 is 100% inappropriate,” she said. “There are so many other more appropriate ways to get your point across.”

The Superintendent released a statement to parents. 

“We are investigating the matter related to the politically-insensitive slides allegedly contained in a teacher’s classroom presentation today. The teacher has been placed on leave pending the results of the investigation,” Superintendent Richard Markwardt, Ph. D wrote in a statement to parents. 

While the teacher was put on leave, Anderson was hopeful that the entire district understood the gravity of the situation. The mother, whose son was in the class, believes the classroom is not a place for a teacher to impose their personal political beliefs. 

“It’s not okay for either extreme,” said Anderson, “So whether you are very liberal or very conservative at either end of the spectrum, imparting your views on your students in a non-educationally beneficial way is unacceptable.”

The Washington Post followed up on the story and found that Markwardt had already finished investigating. He told the paper he recognized the inappropriateness of the imagery but didn’t think the teacher had any ill will and refused to terminate them. 

“I will not use what I regard as a lapse of judgment as the reason to damage the career of a good teacher,” Markwardt said. “That would be following one mistake with another.”

Anderson told the Washington Post that the school district has struggled with addressing diversity and inclusivity, but that she was satisfied with the school’s response. 

“I genuinely believe they’re taking measurable steps to ensure all the students in the district can come to school in an environment that’s free from harassment and discrimination,” Anderson said.

Markwardt said some individual staff members may require diversity training, but the district overall will continue to focus on the matter. 

“I perceive the use of the objectionable image as symptomatic of a general lack of attention to the diversity of individuals in a largely homogeneous school district,” he said.

The Dora meme is a decade old and you can thank Arizona SB 1070 for that. 

According to the BBC, the Dora meme first appeared in 2009 in response to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s SB 1070 Bill, which would propose the strictest immigration laws in the country. The bill that allowed law enforcement to demand documentation from anyone they thought “looked” undocumented and made it illegal to be caught without papers would eventually be struck down by the Supreme Court in 2012. The meme was used to illustrate the effects of the law, which some members of the right championed. 

University of Cincinnati sociology professor Erynn Masi de Casanova told the Washington Post that using a meme in like this in class can legitimize and trivialize the real lives of Latinxs. 

“Because Dora is what I call a ‘generic Latina’ stereotype, a fictional character without any identifiable national origin, people may feel comfortable projecting their ideas about Latinos onto her,” Casanova said.

However, Casanova did point out one silver lining to the disturbing incident. 

“It is heartening to me that students and parents were disturbed by this image that dehumanizes and makes light of immigrants’ struggles,” she said. “It seems they are learning something about empathy in spite of this teacher’s efforts to discourage it.”