Entertainment

Isabela Merced Is Making a Seamless Transition From Child Star to Pop Star with Her New Single “Papi”

Say goodbye to Dora the Explorer–at least for now. Isabela Merced, formerly known as Isabela Moner, has reinvented herself from child star to bonafide pop singer. On Wednesday, Merced debuted the music video for her new single “Papi”, a girl-power anthem that’s inspired by “salsa, reggaeton, cumbia, and bachata”. According to Merced, she hopes the song will get the message across to womanizing men that they should “treat ladies with the respect they deserve”.

The new music video is impressive not only because it shows a more grown-up version of Merced (who we’ve seen since her Nickelodeon days) but also because it celebrates her Peruvian culture. In the video, we see Merced dressed in both American and Peruvian-style clothes, dancing to choreography that is reminiscent of stand American hip-hop moves as well as the traditional Peruvian dance known as the Marinera. Merced, for her part, is proud of the aesthetic her newest music video embodies: “I want to introduce everyone to the rich culture of my family’s heritage,” she said in a recent interview with Teen Vogue.

Credit: @idolator/Twitter

The transformation from Nickelodeon actor to superstar in the making was arguably kickstarted with Isabela’s decision to change her last name from “Moner” to “Merced”.

After all, 2019 has been a very big year for Merced. Not only did she star in the blockbuster film “Dora and the Lost City of Gold”, but she also revealed that her mother has been  privately battling breast cancer. According to Merced, the decision to change her last name came from the desire to honor family–especially her Peruvian heritage. The name Merced comes from her late grandmother, Yolanda Merced Salazar Pittman. “I believe some force, throughout all these years, has been giving my mom the strength and determination to guide me,” she told Refinery29. “I feel as though if that guardian angel would be anyone, it would be my grandma.”

So, while some child actors struggle to make the transition from child entertainer to serious adult actor, Merced makes the entire process look easy. While the music video for “Papi” has its sultry moments, it doesn’t seem to be trying too hard to prove anything. Yes, there’s a love interest who makes an appearance in the video–but the entire song isn’t just devoted to a man. “’Papi’ is empowering to girls. [It] has sass and confidence,” she says. With lyrics like “Or did I forget to mention?/Don’t like frivolous affection/I don’t want it on the first date or third date…I’m never gonna call you papi/Even if it makes you happy,” the song celebrates to independent women of the world who refuse to change themselves to make a man happy. 

Credit: @playintoit/Twitter

According to Merced, the bilingual bop is just the beginning of her exploring the world of Spanish-language music. 

Merced, who was born to a Peruvian mother and a white American father, has previously been candid about growing up bilingual in a multicultural household. “I want my music to represent who I am…I grew up with a white dad and a Latinx mom, who was an immigrant. That is who I am. It’s okay to be a mix…Us mixed kids have a place in this society, and Spanglish songs do as well,” she told Refinery29.

It’s refreshing to see such representation for multicultural Latinos who grew up in a multi-racial family. The reality is, many Latinos feel equally comfortable speaking two languages, especially if one parent is non-Latino. According to the Pew Center for research, almost 7% of Americans identify as mixed-race, and that number will continue to grow. In other words: Isabela Merced is definitely onto something.

Credit: @Z100NewYork/Twitter

Of course, Merced’s fans have been going crazy on Twitter over her Latina-and-proud music video.

Like Christina Aguilera before her, this child star is embracing all aspects of her identity and people are pumped.

Peruvians are 100% here for Merced showing some love for their country:

It’s always exciting to see your culture recognized in the media.

This Peruvian sees the music video as a beautiful “tribute”:

You can definitely feel the love that went into the making of this music video purely from its attention to detail. 

Many people are praising “Papi” for supporting bilingual and multiracial representation:

A lot of people don’t recognize that there’s no one “right” way to be Latinx. For many Latinos in America, Spanglish is a way of life. 

Of course, there are also the stans who are just in awe of Isabela Merced’s raw talent:

Seriously, is there anything this girl can’t do? We’ll wait.

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.

Today Is The Day To Stand Up Against This Horrible Latina Wage Gap And Here’s What You Can Do To Close It

#mitúWORLD

Today Is The Day To Stand Up Against This Horrible Latina Wage Gap And Here’s What You Can Do To Close It

mitú

The wage gap issue in this country doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, but that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t demand change.

Latinas currently make 54 cents to every white man’s dollar — that means we have to work a full extra 10 months to earn what a white man does. Latinas are also at the bottom of the pay gap totem pole.

We have impeccable work ethic and we were taught to hustle from all of the poderosas who raised us — we deserve the full dollar.

To bring awareness to this unjust paygap, we have partnered with We All Grow Latina to design this shirt which is donating 20 percent of the proceeds to Justice for Migrant Women to continue advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

Continue reading, educate yourself and be upset about this wage gap. Nos ¡están robando! Keep scrolling to inform yourself on what this wage gap really means and how it affects you.

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

So, what is the wage gap and what does it all mean?

Hollywood Game Night / NBC / laravegas / Tumblr

CREDIT: Credit: Hollywood Game Night / NBC

The wage gap discussion hinges on the fact that women are being paid significantly less than their male counterparts for the same work. Studies have found that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 80 cents for doing the same job.

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

Simply being a female in the workplace can translate into you taking a much smaller salary or hourly wage than a male.

Superstore / NBC / GIPHY

CREDIT: Credit: Superstore / NBC / GIPHY

“Nationally, women who hold full-time jobs are paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to men who hold full-time jobs,” Debra Ness, the president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, told NBC Latino.  “African-American women and Latinas fare worse, being paid 64 cents and just 55 cents, respectively, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.”

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

If you are a Latina, studies show that the wage gap is much greater with Latinas making just around 54 cents for every white male dollar.

alikaheroes / Tumblr

CREDIT: alikaheroes / Tumblr

That’s nearly HALF! According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), not only are Latinas the most underpaid demographic in the United States, the wage gap varies depending on what state you live in. Some states have a larger or smaller wage gap between white males and Latinas.

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

For perspective, Fortune reported that a Latina will experience $1 million less in pay than a white male over a lifetime for the same job.

We are mitú / Facebook

CREDIT: We are mitú / Facebook

“In fact, what you see is that the wage gap gets bigger over the course of a woman’s career,” Emily Martin, the NWLC general counsel, told Fortune. “[Women] start out making less. If you start making a little less and then your raises are based on a percentage of your salary, the gap grows over time.”

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

According to NWLC, Texas, California and New Jersey are the three states with the largest Latina wage gap disparity.

smokingsomethingwithrihanna / Tumblr

CREDIT: Credit: smokingsomethingwithrihanna / Tumblr

Latinas make 44.2 cents per white male dollar in Texas. Latinas living in California, a state that is majority Latino, are only paid 42.9 cents per every white male dollar. New Jersey comes in dead last with Latinas making just 42.7 cents for every white male dollar.

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

This is an important issue because an estimated 3 million homes are led by a Latina.

We are mitú / Facebook

CREDIT: Credit: We are mitú / Facebook

That would mean that a Latino family in California led by a Latina would have to survive on just 42.9 percent of the money that a household gets that is led by a white male.

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

Female products are also more expensive than the male versions, as seen in this mitú video.

We are mitú / Facebook

CREDIT: We are mitú / Facebook

Basic products like deodorant, razors and shampoo are more expensive if you are female than if you are male. There’s even a debate going on about whether or not we should do away with taxing tampons.

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

This Latina gender wage gap even affects some of Hollywood’s most notable Latinas, like Gina Rodriguez.

Jane The Virgin / CW / janethevirgin-gifs / Tumblr

CREDIT: Credit: Jane The Virgin / CW

It was recently reported by Variety that leading women of color on TV and in movies are getting paid far less than their male and white counterparts. According to information released by Variety, the lead of CW’s “Jane The Virgin” makes just $60,000 per episode while Jim Parsons makes $1,000,000 per episode of “The Big Bang Theory.” ?

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

So, on this Latina Equal Pay Day, let’s start to demand some serious change. Call your senators, representatives, and even local and county government leaders to start voicing your opinion.

stanforpopculture / Tumblr

CREDIT: Credit: stanforpopculture / Tumblr

It’s time to end the wage gap in America.

For some more of that knowledge, check out mitú’s full Latina age gap video below.

How Big Is The Latina Wage Gap?

Posted by We are mitú on Monday, July 25, 2016

This sucks, right? Let the world know you’re not putting up with this anymore. Click below to purchase your shirt and demand 100% equal pay.

Click here to purchase your Latina Equal Pay Day shirt and contribute advancing the conversation toward equal pay.

Share this story with all of your friends by tapping that little share button below!