Entertainment

These Are The Latinas Who Made OITNB Great And Why We Love Them So Much

Alerta! This article contains SPOILERS on the final season of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black!

Throughout seven seasons, Orange is the New Black has shown a microcosm of the United States in all its diversity (sexual, political and ethnic). The show led by Jenji Kohan (the mastermind behind Weeds) began airing in 2013 and through seven seasons it told the stories of women from all segments of society. 

The inmates of Litchfield Prison represent some of the most vulnerable members of society.

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Among them, there are Latinas who have no papers or who come from impoverished backgrounds. Throughout the years we got to understand the Kafkaesque mechanisms through which the industrial incarceration system works and how it profits from disgrace. The show also cast a shadow of doubt over the fairness of the court system and how it is potentially discriminatory towards minorities.

This season is all about ICE detention centers. Remember the beautiful bond between Flaca and Maritza? Well, be ready to [cry in Spanish].

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The Vancouver Province, for example, rated the season highly, even though for some viewers season six lost a lot of steam, and it claims that the strength of the season lies in the ICE storyline: “The trickiest storyline, however, belongs to a frightening and undeniably timely one that takes place in an immigrant detention center where women from Central America to the Middle East and beyond are stuck with cocky ICE agents, and without any answers or real hope of getting the better life they were initially seeking.”

Veteran actress Kate Mulgrew, who plays Soviet queen Red, told The Hollywood Reporter: “Using the kitchen as the aperture into ICE and the detention center was such a powerful device. When I walked onto that set I had to stand still and say, ‘Oh, my God. This is what we are doing.’ It’s being reflected for the first time on this show. The creative accountability is great and the creative risk is even greater. She’s got some balls, Jenji Kohan”. Alysia Reiner, who plays former warden Natalie “Fig” Figueroa, expanded in the same roundtable: “I lost it when we were shooting inside the immigration courtroom. We did three takes and I couldn’t stop crying. Our writers told us, “We went to these courtrooms. We didn’t candy-coat this, but this is not as bad as it actually is right now.”

So what happened to our favorite Latinas? Last warning, some SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD! 

Maritza Ramos played by Diane Guerrero

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Right from season 1 we fell in love with Maritza, the sassy Colombian queen who ended up in prison for her elaborate scams. She is a cornerstone of the last season: her storyline meets reality, as she faces the immigration authorities. In real life, Diane Guerrero’s parents were deported when she was just a girl. Guerrero told The Hollywood Reporter: “The treatment of Maritza’s ending was a portrayal of how people treat deportations — that sentiment that you vanish is true. It’s as if you’ve never existed. Martiza is on that plane to an uncertain life”. Life is stranger than fiction, however, and Maritza’s case is not uncommon in the era of Trump (at whom the scriptwriters take a good amount of jabs). 

Gloria Mendoza played by Selenis Leyva

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This boricua lady is fierce as it comes (she is played by a Cuban, though, but totally gets that Caribbean sass). She always puts family first, both in and outside prison. She is one of the few characters with a somewhat redemptive ending. Her story strikes true to many Puerto Ricans who are treated as foreigners in their own country. In the last season, we see how Gloria left the island initially to work in New York and provide for her children.

The mother-daughter duo: Aleida and Dyanara Diaz, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez and Dasha Polanco

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We learnt so much more about Aleida in the last season. She is a strong Latina who has had to protect herself from handsy men her whole life. She is combative and that leads her back into trouble after her release. The relationship she has with her daughter Dayanara is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

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Credit: Orange is the New Black / Netflix

Dayanara ended up all Scarface: running the prison with an iron fist. Or did she? (yes, we are giving you some spoilers, but no details here, no se espanten). Daya is the perfect example of how a twisted family can lead to an endless spiral of violence. 

Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales played by Jackie Cruz

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A cute and sometimes naive chola who is put in prison for drug fraud. She has a sisterly bond with Maritza. She is the typical inmate who ends up behind bars for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We leave her truly seeking redemption. The actress that plays her, Jackie Cruz, is a proud Dominican who is unafraid to speak about the biases in Hollywood. She told Elle about the roles that are available for actresses like her: “Lately, it’s been better. Well, the roles are still a little white-washed, but they’re better. It’s what a white person would think of a Latina. A white person writing for a Latina. For example, they don’t know that Dominicans don’t eat Chimichangas”. 

Blanca played by Laura Gomez

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Her scenes in the immigration court are heartbreaking. In this microcosm, we get to see what hundreds of migrant women are going through, being separated from their children in some cases and facing deportation to a country they barely remember in others. Gomez told Digital Spy: “That was such a twist for everybody, myself included, and I could never have imagined that it was going to feel so emotional for people. The response on social media to this was devastating. Because we’re living this in real-time, it’s not like we’re telling a story in the past… It should be a story that isn’t happening”. Her story is very accurate, according to reports, particularly in how advocacy groups such as Freedom for Immigrants have been targeted by ICE and seen their advocacy efforts sabotaged. As a representative of the organization told In Style: “In 2013, ICE shut down three visitation programs that we were affiliated with, in response to a Huffington Post blog we wrote. Our personal cell phone numbers also have been blocked at various points in time from immigrant jails and prisons. And while we have continued to offer free phone calls to people in detention thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are still fighting to get our hotline restored”

Maria Ruiz played by Jessica Pimentel

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The Dominican freedom fighter! Her dad was an activist and she finds herself being angry at life for most of the show. She was pregnant when she was incarcerated and has a thorny relationship with her baby’s dad, who is taking care of little Pepa while Maria is in prison. Her crime: selling fake jeans. Yes, really. 

READ: Maritza’s Heartbreaking Storyline In ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Is A Reality So Many Undocumented People Face Every Day

This Mashup Of Selena Gomez’s ‘Lose You To Love Me’ And Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ Will Bring You To Tears

Entertainment

This Mashup Of Selena Gomez’s ‘Lose You To Love Me’ And Justin Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ Will Bring You To Tears

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There’s no denying that while Fall has meant the ushering in of a new season for some, it has meant the official closing of a chapter for Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber fans. 

At the end of October, singer Gomez released her new track “Lose You To Love Me” which publicly put the final nail in the coffin of her relationship with Bieber. Of course, many fans had come to accept the ending of their relationship earlier last year when Bieber married his wife Hailey Baldwin.  Still, Gomez’s honest song about the emotional toll and ending of her relationship with Bieber seemed to be the true catharsis her devoted fans needed. The heartrending song meant fans could dust off their hands and move on from their obsession with the relationship. 

Now, after a week of the song’s release, a fan of the two artists has released a fan-made mashup of Bieber’s 2015 hit “Sorry” and Gomez’s new track that acts as a conversation between the former couple.

The new mashup was created by a  Los Angeles-based filmmaker, editor and music producer named Andy Wu

In the video description of the new mashup, Wu wrote that “It’s been 3 years since I made JELENA Megamix (2008-2016). Now their chapter is officially closed and done. I guess it’s time for everyone to move on.” Wu’s mashup which was released on October 27 and began going viral this week, now has nearly 1.5 million views and thousands of comments.

The new video mashup of Gomez and her ex combines Bieber’s 2015 hit “Sorry” with Gomez’s first No. 1 single “Lose You To Love Me.”

Selena Gomez / Instagram

The mashup kicks things off with Bieber’s lyrics stacked onto the melody from Gomez’s new song. For his part, Bieber sings”You gotta go and get angry at all of my honesty / You know I try, but I don’t do too well with apologies / I hope I don’t run out of time could someone call a referee / ‘Cause I just need one more shot at forgiveness.”

The verse builds just as Gomez’s “Lose You To Love Me” lyrics begins and starts with “I saw the signs and I ignored it/ Rose-colored all distorted / Set fire to my purpose / And I let it burn / You got off on the hurtin’ / When it wasn’t yours.”

Fans of the couple have expressed excitement and approval over the new mashup. 

“This is literally the best mashup I’ve ever heard,” one user wrote in response to the song. 

One user commented that the mashup “literally sounds like I’m listening to both sides of the story, Selena’s and Justin’s.”

Fans of Bieber and Gomez know that the two have had an up and down relationship since 2011.

justinbieber / Instagram

Bieber, 25, and Gomez, 27 began dating in 2011 and dated off and on until finally breaking things off in March 2018. Three months after their breakup US Magazine Three months later, Us Weekly confirmed that Justin had begun dating his ex-girlfriend Hailey Baldwin. The two married in September 2018 . 

Gomez has not personally confirmed that her song is about Bieber but did say that it was about personal experiences.

“Although the song ‘Lose You to Love Me’ was cowritten and a collaboration, Selena was very involved in writing and creating it, and the song is obviously about Justin,” a source told In Touch Weekly. “Her fling with The Weeknd did not inspire the song — their relationship was much more short-lived and not deep enough to inspire it.”

Speaking to radio show host Ryan Secrest during his radio show, Gomez addressed how fans have commented her “two months” lyric and pointed out that it has been a common thread in her relationships.

“I’ve actually experienced that a million times before,” Gomez told Secrest during an interview. “And that’s the unfortunate part about what I do. It’s all very real to me and I’m sure it’s all just entertainment for other people, but I think I had become numb to it. And it would be stupid of me if I didn’t acknowledge what I had felt because it would be inauthentic, because it’s everything I claim to be and do.”

Check out the music video below.

“I’ve actually experienced that a million times before,” Gomez told Secrest during an interview. “And that’s the unfortunate part about what I do. It’s all very real to me and I’m sure it’s all just entertainment for other people, but I think I had become numb to it. And it would be stupid of me if I didn’t acknowledge what I had felt because it would be inauthentic, because it’s everything I claim to be and do.”

A Little Over A Year After Her Very Public Overdose Demi Lovato Talks About Learning To See Herself As ‘Strong’

Entertainment

A Little Over A Year After Her Very Public Overdose Demi Lovato Talks About Learning To See Herself As ‘Strong’

It was nearly a year ago, that fans of Demi Lovato were shocked as they learned that the actress and singer had experienced a near-fatal heroin overdose. The harrowing incident was particularly worrying for fans who had watched Lovato speak out about her struggles and recovery with self-harm and addiction. Over a year later, Lovato has seemed to have made it back on her feet having completed a stay in rehabilitation early and upped her interactions with fans on her social media pages. This is all despite experiencing public feuds with other celebrities, relentless body shaming from fans and a violation of privacy when nude photo of her was leaked. 

Over the weekend, she attended the  Teen Vogue Summit, telling the magazine’s editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner that these days she is “strong.”

Speaking at Teen Vogue summit, Lovato said that she’s “learned a lot.”

In the year since her overdose, Swift has said that she has learned quite a bit. “I think it’s been a very introspective year for me,” Lovato said. “I’ve learned a lot, been through a lot.” 

When it comes to lessons about body acceptance, Lovato says she’s adopted a new mantra.

Lovato, who can often be seen tackling weights and martial arts at the gym says she took off from working out at the gym during the month of October December for a little bit of a mental health break. 

“We hear the term body positivity all the time,” she pointed out at the summit while also reiterating her years-long struggle with an eating disorder. “To be honest, I don’t always feel positive about my body. Sometimes I do not like what I see. I don’t sit there and dwell on it. I also don’t lie to myself.” 

When it comes to the social media trolls that attempt to bring her down, Lovato had a strong message.

“When someone says something mean about me or makes a meme making fun of me, I have a good sense of humor,” Lovato said.” But when it’s a very serious subject it can be hurtful. Even if you have an account that’s like ‘ImaDemiFan,’ that’s the name, and you leave one comment that said ‘You look like Lord Farquaad with that hair,’ I’m like, ‘Damn, that kind of sucks.’ I’m so tired of pretending I’m not human. When you say stuff, it affects me. I try not to look, but I see it. When I’m able to see both sides, it pulls me out from zeroing in on the negative. But I’m human and I think that’s important to remember.”

Speaking about the progress that she has made as an individual it’s clear her self-esteem and sense of self-worth is on the up and up. 

“What I see in the mirror [is] someone that’s overcome a lot,” she said. “I’ve been through a lot and I genuinely see a fighter,” Demi said. “I don’t see a championship winner, but I see a fighter and someone who is going to continue to fight no matter what is thrown their way.”

Lovato’s overall message was to her fans, asking them to remember that her artistry far outshines her tribulations.

Sure, Lovato’s road to being sober has been long and toilsome but it has not been nearly as long or penetrating as the former Disney’s star assent as a singer. Lovato who has been in the spotlight since 2002, has won an MTV Music award, five People’s Choice Awards, made a Guinness World Record and has received two Grammy Award nominees. As she points out, she’s a singer first, “a lot of the things that I have been through outshined my successes in the music industry. I just want people to remember that that’s what I want to give to the world, so please focus on that.”

The number one takeaway from Lovato’s appearance at the Teen Vogue summit is that she’s got her confidence back.

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“I have a lot of confidence now because I have said the things I believe in. I know I can hold my own on a first date with someone, in a conversation with someone. That’s what I see when I look in the mirror — a strong woman.”

While Lovato didn’t drop too much information about her next steps and next plans she did say she has been getting to work at the studio.

“I have new music coming,” she told fans. “I didn’t say when — now I’m just teasing you. It’s important to remember that I am so cautious this time around of jumping back into things. I’ve really decided to take my time with things. When the time is right, I will put it out there.”