Entertainment

This Chinese-Mexican Model Has A Superhuman Memory For Countries And Their Shapes

This is what happens when you listen to your parents y te pones las pilas.

Courtney McCullough is an L.A.-based Mexican-Chinese actress, model, and photographer, but she’s got one peculiar skill: distinguishing countries based solely on their shape. McCullough was recently on FOX’s new show “SuperHuman,” with judge Christina Milian, and she showed America her impressive skills.

The premise of “SuperHuman” is simple. The show brings in people with “superhuman” abilities and tests their skills to see if they can live up to their claims. In McCullough’s case, she was given a group of shapes that contained two real countries. McCullough was challenged to distinguish which of the shapes were the real countries. After separating the real countries, she was then asked to name the countries just by their shapes.

As judge and brain surgeon Dr. Rahul Jandial said, the task is similar to someone giving you a puzzle, then dumping pieces from different puzzles on top and leaving you to figure out which ones are true and which ones aren’t. Spoiler: She totally rocked her challenge with a perfect score. Check it out.

McCullough spoke with mitú about being on the show, her impressive memory, and connecting with her Mexican roots.

McCullough is a Mexican-Chinese-American who has always been thoroughly connected to her Chinese roots, but only recently did she start exploring her Mexican half.

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A post shared by Courtney McCullough (@courtneymccullough6) on

McCullough told mitú that she grew up in a predominately Asian community so that side of her culture was always around her. Her Mexican side was always a mystery since she didn’t grow up with her Mexican family members nor was she exposed to Latino culture.

“It wasn’t until the election last year that I really began to embrace my heritage and what it means to be a Mexican in the USA,” McCullough told mitú. “I ended up traveling to Mexico 5 times within the last year to understand my culture a bit more and now I can proudly say I wear my multicultural ethnic background with pride.”

Mexico has even made it into her top favorite places she has visited.

At the Mayan ruins of Edzna. Thank you @escdann for the photo and wonderful tour ?

A post shared by Courtney McCullough (@courtneymccullough6) on

“The places that have been the most memorable for me are the Philippines for the friendliness of the people, southern Mexico for the hospitality, delicious food, and Mayan culture,” McCullough told mitú. “Sydney for its vibe; Jerusalem because there is nowhere else on earth like it;  Petra for its natural beauty; and Paris, because Paris.”

But, even though she has traveled so extensively, McCullough does say that competing on “SuperHuman” was definitely a challenge.

“In my day job as an actress and model, I am not unaccustomed to being on camera and making split second decisions, but this was a whole other level of nerves,” McCullough told mitú about her “SuperHuman” challenge.

And it only makes sense that such a well traveled person would find travel important for everyone’s personal growth.

“I think travel is important because it expands one’s world view and perspective,” McCullough told mitú. “I have personally grown so much from my experiences and have greater compassion and respect for humanity.”


PLAY: Take This Quiz And Find Out If Any Of That Geography You Learned Actually Sunk In

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California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

Culture

California Man Is Using His Culture To Create Hilarious And Super Relevant Mexican Greet Cards

paper_tacos / Instagram

Jesus Ruvalcaba was an artist looking for more creative freedom in his life. Even after getting a job as an art director at eBay and Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley, the then 36-year-old felt complacent. It was a stop at a grocery store when he went to buy his mother a birthday card that a light bulb flashed in his head. 

“I looked at all these cards but couldn’t find something that resonated with my Latino culture,” Ruvalcaba said. “I felt that an entire population group was being ignored.”

That night planted the seeds of what would eventually become Paper Tacos, a greeting card business focusing on Mexican culture and traditions. From get well soon messages that read “sana sana colita de rana” ((heal, heal little frog) to birthday cards that read “sapo verde,” Ruvalcaba had tapped into a demographic that wasn’t typically represented in the greeting card business. 

“I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt like this,” he said. “This was more than just about a greeting card but seeing my culture being seen.” 

Ruvalcaba, the son of two Mexican immigrants, got most of his inspiration growing up in the Central Valley fields of California. He worked alongside his parents in the isolated artichoke fields where he learned to draw. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

Ruvalcaba knew he wanted to be an artist at a young age and says growing up he would usually be found carrying around a sketchbook full of drawings. He didn’t grow up with much as his parents were Mexican immigrants who worked tirelessly as fieldworkers in the central California valley in cities like Castroville and later in Salinas. 

“My parents didn’t really know a lick of English so my drawings did a lot of the talking for me,” he says. “We didn’t have much growing up but they would buy me art supplies and always encouraged me to keep drawing.”

Those drawings would pave the way for a career in animation as Ruvalcaba became the first in his family to graduate college obtained a degree in graphic design at California State University Monterey Bay and eventually his Master’s degree. Shortly after, he would find himself in Silicon Valley working for companies like eBay and Hewlett-Packard as an art director. 

Ruvalcaba knew he could still do more with his talents. After attending a Dia de los Muertos art event in 2016, he met another artist selling Spanish prints with Mexican slogans. He was then reminded of that night at the market when he couldn’t find a Spanish greeting card for his mom. 

“It hit me right there and then that if I could come up with greeting cards that have Mexican sayings like “sana sana colita de rana,” I could tap into a market that was never really acknowledged prior.” Ruvalcaba said. 

After receiving encouragement from his girlfriend, Ruvalcaba put his illustration skills and graphic design experience to work as he produced his first set of 15 cards for 300 dollars. In Fall 2017, Paper Tacos became a reality. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

About a year after the idea of Paper Tacos first came up, Ruvalcaba attended the same art festival from the year prior and sold his first greeting card for $5 apiece. The response to the cards was immediate and customers told Ruvalcaba about what it meant to see their culture on a product like this.

“It felt like my idea was validated in a way and seeing everyone respond so positively to Paper Tacos was just the cherry on top,” said Ruvalcaba. “From there it only got even bigger.”

In the following months of 2017, Paper Tacos made its launch and by the end of 2017, he had made $2,000 within just three months of launching his site. In 2018, he had made over $12,000 in sales and today has over 20K followers on Instagram alone. When he started the business, there were only 15 card designs which have now grown to over 100. He’s also branded outside of California and is currently selling his greeting cards at 25 stores throughout the country.

For Ruvalcaba, Paper Tacos hasn’t been just any business move or a little extra income revenue. It’s a tribute to his Mexican background and a reflection of his culture that he feels is being celebrated every time one of his cards is given. 

Credit: Jesus Ruvalcaba / Paper Tacos

When asked about where his inspiration for his greeting cards come from, Ruvalcaba says his parents. Those long days working along with them in the artichoke fields and holidays where all they had was each other. 

“Every card is a reflection of me growing up in a Mexican household and other people have connected with that,” said Ruvalcaba. “When I brainstorm ideas I just look back to my childhood.”

That connection is something special he says. While Ruvalcaba still has a full-time job as a designer in Santa Clara, if things keep going the way they are, Paper Tacos will become his main focus. 

Through Instagram, Ruvalcaba has begun working with more freelancers to keep growing Paper Tacos and get more artists opportunities. His business plan is to expand to other Latino backgrounds to work and reach out to Salvadoran and Nicaraguan artists so that they too can see representation.  

“This business has shown me how powerful this product can be and every time someone tells me the impact that these cards have had on a family member or a friend, it sticks with me,” Ruvalcaba says. “It’s a special thing to know a simple greeting card can do this.”

READ: Patty Delgado Is Changing The World Of Latino Fashion With Her Own Store Hija De Tu Madre

“Real Housewives of Dallas” Cast Members Expressed ‘Shame’ At the Reunion Over LeeAnne Locken’s Anti-Latino Tirades

Entertainment

“Real Housewives of Dallas” Cast Members Expressed ‘Shame’ At the Reunion Over LeeAnne Locken’s Anti-Latino Tirades

Bravo TV

In the spellbinding finale to the most recent season of Real Housewives of Dallas, the entiriy of the cast condemned the show’s villain, LeeAnn Locken, for her racist and xenophobic behavior throughout the season. 

As we reported before, earlier in the season, Locken had a total meltdown when fellow castmates D’Andra Simmons and Kary Brittingham (who is Mexican) poked fun at the entrepreneur venture she spent so much time and money on: the L’Infinity dress. At a group dinner, Simmons and Brittingham publicly criticized the dress, insinuating that it was shoddily made and too complicated to wear. While Locken originally tried to brush off the teasing, she eventually snapped, leaving the table in tears.

Later, when she was being comforted by housewife Stephanie Hollman, is when she began to insult Brittingham based off her heritage.

Locken began her insults by accusing Brittingham of thinking she was “all Mexican and strong,” while really, she “ain’t survived s—”. As the season progressed, Locken continued to harp on Brittingham’s heritage, calling her everything from a “chirpy Mexican” to saying that she should “quit using my English words against me” and “find your own Mexican words.”

Locken’s racist and xenophobic behavior made waves on social media, with people Tweeting out their outrage at Locken’s offensive words. Some fans even created a petition on MoveOn.org demanding that Locken be terminated from the show. “I will not watch Bravo moving forward because they are supporting racism by not terminating her,” said a viewer by the name of Lisa A. “Bravo is perpetuating racism by not dealing with her.”

And while Locken apologized for her behavior this past season via a public statement, fans and viewers were still not having it.

Even Locken’s castmates were visibly put-off, expressing their “shame”, “disgust”, and “disappointment” at her behavior at the reunion.

Cast-member Brandi Redmond was one of the most vocal detractors of Locken’s behavior. “I don’t want to be associated. I feel ashamed,” she said. “And it’s not OK, LeeAnne. It’s not OK.” 

Locken, for her part, vacillated between defending her actions and apologizing for them. When being interviewed by host Andy Cohen about her choice of words, Locken explained that she didn’t know what she was saying was offensive. 

“In Texas, I mean, we use that word all the time, like, for everything,” she said. “Chirpy Mexican?” Cohen further prodded, to which Locken conceded wasn’t true. “No, not that,” she said. “Okay, I apologize…I didn’t use my words well and I didn’t like it when I watched it, I can tell you that. Mentally, I was not present and I was not putting my words together well”.

Locken went on to insist that, despite her actions, she was not, in any way, racist. 

“I’ve spent a lot of hours crying over this and realizing how horrible this was,” she told Cohen. “I know every bone in my body, and I know I don’t have a single bone that believes in discrimination. I believe in inclusion. I believe in acceptance,” she said.

Previously, she had tried to explain her “free love” mindset by illustrating that she couldn’t be racist due to her sexual history. “I’ve slept with plenty of Mexicans, by the way. Hot, f—— lovers, okay? I’ve sat in Julio Iglesias’ lap,” she said in a problematic confessional interview during the course of the season. 

To make matters worse, Cohen revealed that most of the cast members assumed Locken’s behavior would never make it to air.

According to Cohen. most of the cast-members assumed that Bravo would edit out Locken’s racist tirades in order to protect not only Locken, but the larger Bravo brand. Because of that, the RHOD cast avoided talking to Brittingham about what was going on behind her back.

 Obviously, the entire situation left Brittingham feeling hurt and isolated. According to her, the experience was “very sad” and “disappointing” for her. We doubt these women will ever be able to mend their friendship. 

Like every Real Housewives reunion, Twitter was on fire with reactions to the explosive season finale. 

One thing’s for sure: The Real Housewives of Dallas has found a way to combine the intoxicating pull of reality television with the more serious issues of the day (namely, American discrimination against Latinos).

This person had no time for Locken’s labeling her behavior as a “mistake”

She has a good point here. Locken’s continuous behavior is proof of deeper discriminatory beliefs.

This person explained why continuously bringing up someone’s country of origin is, indeed, problematic.

It’s one thing not to get along with someone. It’s another to use their ethnicity as an insult. 

This person applauded Andy Cohen for refusing to let Locken’s behavior slide. 

Although Bravo could’ve handled the entire situation better, at least they’re holding Locken responsible for her words and actions.