Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant’s Daughters Threw Her The Sweetest Cinco de Mayo Birthday

Every year since they first got together in November of 1999, Vanessa Bryant and her late husband, basketball great Kobe Bryant, have celebrated her birthday. That’s 21 years of birthdays and looking to the future. This year, Bryant celebrated her birthday, not alone, but also not with the longtime partner she has called the love of her life.

The mother of four rang in her 38th birthday alongside her three remaining daughters.

Bryant’s daughters Natalia, 17, and Bianka, 3, and Capri, 10 months surprised their mother with flower arrangements and an abundance of piñatas.

“#CincodeMayo #TacoTuesday #micumpleaños 🎂 Thx to my girls for ordering these flowers and piñatas for mama. ❤️😘,” Vanessa captioned the photo featuring her celebrations with her daughters on Instagram.

Vanessa shared more of the sweet celebrations on her Instagram Story and boy, did her daughters go all out for her birthday.

Vanessa Bryant Instagram
Vanessabryant/ Instagram

No doubt, Bryant, who is is of Mexican descent, has an undeniably special birthdate considering it lands on Cinco de Mayo.

Bryant also shared a photo of a sweet card from her oldest daughter, Natalia that hints at the closeness of their relationship.

Vanessa Bryant Instagram
Vanessabryant/ Instagram

“You are strongest person I know and I am so grateful to have you as my mom! I will always be the Ethel to your Lucy!” Natalia wrote on the note.

It’s been nearly five months since the tragic death of NBA great Kobe Bryant and his similarly talented daughter Gianna. Grief still lingers for their loved ones left behind however and recently, Vanessa Bryant was reminded of her tragic loss once more as she was forced to celebrate her own birthday without her late husband and daughter.

Still, despite their noted absence on her big day, Bryant was given an emotional surprise that, while bitter, seemed very sweet.

On May 5th, Bryant celebrated her birthday and shared a special surprise from her day on Instagram.

In a post to her Instagram page, Bryant revealed that before her birthday, she found an envelope addressed to her and from her late husband.

“Yesterday I found an envelope labeled To: The Love of my Life. From, Tu Papi I waited to open one more letter on my birthday. It gave me something to look forward to today. The irony is that Kobe had a photo of me drawn with an Angel holding me up by an artist on the cover. Missing the Love of my Life and my sweet little Mamacita- my fellow Taurus. Grateful to wake up to my 3 sweet girls today. Wish we were all together,” she wrote in the caption.

Bryant kept the message left behind for her private, but we can only imagine how emotional her experience in reading it was.

Bryant’s surprising post comes just a few days after she celebrated her deceased daughter Gigi’s birthday. In a caption about her birthday, Bryant encouraged Instagramers to “consider wearing red, caption an act of kindness or show how you will play Gigi’s way since she always gave everything she did her all and led with kindness.” She also asked fans to use the hashtag #PlayGigisWay to join in celebrating her daughter while also sharing an image of a special bracelet with her daughter’s nickname on it. “We are in the process of making this bracelet available for proceeds to benefit our Mamba and Mambacita foundation. I will update you with a post when we have them available for purchase),” she wrote.

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12 Latinas Who Absolutely Crushed It In 2020

Fierce

12 Latinas Who Absolutely Crushed It In 2020

Photos via Getty Images

2020 has been a helluva year. Not only did the entire globe suffer through the coronavirus pandemic, but Americans had to deal with an endless campaign, a nail-biting election, and its exasperating aftermath.

But throughout this grueling year, women (as usual) stepped up to the plate. In 2020, we were once again reminded how strong and resilient Latinas are. Despite its challenges, 2020 was a year of that Latinas proved they are innovators, activists, and artists.

Because of this, FIERCE by mitú has compiled a list of 12 Latinas who absolutely crushed 2020. Take a look at our picks below!

1. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Credit: Getty Images

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continued to crush the political game this year. Not only was she reelected to office, but she expertly fundraised for the Democratic party and started much-needed conversations. Ocasio-Cortez may be controversial, but she’s also powerful.

2. Vanessa Bryant

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Vanessa Bryant went through a year that is many people’s worst nightmare. But throughout her personal tragedy, Bryant exhibited an endless amount of strength and grace. She truly is an inspiration to women everywhere.

3. Nanette Cocero

via LinkedIn

Nanette Cocero may not be a household name (yet), but she is shaping up to be one of the most powerful Latinas in the world. This Puerto-Rican-born jefa is the Global President of Pfizer Vaccines. That means she’s in charge of the development and delivery of vaccines throughout the world. Cocero had her work cut out for her in 2020, and sis delivered.

4. Jennifer Lopez

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Jennifer Lopez is 51-years-old and she continues to turn everything she touches into gold. Not only did she perform at the Super Bowl’s halftime show this year (remember that?), but she also launched a much-anticipated skincare line.

5. Elizabeth Acevedo

Credit: acevedowrites/Instagram

Award-winning Dominicana author Elizabeth Acevedo published her first Young Adult novel, Clap When You Land, that tells the story of two half-sisters who discover they have the same father after he tragically dies in a plane crash. Recently, outlets reported that Clap When You Land will be adapted into a TV series. So it’s safe to say that Acevedo is having a good year.

6. Anya Taylor Joy

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Even in the middle of a pandemic, when most movie stars have had a tough year, Argentinian actress Anya Taylor Joy managed to have a breakthrough year. Not only did she star in the streaming phenomenon of the year, The Queens Gambit, but she headlined a movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma in February.

7. Shakira

Credit: shakira/Instagram

2020 was a fantastic year for Shakira. The Colombian singer started off the year by headlining the Super Bowl with JLo and she ended it by being the most-Googled artist of the year. Oh, and she also took the time to slam the Trump Administration for its “unimaginably cruel immigration policies” of separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

8. Cardi B

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Love her or hate her, Cardi B undoubtedly had a good year. Not only did the Cardi released the multi-platinum hit single “W.A.P.”, but she used her platform to educate her fans about the 2020 presidential election. She was also voted Billboard’s Woman of the Year.

9. Annie Segarra

Credit: annieelainey/Instagram

For years accessibility activist Annie Segarra has used her large platform (20,000 YouTube subscribers and 25,000 Twitter followers) to advocate for rights for disabled people, and in 2020 she had her work cut out for her. This year, Segarra tirelessly spoke up on behalf of disabled people who are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

10. Victoria Volkova

Credit: vicovolkov/Instagram

Victoria Volkova made headlines this year when she became the first trans model on cover of Playboy Mexico. She is also an outspoken advocate for trans and queer rights. She wrote a lovely tribute on her Instagram page in which she expressed hope that her cover would spark a conversation about the “different ways of being a woman.”

11. Sara Mora

Credit: misssaramora/Instagram

Back in 2017, Sara Mora publicly shared that she was undocumented, and her life snowballed ever since. This year, the Costa-Rican born immigrants rights activist used her platform and her non-profit, Population Mic, to spotlight civil rights issues like voter suppression and the migrant crisis.

12. Julie Chávez Rodriguez

Photo: Public Domain

You may know Julie Chávez Rodriguez as the granddaughter of César Chávez, but she also has her own claim to fame. The Biden administration just named her director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. We can’t wait to see this powerful Latina in the White House.

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TIME’s Person of the Year Special Included A Tribute To Kobe And Gianna Bryant

Things That Matter

TIME’s Person of the Year Special Included A Tribute To Kobe And Gianna Bryant

ANGELA WEISS / Getty

As we bid farewell to the year 2020, Vanessa Bryant is doing so as well.

The wife of late NBA player Kobe Bryant took some time to remember all of the loved ones lost in 2020, including her husband and their daughter Gianna during the TIME Person of the Year presentations. Speaking in a heartwarming message that aired last Thursday on NBC, Vanessa introduced the presentation’s In Memoriam segment.

Bryant spoke about grief felt in the last year during her introduction.

“Words cannot do justice to the grief we felt this year. At every level of human connection from across the world to across the table, we experienced profound loss,” Vanessa explained. “We said goodbye to husbands, daughters, wives, sons, grandparents, friends, and national heroes.”

“We continue to count the lives surrendered to this cruel pandemic, which has claimed well over a million souls, worldwide,” she continued in her speech. “Tonight, we mourn the people we all knew and the many we never will. May our collective grief unite us on the path forward.”

Following her speech, a video montage played a remembrance of the celebrities and public figures that passed away this year.

Vanessa’s late husband Kobe and Gigi, who died earlier this year in a tragic helicopter crash, were featured in the clip. They appeared alongside figures such as Regis Philbin, Sean Connery, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Trebek, Chadwick Boseman, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. “Over the Rainbow” was played by Cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Kathryn Stott during the memorial.

In addition to their memorial, TIME announced Lakers star, LeBron James, as their 2020 Athlete of the Year.

In a post shared to Twitter, the magazine wrote “What LeBron James has done is going to forever change the athlete’s role in society.” The magazine also announced K-pop band BTS the 2020 Entertainer of the Year. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were given the prestigious title of 2020 Person of the Year.

Speaking about her new role as the United States’ first female vice president, Kamala told TIME, “It is one of my responsibilities.”

“My mother had many sayings. She would say, ‘Kamala, you may be the first to do many things; make sure you’re not the last,'” she added. “Which is why [in my victory speech], I said, ‘I will be the first, but I will not be the last.’ And that’s about legacy. That’s about leaving the door more open than it was when you walked in.”

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