Entertainment

Yalitza Aparicio Made Her Debut At NYFW And She Shined Like The Star That She Is Next To The Fashion World’s Elite

Indigenous Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio marked her New York Fashion Week debut at a Michael Kors show this week. The 25-year-old was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress last year when she made another debut. It was Aparicio’s first time acting when she was cast in Alfonso Cuaron’s 2018 drama Roma. Aparicio has staked her claim as one of Hollywood’s most talented leading ladies. 

She is the first Latinx actress to be nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in 14 years, making her the second Mexican woman to do so, and the first Indigenous American woman to get a nom. Aparicio is Mixtec and Trique. Raised by a single mother who worked as a maid, Aparicio has no formal acting training. She has a degree in early childhood education and was pursuing another in pre-school education when she was cast in Roma. 

Aparicio’s ascent comes at a time when Latinx and indigenous representation are sorely lacking and much needed in media. 

Yalitza Aparicio attends Michael Kors Show at NYFW.

Credit: MichaelKhors / Instagram

Yalitza Aparicio made her New York Fashion Week debut at Michael Kors’ Brooklyn Navy Yard show. Other celebrities in attendance included Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Sutton Foster, Lucy Hale, Emily Ratajkowski, Mafalda, Olympia of Greece, and Ella Hunt to name a few.

“I will see how it actually is because all I know is what you see online,” Aparicio told Women’s Wear Daily of seeing the clothes up close for the first time. 

The 25-year-old Roma star is still adjusting to life after awards season. Her breakout performance quickly ushered her into the Hollywood stratosphere, and while Aparicio is in talks for some new roles, she is focused on adjusting and humanitarian work. 

“I was trying to assimilate all that had happened,” she said. “[People] wanted to meet me and ask questions about the film and how it had been filmed all over the world; it was all sort of a big dream.” 

Aparicio sits front row.

Credit: Oaxaca3373 / Instagram

In fashion, it’s considered an honor to be sitting in the front row of a runway show. It’s why snaps of Vogue’s elusive editor Anna Wintour sitting poised with her signature sunglasses have become iconic. Aparicio was not denied a seat at the table, as she was sitting in between the notable leading ladies Sutton Foster, Kate Hudson, and Nicole Kidman. 

Aparicio looked statuesque in a silver, metallic crushed silk lamé wrap dress from the 2019 Michael Kors Collection. 

“I really didn’t think it would happen this soon, but fortunately, through this experience, I’ve been able to really take on the next step,” she told E.T. of her unexpected and exponential rise to success.

“I really learned a lot over this past year, but the most important thing is that at its core, my essence, I’m still the same person,” she continued. “It’s just a matter of adapting everything I’ve learned that really works for me.” 

Native American appropriation still runs rampant in fashion.

Just last week French fashion brand Dior pulled an advertisement following accusations of cultural appropriation. The ad was for the fragrance “Sauvage,” whose spokesperson is Johnny Depp, and featured indigenous people of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe in South Dakota performing the Fancy War Dance. Indigenous people were offended. 

Who are the real sauvages? 

“Using Indigenous people and our culture for your new perfume aesthetic and feeling the need to name it “Sauvage” is a completely bad take. Do better @Dior,” an indigenous person wrote. 

Sauvage is the French word for “savage” an offense term used to describe indigenous people by white colonizers, and one that is still used today to dehumanize indigenous people. This is well-known information, even the Disney animated film Pocahontas, which is a lazy retelling of history at best, features a song called “Savages” sung by the colonizers. 

Indigenous people have long faced discrimination and erasure.

“To describe a Indigenous Person as Sauvage…. Is not cool.. Period. I am not a Savage..we are described in the Declaration of Independence as “Savages”…. So no honor no respect. Coming from a 100 percent indigenous two-spirit… Not cool Johnny,” said one Twitter user. 

Others have pointed out that indigenous people are described as “savages” in the Declaration of Independence as a means to deny their rights. Many indigenous Canadians were especially upset. Canada has a large population of French-Canadians as well as a relatively larger indigenous population, thus the word sauvage, in its most derogatory form, is a constant presence in the lives of indigenous Canadians.  

Aparicio’s presence in NYFW, and in Hollywood, is all the more important as indigenous and Latinx voices need to be heard and represented. 

‘Roma’ Star Aparicio Is Named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador And Will Advocate For The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

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‘Roma’ Star Aparicio Is Named UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador And Will Advocate For The Rights Of Indigenous Peoples

Within a matter of just a year, Mexican actress Yalitza Aparicio has made a name for herself as both an artist and an activist. Earlier this year, the 25-year-old actress, born in Tlaxiaco, Mexico, made history as the first indigenous actor nominated for the best actress award at the Academy Awards for her breakout role in the film “Roma.” In the months after the film came out, the actress has worked hard to display her Mixteco language and heritage, financially support Oaxan students from her hometown, and combat any stereotypes or ignorant impressions you might have of indigenous people. For her work, the young actress is, once again, being honored. 

This time, it’s with a wonderful new role with the United Nations’ cultural agency United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a goodwill ambassador for indigenous people.

On Friday, UNESCO— a Paris-based organization— announced that they had appointed Aparicio to help them advocate for gender equality and indigenous rights. 

yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

In an interview about her newest role, Aparicio said that she felt “proud to be an indigenous woman” and would like to aim “to go hand in hand with UNESCO in the best way, to be able to support these indigenous communities.”

According to NBC News, the young actress also said that it was her hope that she would pass on the traditional wisdom of indigenous communities as well as combat racism. “As my grandparents used to say: ‘You have to take care of the land because you eat it.’ So hopefully we learn this part,” she said.

During her announcement of her new role, Aparicio said that it would also be her goal to shed light on the various legal complications that indigenous people face in the government systems around the world. 

yalitzaapariciomtz/ Instagram

“There are several cases where there are indigenous people who are judged in a foreign language, without the right to have a translator and I think it’s something that we should take action on”, she said.

There’s no doubt that based on the year Aparicio has had that she is a woman who understands first hand why advocacy for indigenous people is so important. 

yalitzaapariciomtz / Instagram

The Academy Award-nominated actress Yalitza Aparicio became the first Mexican woman to receive such an honor. However, despite the respect and esteem, she should have earned, it wasn’t uncommon for her to receive unwarranted racism from her community of actors in Mexico. At one point, telenovela star Sergio Goyri used racist slurs to say that he didn’t feel Yalitza Aparicio deserved an Oscar nomination. In a video posted to the veteran actor’s Instagram, he  commented that Aparicio should not have received a nomination for an Academy Award saying  in Spanish “Que metan a nominar a una pinche india que dice, ‘sí señora, no señora’, y que la metan a una terna a la mejor actriz del Oscar.

In English, his offensive and vulgar language translate to “That they nominate an Indian click that says, ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am’, and that they put it in a shortlist for the best Oscar actress.”

Later the actor apologizes saying that it was “never my intent to offend anyone. I apologize to Yalitza, who deserves [the Oscar nomination] and much more,” the 60-year-old said on Instagram. “For me, it is an honor to see a Mexican be nominated for an Oscar.”

Staying above it all like always, Aparicio responded to Goyri’s offensive remarks by stating that she was proud of who she is and where she is from. 

“I am proud to be an Oaxacan indigenous woman, and it saddens me that there are people who do not know the correct meaning of words,” Aparicio said in a statement to The Guardian.

“Roma” director, Alfonso Cuarón, also came to the defense of Aparicio this week by saying that Goyri’s words should be a broader discussion as to why people, particularly in Mexico, have those feelings, and also why the media perpetuates stereotypes.

With all that Aparicio has experienced, we’re excited to see what she does for Indigenous people in her newest role.

Aparicio has continued to prove this year that she is nothing but a rising star on the scene. Despite the fact that English was not a language she knew fluently when she took up her first Hollywood film (and first film!) she continues to be the face of international success and proof that anyone can come from any circumstance and get to the top. We hope that her new role she will outshine any ignorance and cruelty that might come her way and that she will continue the fight for freedom for Indigenous people everywhere.

Vogue Mexico And Latin America Celebrated Their 20th Anniversary By Highlighting Indigenous Women On Their New Covers

Culture

Vogue Mexico And Latin America Celebrated Their 20th Anniversary By Highlighting Indigenous Women On Their New Covers

This week Vogue Mexico and Latin America celebrated its twentieth anniversary with six different covers featuring iconic Latin-American women. “This is a big celebration,” read an article on the magazine’s website. The covers feature prominent women from indigenous groups as well as other powerful women who’ve made strides in culture and gastronomy, such as María Lorena Ramírez the Tarahumara runner and Oaxacan cook Abigail Mendoza. 

The publication took to Instagram to reveal the covers. “This is how we celebrate our 20 years!” reads the caption of the cover featuring Tarahumaran runner María Lorena Ramírez, atop a rocky hill in her typical dress and huaraches, “This edition of #VogueMexico is an homage to our country. We traveled north and south to share the stories of women who are true leaders of our time. Each one of these inspirations is a tribute.” 

María Lorena Ramírez, the ‘Rarámuri Runner’ is an indigenous woman who won an ultramarathon in huaraches.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

The six commemorative covers feature leaders in their own discipline. María Lorena Ramírez is featured on the top cover of the issue. The indigenous Rarámuri has won the world’s attention for being the first Rarámuri woman to run an ultramarathon in Europe. She was invited to participate by the Tenerife Bluetrail Organization in 2017 after winning a 50km (30 miles) race in Tlatlauquitepec, Puebla. In 2018 she ran the 102 kilometers of the Ultramarathon in a time of 20:11:37, earning her the 5th best time in her category.

Lorena captivated the media due to her unconventional attire during the races.

Credit: marcosferro / Instagram

The indigenous woman refuses to wear anything other than the traditional dress of her people, known as “los de los pies ligeros” or “the people with the light feet”, she also runs in her traditional huaraches.

Mexican actor Gael García Bernal is turning María Lorena Ramírez’s story into a Netflix show. ‘Río Grande, Rìo Bravo’ will dedicate a half hour episode to the 24 year old Rarámuri runner who beat five hundred athletes from twelve different countries in an ultratrail race, wearing her open-toe huaraches.

Abigail Mendoza cooks with the traditions of the Zapotecan culture, a tribute to her ancestors, to the history of Mexico and especially to Oaxaca.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

Pictured in her traditional braids and apron, surrounded by the women in her family, Abigail Mendoza is included in this tribute by Vogue as a world-famous indigenous cook who proudly serves traditional Zapotecan cuisine. “People said: ‘How am I going to eat indigenous food!?’ she recalls in an interview with Mexican newspaper ‘El Universal’, “Now people pay attention to indigenous food because of the recognition I’ve received” she added, “but before that, no one cared.” “I wasn’t afraid to show it to the world”.

In 1993 Mendoza was featured in The New York Times, which named her restaurant ‘Tlamanalli’, one of the top 10 best restaurants in the world. The Oaxacan cook published a book ‘Dishdaa´w, Zapotecan for “the word is infinitely woven with food” in which, she explains, “I leave all my knowledge of traditional food, to humanity and future generations. Which is what I’m trying to rescue in this town.”

A group of Bolivian cooks turned alpinists who have climbed the highest peak of Latin-America in their traditional dress.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

Las Cholitas escaladoras de Bolivia are Bolivian Aymara indigenous women who until recently, worked as cooks and caretakers for mountaineers from around the world, catering to the crews who headed to the high peaks of the Andes. One day they decided to strap up and hike to the top themselves. The term “chola” is a derogatory term for indigenous women in Bolivia and these brave women reclaimed it, to turn the word into a term of pride.  “At over 6,000 meters of altitude, just like reaching for the clouds, the #cholitasescaladoras are an example of strength and virtue,” wrote Vogue Mexico and Latin America on Instagram.

Juana Burga a Peruvian top model with a heart of gold.

Credit: voguemexico / Instagram

Juana Burga is the only Peruvian model to have walked in New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Week. In addition to her work in modeling, Burga is an activist who works to protect artisans who produce sustainable fibers that are exported worldwide. She is the founder of Nuna Awaq, an initiative that aim to revalue artisan’s work and give them opportunities for development through luxury, in a sustainable and socially responsible way.