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NBC Latina Correspondent Mariana Atencio Says She Was Told Not To Dress ‘Too Latina’ And More Like ‘Ivanka Trump’ And That’s Not Okay

Latina women struggle with workplace equality, imposter syndrome and feeling as if we don’t belong in certain institutions, and we’re also constantly told to shrink ourselves in order to not make others (read: white people) uncomfortable with our Latinidad. Another policing of our identities and how we navigate the workplace and the world is when others tell us what to wear or not wear. 

None of this is okay and Latina women deserve more respect and freedom to be our unapologetic selves.

NBC/MSNBC correspondent Mariana Atencio wrote in her new book that an unnamed female manager told her not to dress “too Latina” for the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2017.

According to Newsweek, the manager told Atencio that she should dress more like Ivanka Trump. In her new book, Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real, Atencio writes about how happy she was to represent the Latinx community and how proud she was to have a seat at the table, “literally and figuratively.” 

She also writes about the encounter she had with the unnamed female manager who gave her a call before the White House Correspondents Dinner and asked what she planned to wear to the dinner. 

“It was a weird phone call—with an even weirder request,” Atencio writes. ” ‘Why do you ask?’ I replied. ‘Please don’t look too Latina.’ At first, I thought I didn’t hear correctly. ‘I beg your pardon?’ I asked. ‘When you pick your outfit, I mean. Don’t look too Latina.'”

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“I felt offended. Outrage and indignation hit me at once… This person was making me feel smaller and smaller with each word. Can you imagine someone in your field asking you to please not look so African American? Or Asian? Or white? Don’t look so Muslim or Christian? How do you change who you are?,” Atencio wrote. 

However, according to Atencio—the manager didn’t stop there with her unsolicited fashion advice. She went on to advise Atencio to go to Saks Fifth Avenue “and have someone help you out.” The female manager told Atencio, “‘Have them pick out something demure. Not too colorful or tight. Think Ivanka Trump, OK?'”

First of all, how do you dress “too Latina”? If that’s the case, should we stoop to the same level and say, “Ivanka, can you dress a little less like the complicit daughter of a racist commander in chief”?

According to a statement given to USA Today, MSNBC called the manager’s comments “highly inappropriate and unacceptable. More than a year and a half later, when it was first brought to a manager’s attention, immediate action was taken. Since this is an HR matter and there are privacy concerns, we won’t go into greater detail.”

In an interview with NBC News, the award-winning Venezuelan correspondent spoke about the incident and shared more lessons of inclusivity and diversity as well as what she hopes the book will achieve. The Latina immigrant journalist and author began her career in Venezuela and talked about what it was like being one of the first Latina journalists on air when she first began her career. 

“When I first started, it was more of, ‘How can we tone this down?’ But with time it was realizing that in fact, I had to be more myself,” Atencio said. 

She goes on to say that she wanted to include the anecdote in her memoir not to focus on the negative but to remind readers that “these things still happen. We have to call them out and have conversations as adults about how to get past them.”

People on social media shared their own experiences about going through something similar to what Atencio went through. 

Daisy Fuentes tweeted that she could relate and that it’s “time to end the racist stereotypes.” 

Another journalist said he’s heard this countless times from Latina coworkers in the media industry.

We’re glad men in the industry are also bringing to light this discriminatory and dangerous stereotype against Latina women and the Latinx community in general. 

Latinx film critic Yolanda Machado also shared that she’s been told to not “go all Latina” in reference to getting upset over something in the workplace.

“Most of these are followed by ‘I don’t see color, but…’ or ‘I don’t mean you, of course, but…'” she tweeted. “Racist. Racist. RACIST.” 

We applaud Mariana Atencio for including this in her memoir in order to work toward a future where Latina women in the workplace don’t have to undergo this type of behavior from others. 

“The message of my book is that you, too (readers) can make it. By sharing my journey, I hope to inspire (others) on their journey,” Atencio said of her memoir. 

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UPS Finally Lifts Its Discriminatory Ban on Natural Black Hairstyles

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UPS Finally Lifts Its Discriminatory Ban on Natural Black Hairstyles

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

UPS is finally catching up with the times and making some broad-ranging changes to various parts of its dress code.

The delivery company announced on Tuesday that it would lift its long-standing restrictions against natural Black hairstyles like locs, braids and afros. In addition, the company is lifting its policy on requiring drivers to be clean-shaven. The company also announced that it would no longer have gender-specific guidelines about dress and appearance–such as putting restrictions on the length of its drivers’ shorts based on their gender.

UPS released a statement saying, “these changes reflect our values and desire to have all UPS employees feel comfortable, genuine and authentic while providing service to our customers and interacting with the general public.”

Per UPS, their decision to finally overhaul the long-detested policy came from their CEO, Carol Tomé, who received feedback from employees that their appearance policies made them less likely to recommend UPS as an employer to potential employees. On a recent conference call, Tomé also announced that UPS would be providing trainings to employees on anti-racisms and how to identify and combat unconscious bias.

While the announcement is obviously a step in the right direction, the change still feels like a long time coming. Back in 2018, UPS was fined $4.9 million by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit alleged that UPS’s “strict appearance policy has operated to exclude Muslims, Sikhs, Rastafarians, and other religious groups from equal participation and advancement in the workforce for many years.”

Natural hair discrimination by employees has recently been making national headlines after the CROWN Act was passed as law in seven states. The CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) prevents employees from discriminating against Black people who wear their hair in natural or protective styles.

Again, while many people were happy with the news, the announcement nevertheless brought up some bittersweet feelings.

The fact that it took UPS so long to change what we now know is a blatantly racist policy doesn’t feel like it should be worth celebrating.

This Twitter user pointed out that UPS’s policies policing Black women’s hair is an example of the insidious nature of structural racism.

Why has it taken UPS 113 years to realize that its policies on employee appearances are discriminatory? Probably because they weren’t even realizing how much the policies penalized Black people for the hair that naturally grows out of their heads in the first place.

This person had a perfect response to people who say “It’s just hair.”

The fact that Black people have to change their natural appearance in order to be earn a living is inherently wrong.

This Twitter user shared his firsthand experience of being subjected to UPS discriminatory “appearance guidelines”.

We wonder how many other people with locs have similar stories. This man wasn’t even allowed to interview for the company–literal gatekeeping at its worst.

This person pointed out that UPS is not the only company to police their Black employees’ natural hair.

UPS is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a still a lot of work to do when it comes to dismantling the structural racism of many companies’ policies.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Chelsea Clinton Just Got Super Real About The Nail In The Coffin That Ended Her Friendship With Ivanka Trump

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Chelsea Clinton Just Got Super Real About The Nail In The Coffin That Ended Her Friendship With Ivanka Trump

Lars Niki / Getty

What’s that phrase again… BFFs?

Not too long ago, Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump were such friends, determined to show the world they’d remain close no matter what their parents battle for the 2016 presidency brought out. In fact, back in 2015, during an interview with ET Clinton asserted that she had a tight friendship with President Donald Trump’s oldest daughter.

“Ivanka and I talk about everything,” Clinton explained during an interview at the time. “I’m so grateful she’s my friend. I think she’s a great woman, and I support her as I support all my friends.” Turns out the commitment of friendship and support didn’t last so long. It only took… countless false claims, racism, and sexism to take a toll.

In a recent appearance on “Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen” Clinton made it pretty clear their duo is no more.

“I’ve not spoken to her since 2016 and I have no interest in being friends with someone who is not only complicit but actively taking part in this administration’s everyday collision of cruelty and incompetence,” she asserted in the interview. “That’s the answer.”

“We were in touch at the beginning of the campaign,” Clinton went on to explain. “But it’s just really hard when there’s someone who’s actively embracing their candidate—whether it’s their father or not—who is trafficking in racism and sexism and antisemitism and Islamophobia and homophobia and transphobia and conspiracy theories and lies and is so fundamentally corrupt.”

“I don’t think [Ivanka and her father] are the same by any standard, but I think she’s more than complicit, as anyone who has worked for him for so long by definition is,” she continued. “And I don’t want to be friends with someone like that.”

When it came to her take on the president’s performance at last Tuesday’s debate with Joe Biden, Clinton described Trump as a ghoul.

“Donald Trump is still a racist, incompetent, miserable ghoul of a human being,” she asserted during her interview.

Of course, Chelsea isn’t the only Clinton to criticize Trump’s debate behavior.

Like many of us, Clinton took issue with Trump’s contribution to the 90-minute circus which saw endless interruptions and crosstalk. The decorum of the evening became so broken down that even Biden fumed at one point “Will you shut up, man?!”

During the debates, journalist Jill Filipovic tweeted at the former presidential candidate who went head to head against Trump back in 2016.

“‘Will you shut up, man’ is the line of the night,” Filipovic tweeted. “I so feel for Hillary right now because I’m positive she wanted to say that and couldn’t.”

Clinton was quick to respond to the comment replying “You have no idea.”

Soon after the debate Clinton replied to another tweet from Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten Buttigieg, who wrote in a tweet “Has anyone checked in on @HillaryClinton ? Girl I’m so sorry.”

“Thanks, I’m fine,” she wrote back. “But everyone better vote.”

Last week’s parley marked the first of three presidential debates that will take place on Oct. 15 and Oct. 22. VP picks Kamala Harris and Mike Pence will also battle it out on the stage this week on Oct. 7.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com