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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. 

Not Even Danny Trejo Has A Celebrity Face Tattoo

Entertainment

Not Even Danny Trejo Has A Celebrity Face Tattoo

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It’s 2020 and face tattoos are the new normal. While the distinguishing ink has a rich history that traces all of the ways back to Ancient Greece and China, today’s tattoo du jour is notably born from some mutual understanding that subversive acts like a spiderweb tatt on your elbow or bleaching your heard are no longer enough.

Amber Rose 

The mother of two has said she truly took the death of Kobe Bryant to heart and was inspired to tattoo her children’s names on her forehead.

Presley Gerber

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Thanks homie 😈 @jonboytattoo

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When Cindy Crawford’s son and model Presley Gerber tattooed the lower part of his eye fans were shocked. Mostly because as it turns out, no matter how much they liked him they were “misunderstood” about him. The young model’s choice to tattoo the word on his face was baffling decision.

Post Malone

Post Malone might just be the reason why face tattoos took flight this year. The American rapper has a number of face tattoos including the words “Stay Away” on his forehead, and “always tired” under both of his eyes.

Aaron Carter

Speaking to Entertainment Tonight in a recent interview, the pop star explained that his face tattoo was done in honor of his career. According to Carter his tattoo is an image of Greek monster Medusa who Carter sees as his protector.

Justin Bieber

Yep, the once cleaned up teen hearthrob also has face ink. Though his are a bit more discreet Bieber does have a small cross under his left eye and the word “grace” above his right eyebrow.

Halsey

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👽👽 WICKED THING 👽👽

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Halsey also has a small tattoo that is very difficult to recognize. It’s very discreet and hard to spot. Her face tattoo is made up of a red diamond with a “Q” above it. It’s just in front of one of her ears.

These are just some of your favorite stars who have face tattoos that mean something very important to them. They’re very unique and it is one of their ways of expressing themselves. 

In A World Where Everything Is Catered To White People, Selena Quintanilla Has Long Been The Splash Of Color My Latina Soul Needed

Fierce

In A World Where Everything Is Catered To White People, Selena Quintanilla Has Long Been The Splash Of Color My Latina Soul Needed

selenaspizzas/ Instagram

Long before shops the likes of Urban Outfitters and Forever 21 began to bank on her image to sell $54 shirts to non-Latinx hipsters, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez was an icon and legend for young Latinas living across the globe. Ask a Latina and no doubt she has some sort of connection the Tejano singer whether its coordinating sons to “Baila Esta Cumbia” with her primas or playing her VHS biopic on repeat until the tape ran thin. The queen of Latinx music will always be an influential personality in Latino culture in the United States. Her music and the tragic circumstances of her death made her a pop culture phenomenon that escaped the niche Hispanic market. After her death, Hollywood studios furiously vied for the rights to adapt her incredible rags-to-riches story to the big screen. Selena is a fundamental Latino icon even 23 years after her death in 1995, at the tender age of 23.

Next time someone asks you at a party why you tear up listening to the late great Selena, be sure to serve them with these facts:

1. She brought Tejano music to mainstream America and proved women are capable of anything.

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She is amazing 😍 #selenaquintanilla#90s#fashion

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Before Selena Mexican-American music was considered an eccentricity and was definitely not played in non-Hispanic clubs and radio stations.  Speaking about the experience of being a Latinx signer, Selena once said “Tejano music was hard for us because I was a girl. My dad had a lot of problems while trying to set up shows for us or presentations because there are a lot of men who don’t think that women can get the attention of the public. But . . . wrong!” No doubt the Texas-born singer changed these harsh attitude during her life and after her untimely death.

2. She valued family

Selena might have gained worldwide notoriety in her own right, but long before she was just Selena she had a career as part of the Quintanilla family group Selena y Los Dinos, where her two older siblings also made pompas shake. Like the rest of us, familia was always important to Selena and she never forgot her origins and the role that her family had in her success. Speaking about the struggles she was grateful for enduring with her family, Selena said “We went through a hard time, and we had to turn to music as a means to putting food on the table. And we’ve been doing it ever since. No regrets either.”

3. She was proud of her heritage

Singing in Spanish when you’re not fluent can be a pretty challenging act in itself if you want to break into the mainstream, and Selena was unapologetic about her efforts to do so. “I feel very proud to be Mexican,” Selena once said in an interview about her culture. “I didn’t have the opportunity to learn Spanish when I was a girl, but . . . it’s never too late to get in touch with your roots.” Many singers and actors of Latino origin change their names for a more English-sounding or a more neutral one. But not our Selena. She didn’t look for a fancy name and good on her: Selena is such a powerful, defining name that shines on any billboard.

4. She knew that not all women are straight-sized and many have curves

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, but it has long been dictated by mass media which has, in so many cases, severely distorted our perceptions of women’s bodies. Selena was proud of her curves. Eso mija, eres una fregona.  “I’m very real, very sincere, and honest, and that’s how I’ll always be,” the star once said in an interview. 

5. She had a unique style

Amidst the customary images and selling points of whitewashed media and the current political turmoils of today, it can be hard for a Latina to feel confident in her identity. Selena did so with aplomb. Her wardrobe choices were interesting and daring in equal measure, which is probably one of the reasons behind her success as a pop culture brand.  She was criticized by more conservative audiences for “revealing too much”. We say al carajo con sus juicios.  Still, the Tejano singer stayed strong her opinions about her self, saying once, “Always believe that the impossible is always possible.”

6. Because she showed that Latinas can be captains of their fate as well as the fiercest activists.

“What I don’t like are arrogant people. We’re all equal. I don’t like it when a person assumes to be better,” Quintanilla once stated in an interview.  Her posthumous campaign with cosmetics giant MAC demonstrated that Latino women in particular and women of color, in general, could and should carry campaigns. She was beautiful and the world needed to see that.

7. She was active in her community “All I need to do is try and do the best that I can do”

As a minority, solidarity is key for the Latino community in the United States, particularly today. Selena embodied community values and never forgot her fellow Mexican-Americans. Certainly an example we should all follow. She grew up in Texas, where migratory patterns and backwards thinking about race make various segments of the Hispanic population feel vulnerable. Power to the people!

8. She urged children to stay en la escuela (don’t drop out, escuincles!)

“Music is not a very stable business. You know it comes and it goes, and so does money. But your education stays with you for the rest of your life.” Selena knew how important education is for minorities in the United States, and that hard work and academic development are the only way for the community to strive. She constantly visited schools and urged young chamacos not to drop out. Respect.

9. Because she was an independent self-made woman “If you have a dream, don’t let anybody take it away”

She was young but life taught her that all you have is yourself. We can’t believe she was just 23 when she died. Truly wise beyond her years.

Read: Mariah Carey Got Real About Being Biracial And Her Words Will Undoubtedly Have Afro-Latinas Feeling So Seen

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