Fierce

Boricuas Are Using Makeup To Protest Governor Ricardo Rosselló And Highlight The U.S.’s Horrifying History Of Colonialism

Since last week, protests have erupted all over Puerto Rico as the island’s population campaigns to remove the current governor of the United States territory. After many government scandals, Governor Ricardo Rosselló has finally agreed to step down and resign from his post. The disgraced head of government is expected to hand over control of the island to Puerto Rico’s new Progressive Party. This comes after controversy following leaked private chats revealing the governor and his inside circle making mocking and degrading comments. It also precedes federal agents arresting members of Rosselló’s administration for alleged fraud and money laundering.

Thousands of Puerto Rican protesters flooded the streets of the island — chanting and demanding resignation. Celebrities like Bad Bunny and Ricky Martin flew to the island to join in the protests. Even Puerto Ricans in mainland America took to the streets in elaborate displays, doing the electric slide to the blaring music that accompanied the gathering.

All of these factors helped to rectify this unjust situation in PR but we would be totally in the wrong if we did not acknowledge the powerful makeup and face painting that also rallied resistors.

Twitter / @oppsyirwin

Twitter User Shaly Torres made it her mission to keep non-Spanish speakers in the loop with what is happening in Puerto Rico. In a thread pinned to her account, the Puerto Rican make up enthusiast shared pictures and information about the ongoing riots. In her thread, there was a common theme of showcasing protesters and their creative way of using makeup to express their demands.

In it, she encouraged makeup artists to take a stand with the protesting Puerto Ricans and don bold make up looks in support of their struggle.

Twitter / @oppsyirwin

It doesn’t take a lot to show your support for a movement. You don’t even have to be in the same area that a protest is impacting. Thanks to social media and the internet, we can connect with people across the world and understand their feelings. We can show them our support in both small and significant ways and that is what Torres encouraged in her post.

Across Twitter and Instagram, makeup artists and enthusiasts showed off their official face paint to honor the protesters in Puerto Rico.

Twitter / @melolops

To protest the sexual violence, fraud, and abuse that the corrupt Puerto Rican government has been perpetuating, some artists scrawled abusive words over their bodies and faces. This Twitter makeup artist painted the Puerto Rican flag upon her face near the word “Enough.” Her post asks, “Asi o mas claro” — is it clear enough what these protesters are asking for?

Protesters weren’t afraid to paint graphic images on their bodies to show the pain that they’ve endured thanks to this administration.

Twitter / @melolops

This protester painted “Dios nos libera del dinero” (God save us from money) — representing the financial corruption that Rosselló’s administration has used to rule over the Puerto Rican people. On her back is a hand holding a machete, thrust up in revolution. It’s accompanied by the rainbow flag to represent the discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community currently faces in Puerto Rico.

A common theme among the face paint was that the fires of revolution have caught and are now burning.

Twitter / @dversadi
This gorgeous revolutionary art shows its artist @dversadi engulfed in flames from the neck up. The fire licks up her cheeks to the dual Puerto Rican flags made up by her elaborate eye makeup. The look is made even more empowering when viewed under UV lights. She looks like a living embodiment of the revolution that the island is experiencing.

Support for the PR protesters has reached far and wide. This one, for example, comes from an artist in Connecticut.

Twitter / @moralesgian291

Makeup artist, Gian Morales, showed his support with this breathtaking paint job. Making himself the Puerto Rican flag, Morales depicts himself with tape sealing his mouth — no doubt a nod to how voiceless the current administration has made its citizens. His gorgeous eye makeup should be appreciated for the work of art that it is as well.

Protesters have gone above and beyond to make sure their message is heard.

Twitter / @molinangelia

Anchor for CBS News, David Begnaud, pointed out just how incredible the PR protesters are and he wondered what other innovative ways citizens will show their support of the revolution. He tweeted:

“I have to say: Puerto Ricans are the most creative protesters I’ve ever covered. Under the water In the water Yoga. What’s next?”

He was answered by Twitter user @monlinangelia who shared a picture of herself skydiving with the phrase, “Ricky Renuncia” painted on her arm. We have to call this one of the most daring protests we’ve seen during this conflict.

We aren’t sure what will change in the near future to improve conditions in Puerto Rico but we know that the citizens of the island will hold their new government accountable. They have the support of their people and the Latinx community around the world. One thing is clear: we can’t deny that these incredible makeup looks have made their mark on the revolution.

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Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

Entertainment

Who Is Mari Pepin? Everything You Need to Know About the Puerto Rican Beauty Queen and ‘The Bachelor’ Frontrunner

As you probably know by now, a new season of the never-ending reality series “The Bachelor” has just started.

And this season is destined to be especially exciting–not just because of the promise of non-stop drama, but because the franchise has finally hired its first Black male lead, Matt James, after 18 years on the air.

And with the first Black “Bachelor” comes the most diverse group of contestants competing for the lead’s heart that they’ve ever had.

And one of the contestants that is capturing the hearts of both fans and Matt James alike is 24-year-old Puerto Rican-born pageant queen Mariela “Mari” Pepin.

On this season’s premiere episode of “The Bachelor”, Mari was immediately clocked by viewers as one of the front runners by the way that Matt reacted to meeting her. The former Wake Forest wide receiver was struck speechless by her beauty and couldn’t keep his eyes off her when she parted ways with him. It was obvious that Mari had made quite the first impression on him.

And because we love to see #representation on screen (and especially on reality TV), we decided to do our due diligence and find out as much as we could about this gorgeous and accomplished Latina. Here’s everything you need to know about Mari Pepin.

She’s Boricua–and proud of it!

Something that immediately endeared Mari to fans was the fact that she is so vocally proud of being Puerto Rican. In her first sit-down conversation with Matt, she opened up about how hard its been for her family to live through the relentless natural disasters that the island is going through.

She’s a military brat.

According to Mari’s personal blog, she spent the first few years of her life in PR before relocating to Germany because of her father’s military career. According to Mari, her unique childhood contributed to her love of traveling as an adult.

She was 2019’s Miss Maryland USA.

According to Mari’s official “Bachelor” bio, she began competing in pageants when she moved to Maryland as a teenager. She won Miss Teen Maryland and then went on to win the title of Miss Maryland. After that, she placed in the Top 10 of the Miss USA competition.

She’s wicked smart.

According to Mari’s LinkedIn page, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Towson University and she’s currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marketing Intelligence from the same institution. It’s safe to say she values education.

She’s multilingual.

Not only does Mari speak both Spanish and English flawlessly, but she’s also fluent in French and American Sign Language.

Based on all this info alone, we can’t wait to see Mari Pepin crush this season of “The Bachelor”. Hopefully, this Boricua beauty will be popping up a lot on our screens for years to come!

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Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Talks Depression And Says Sometimes He Still Feels Like The Boy Who Bagged Groceries Back Home

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Bad Bunny is on top of the world. Or, at least, that’s how it appears to all of us on the outside enjoying his record-breaking year. Not only did he release three albums in 2020 but he also landed his debut acting role in the Netflix series Narcos: Mexico and from his Instagram stories, he seems to be in a happy, contentful relationship.

But like so many others, Bad Bunny has his experience with mental health issues, of which he recently opened up about in an interview with El País.

Bad Bunny recently spoke up about his struggle with depression.

Despite his immense success that’s catapulted him to, arguably, the world’s biggest superstar, Bad Bunny admits that sometimes he still feels like the young man who bagged groceries in a supermarket.

The reggaetonero revealed in an interview with El País that right as his career really started to take off, he was not happy. “You asked me before how I hadn’t gone crazy. Well, I think that was the moment that was going to determine if I was going to go crazy or not. From 2016 to 2018 I disappeared, I was stuck in a capsule, without knowing anything. The world saw me, but I was missing,” he said.

Although no doctor diagnosed him, he is sure of what was happening. it only did he feel lost and empty but he had stopped doing many of the things that brought him joy, like watching movies and boxing. Without realizing it, he had also fallen out of contact with much of his family, with whom he was typically very close.

“And that’s when I said: who am I? What’s going on?” he told El País. When he returned home to Puerto Rico from spending time in Argentina, he was able to get back into the right state of mind and remember who he was.

Despite his success, Bad Bunny still worries he’s in financial trouble.

Although today, he is the number one Latin artist on Spotify and the awards for his music keep coming, there are times when Bad Bunny still thinks that he has financial problems.

“Not long ago, I was 100% clear in my head what I have achieved, maybe a year or six months ago; but until then, many times I forgot, I felt that I was the kid from the supermarket. He would happen something and say: “Hell!” And then: “Ah, no, wait, if I have here,” he said, touching his pocket.

Much like Bad Bunny, J Balvin has also been candid about his own mental health struggles.

Bad Bunny is just the most recent to speak to the emotional havoc he experiences despite being a global superstar. And, thankfully, like many other celebrities, he’s been able to find refuge in a reality that allows him to keep his feet on the ground so that he too can enjoy the achievements of his career.

Much like El Conejo, J Balvin is known for the brightness of his style and mentality. But he’s long addressed the importance of caring for one’s mental health. During his Arcoíris Tour, he encouraged people to not be ashamed of seeking professional help, and let the audience know they are not alone.   

“Las enfermedades de salud mental son una realidad. Yo he sufrido de depresión y he sufrido de ansiedad, así que tengo que aceptarlo. Y eso me hace más humano, me hace entender que la vida tiene pruebas,” Balvin said. “Pero si alguien está pasando una situación difícil, no están solos, siempre llega la luz. Tarde o temprano llega la luz.”  

“Mental health illnesses are a reality. I have suffered from depression and anxiety, so I have to accept it. And this makes me more human. It makes me understand that life has challenges,” Balvin said in Spanish. “But if someone is going through a difficult time, they are not alone, light always comes. Sooner or later, the light comes.”  

We need more men like Benito and J Balvin to speak up about their mental health struggles, to help destroy the stigma that exists within our community.

And in the same interview, he also spoke about why he works to elevate the Spanish language.

As for the possibility of singing in English, the answer remains the same: a resounding no.

“You have to break this view that the gringos are Gods…No, papi,” he told El País. And, although he’s collaborated with artists like Drake, Cardi B and Jennifer Lopez, he has always sang in Spanish and with his famous accent.

“I am very proud to reach the level where we are speaking in Spanish, and not only in Spanish, but in the Spanish that we speak in Puerto Rico. Without changing the accent,” he said.

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