No one is immune to Internet bullying, not even your favorite pop stars. Learning to ignore the haters and sometimes taking an Instagram hiatus are just a couple of Selena Gomez has has learned to cope.
“You can’t listen to it,” is the advice she shared in recent interview with Extra TV. “You are made individually to be who you are and you have to find happiness in that.”
But after a barrage of online body shaming for gaining a little weight earlier this year hurt her feelings — she’s human people — Selena decided to do something about it. Her latest album, Revival, is an anthem of survival and rising above the haters. “This is the best thing I have ever done in my whole career,” she says of the finished product.
Not everyone has the privilege of growing up surrounded by their cultura, with parents there to pass on knowledge of traditions and customs from home. That, combined with heavily opinionated internet trolls, has led to many people struggling to feel confident in their identity. In a digital world that tries to force us all to fit into boxes, what does “Latino enough” mean and how do you know if you’re there?
Recently, we asked our Instagram community “what does being Latino mean to you?” and although some responses had details in common, for the most part they were as unique as every member of the community itself. There is no one definition of Latinidad, and therefore there is no way to measure what exactly makes someone “Latino enough.”
“It means that I have something to identify with and be proud of because of my family members, my culture, and the things that I participate in as a Latina.” – A.C.
Side note, this was a personal reminder that we represent the community wherever we occupy space, whether we realize it or not. We are all participating in things as members of the community.
What’s something that, as a Latina, you are proud of?– mitú
“The strength and endurance that we have. I’ve seen it in my dad, his family, and so many others and it makes me feel proud as well as encouraged to achieve my goals with the same mindset as them.” – A.C.
While they may not be perfect (and let’s face it, who is?), our parents are the definition of hard working. Remembering that their blood runs through my veins always keeps me going when the going gets tough. Si se puede!
What Latino figures inspire you? – mitú
“Selena, even though she was an artist that I didn’t really grow up listening to. When I found out who she was, she was someone who I related to because she was a Mexican-American learning to speak and sing in Spanish, while breaking a lot of barriers that people had set up around her.” – A.C.
La Reina del Tex-Mex was a trailblazer indeed! Who else could forget Selena’s iconic “diecicuatro” blurb when she appeared in an interview with Cristina Saralegui? The important thing to focus on is that she was TRYING! As long as we’re all working on improving and being the best versions of ourselves, that’s the best we can do, and it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.
Name one meal that, no matter where you have it, always reminds you of home. – mitú
“Homemade tamales!!!! 100%” – A.C.
You know we love some good tamales, so naturally our next question was…
Where is your family from? – mitú
“My dad is from Mexico and my mom is from Ohio.” – A.C.
Mmmm…Mexican tamales 😋
Have you ever been to those places? – mitú
“Yes, both places. I went to Mexico when I was really young, maybe about two times, and then I’ve traveled to Ohio on various occasions to see family. I was young each time I went to those places so they’re little memories I think of when I miss my family.” – A.C.
What would you say is the most “Latino” item in your home? – mitú
“We have these blankets from my grandma that I grew up using. I thought they were normal blankets but then I saw on social media that almost every Latino household has some and I was like hmmm, what do you know?” – A.C.
What would you say to people who think that not speaking Spanish makes you less Latino?– mitú
“I think it’d definitely be nice to know the language fluently but some people aren’t taught Spanish growing up and that’s not their fault. Not speaking the language doesn’t mean that they don’t have the same customs or should be rejected from the culture that their family is from. I decided to learn on my own because I’ve always been interested in Spanish, and also so I could speak with my family and I see that’s what a lot of other people are doing too.” – A.C.
One more time for the people in the back: not speaking Spanish doesn’t make you any less Latino.
How do you celebrate your Latinidad? – mitú
“With pride. I wouldn’t be who I am today without influences from my family so it’ll always be something I carry with me and proudly show throughout my life and career.” – A.C.
What do you hope people take away from this trend? – mitú
“That Latinidad is something you’re born with and it can’t ever be taken away from you,” – A.C.
So forget about the opinions of other people! All they’re doing is projecting their beliefs onto you and that is not an actual reflection of who you are. We hope you are inspired to embrace your Latinidad on your own terms, and that you walk more confidently in your identity. So duet us on TikTok and don’t forget to use the hashtag #AreYouLatinoEnough to join in on the fun!
Did we mention quarantine has not stopped Alaina Castillo from dropping new music? Check out her latest single, “tonight,” below!
On Thursday, the Mexican American singer-actress posted a photo to Instagram that instantly made headlines. In the photo, she was wearing blue one-piece half-zip bathing suit from her friend’s new swimwear line La’Mariette.
But it wasn’t the bathing suit that turned heads, but the scar that Gomez proudly displayed on her right inner thigh.
In the caption, Gomez opened up about her body-acceptance journey, specifically in regards to the scar she received from emergency surgery after her 2017 kidney transplant surgery.
“When I got my kidney transplant, I remember it being very difficult at first showing my scar,” she wrote in her caption. “I didn’t want it to be in photos, so I wore things that would cover it up. Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through…and I’m proud of that. T – Congratulations on what you’re doing for women, launching @lamariette whose message is just that…all bodies are beautiful.”
The photo is notable because Gomez’s scar was first captured by paparazzi in 2018 while she was on a boating trip in Australia.
Back then, Gomez didn’t have control over narrative or how her body was presented to the world. But now she does. And a change like that makes all the difference.
Fans immediately praised Gomez’s bravery, adding comments like “You are so strong and powerful” and “Thank you for showing our scars are beautiful and all bodies are beautiful!”
A sufferer of lupus, Selena Gomez has had a long and difficult health journey. In 2017, she received a kidney transplant from her good friend and fellow Latina, Francia Raísa.
Gomez has previously been candid about how grateful she is to Raísa for saving her life. “My kidneys were just done,” Gomez explained in an interview with The Today Show. “That was it, and I didn’t want to ask a single person in my life. The thought of asking someone to do that was really difficult for me. [Raísa] volunteered and did it.”
But the scar that Gomez was displaying in her latest Instagram post was actually the result of an emergency follow-up surgery. According to Raisa, shortly after the kidney transplant, Gomez ruptured an artery. Doctors had to rush Gomez to the operating room to remove a vein in her leg and rebuild a new artery in order to keep the kidney in place.
As of now, Gomez’s body has healed, but as she implied in the caption above, she is still in the process of healing from the emotional trauma that comes with health problems. She truly is an inspiration to us all.