“In the Dominican Republic, having kinky or coarse hair is perceived as something that’s unclean.”
This is the stereotype that Carolina Contreras, owner of Miss Rizos salon in the Dominican Republic, has fought against her whole life. At a young age, Contreras found herself the victim of prejudice and insults because of her hair. This kind of prejudice isn’t just limited to the Dominican Republic. In the U.S., young women are suspended from schools because of how they wear their natural hair.
Rather than feel the shame society forced on her, Contreras pushed back, questioning why she should feel ashamed of something that’s a part of who she is. Contreras saw past all the insults to the beauty, which she now show each and every customer that enters Miss Rizos. Every time she uses talents on another person’s hair, it’s more than just a simple styling. It’s a form of empowerment, as the Great Big Story shows us.
The world is paying attention to racism in the world right now. The Black Lives Matter movement has gone international and people are starting to call out racism everywhere they see it. This means shining a light on racism on social media to really highlight the issue.
Afro-Caribbean people are using #AquíNoExisteElRacismoPero and #PeroNoSomosRacists to highlight racism.
Social media users are sharing their experiences with racism on the Caribbean islands and the hashtags speak volumes. The hashtags translate to #ButWeAreNotRacists and #ThereIsNoRacismHereBut are being used to highlight racism in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.
There is an understood in the Latino community that racism runs deep but it is often ignored. Culturally, it has plagued the Latino community for generations with microaggressions about hair and “bettering the race.” It is something that we need to address and these hashtags are calling it out.
Some Dominicans are highlighting the microaggressions that have existed for as long as time.
Microaggressions are some of the most common and annoying moments of racism around. They are little but when there are enough they really add up fast. They are all around and are said so often that people often ignore them when they are said. “Pelo malo” one of the most common examples of racist microaggressions in the Latino community. It is always Afro-Latinos who have “pelo malo.”
The hair microaggressions are some of the earliest.
Twitter users are coming forward with stories of having their hair relaxed and chemically treated to be “better.” The focus on Euro-centric beauty within the Afro-Latino community is toxic and instilling it in children so young is a traumatic and hurtful experience.
Some people have been able to use the experience to empower themselves.
People who can take a moment like this ad grow from it are the kind of people you want to know. You go with your self-acceptance and love. There is nothing more beautiful than being yourself and learning to love all of you is a journey so many have to make.
There are so many microaggressions that have become far to familiar in our community and we have to fight against them.
Things I heard in my surroundings growing up: “There are no black in our family.” “Mijito you have to improve the race.” “Marry a white girl.” “You’re not black, you’re tricky, don’t say that again.” “I’m not black, I’m brunette.” “You mean the black I was selling….” “You work like black.” “You sweat like black.” “Your kids came out happily white.” “You smell like black.” #PeroNoSomosRacistas
Dominicans and the fashion world are mourning the death of Dominican fashion designer Jenny Polanco. The world-renowned designer had just traveled to Spain when she fell ill. People are showing their love and appreciation of Polanco on social media in a time when physical activities have been limited.
Dominican fashion designer Jenny Polanco has died from COVID-19.
The Dominican Republic’s public health minister Rafael Sánchez announced Polanco’s death. Polanco is the first Latino celebrity who has died from the virus. Polanco is among the first six people to die from the novel coronavirus on the Caribbean island.
Miami Fashion Week dedicated a tribute post to the Caribbean fashion designer.
The designer showed a collection at the last Miami Fashion Week and her sudden loss has saddened those associated with the event. Polanco was able to celebrate her Caribbean roots with the classic avant-garde style. Her take on fashion was breathtaking in its simplicity coupled with their energetic shapes.
Fashion fans are offering loving tributes to Polanco.
“May Dominican designer jenny Polanco rest in peace,” the Twitter user wrote. “The coronavirus took a creative, colorful, beach mind.”
Polanco, like many people who have taken ill, had recently traveled.
A lot of people who have tested positive in the first wave of infections in different countries had recently traveled to a country where the virus was spreading. Since the start of the outbreak, some countries have closed their borders and set travel restrictions as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19.
If you are feeling sick, call your doctor and tell them your symptoms. You can also visit the CDC for more information about COVID-19 and what you can do to prevent catching the virus and what to do if you get sick.