Things That Matter

Here Are 23 Feminista Instagram Accounts To Keep You Going

As of 2015, Latinxs make up over 17 percent of the U.S., but only make up 5.8 percent of the characters we see on TV. It’s 2018 now and while we wait for more Guillermo Diaz to get us to Thursday night’s “Scandal”, we’ll be on Instagram, where the popular vote actually counts. #democracy

Here’s our roundup for the Latinxs who are saying the things we can’t find words for, creating art that speaks our language, and who inspire us to keep taking up space in this world. I mean, we *are* the best thing that’s happened to Instagram, clearly.

1. Sofia Vergara

@sofiavergara / Instagram

Sofia Vergara co-founded a business called Empowered By You that gives 10 percent of sales back into a micro-financing loan programs specifically for women. What’s the business? It’s women’s underwear. Bless you, Sofia.

2. @theunapologeticallybrownseries

@theunapologeticallybrownseries / Instagram

Johanna Toruño created @theunapologeticallybrownseries when she was sitting in her bathtub in New York City. She was feeling frustrated and isolated after moving from El Salvador. Her art is influenced by the political street art that engulfed her childhood during the civil war.

3. Selena Gomez

@selenagomez / Instagram

Gomez has faced sexism and racism in the industry, from radio interviews to straight trolling on social media. But she doesn’t back down, and speaks up for lupus awareness, suicide prevention and Dreamers.

4. @latinarebels

@latinarebels / Instagram

Bio: “5 Latinas unveiling the complexities of Latina embodiment. Spreading knowledge 1 meme at a time.” We’re here for your memes that break hearts and wake us all up to action. #bowdown

5. Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodriguez

@priscadorcas / Instagram

She’s the founder of ‘Latina Rebels’ and she’ll add the dose of realness to your Intagram feed that you need. When Rodriguez gives speeches, she refuses to stand behind a podium “because podiums have been used by [mostly] white politicians and preachers to spew hateful rhetoric towards women, LGBQI+ folks, and excused the destruction and exploitation of the global south – so fuck the podiums.”

6. @bad_dominicana

@bad_dominicana / Instagram

She’s bad but she’s so, so good. Her art collections are titled things like, “BLACK GIRLS LAYING DOWN, NOT GIVING A FUCK BOUT U Collection”. You can buy her prints at ShopZahiraKelly.com or get her work and words in your feed.

7. Dior Vargas

@dior_vargas / Instagram

Mental health has become a nationwide crisis, and one of the best things we can do to combat it is to talk about it. If you’re Latinx, your mom probably also just force-fed you chocolate to resolve your “depression.” Dior Vargas fights to remove the stigma in communities of color with her People of Color & Mental Illness Photo Project.

8. @dominicanbrujaprincess

@dominicanbrujaprincess / Instagram

Una “vigilante residing in Nueva York,” she brings bright, Dominican street art colors straight to your phone. Our bodies take up space, and I feel a thousand times more fabulous seeing a semblance of mine surrounded by agua de coco. TY, @dominicanprincessbruja. 

9. Demi Lovato

@ddlovato / Instagram

Lovato is vegana, speaks up for shelter dogs and is bae. Plus, she just released a Spanish version of ‘Tell Me You Love Me’ on Spotify and I’m ready to snuggle a pup while I listen.

10. Favianna Rodriguez

@favianna1 / Instagram

Rodriguez’ artwork is dedicated to immigrant rights, womanhood, queerness, and sexuality. Her art, like most art, is a revolution and a bold political statement. See beauty that lights up dark places here.

11. Zuly de la Rose

@zulydelarose / Instagram

An “artivist”, feminist and just badass advocate to break out of heteronormative constrictive roles, De La Rose is creating the space all of us need. The beauty of feminism, imo, is that it creates space for every other gender besides just the one cisgender male. We’re all beautiful and worthy of basic dignity and De La Rose makes it oh so obvious.

12. Janel Martinez

@janelm / Instagram

Creator of “Ain’t I Latina?”, Janel speaks through her journalism and with media companies about the role of colorism in the Latinx community and beyond. She has a lot of good and necessary things to say, so listen up.

13. Juliana Pache

@thecityofjules / Instagram

You might have heard of Pache back in February 2016 when she coined the hashtag heard around the world: #BlackLatinxHistory. @thecityofjules will light your feed up with her favorite Afro-Latinxs stories. We all need her.

14. Kat Lazo

@itskatlazo / Instagram

Our very own mitú Video Producer, Kat Lazo, is Peruana, Columbiana y feminista y orgullosa. She’s using her YouTube fame to let everyone know what’s up and dismantling myths and the patriarchy one video at a time. #TheKatKall

15. @xicanisma_

@xicanisma_ / Instagram

If you aren’t listening to a podcast right now, you *must* listen to Xicanisma. At the very least, follow to see what’s not making your news, including gentrification, and social justice issues around the globe.

16. @QueerXicanoChisme

@queerxicanochisme / Instagram

Rubén is Xicano, but doesn’t fuck with Mexico-centrism and is all about inclusivity. he is quick to use his social media reach and platform to seek social justice in times of crisis. Follow him.

17. @bitterbrownfemmes

@bitterbrownfemmes / Instagram

Cohosted by @xicanisma_ and @queerxicanochisme, this ‘gram gives us the memes and stories we need. Thank you for keeping us all accountable. ? They need your support, so check them out!

18. Eiza Gonzalez

@eizagonzalez / Instagram

Ok, it’s not hard for Gonzalez to redefine beauty standards because she’s, well, a drop-dead gorgeous model. She dedicates her platform to “todas las mujeres Mexicanas” who have helped inspire her to rep México in everything she does. We ❤ you!

19. Melissa Lozada-Olivia

@ellomelissa / Instagram

@ellomelissa is an artist, spoken word poet and author. Her posts are raw elements of her day and fan art of her poetry, like this “Ode to Brown Girls With Bangs”. This is one feminista you don’t want to miss.

20. @feministailustrada

@feministailustrada / Instagram

The machísmo is real in the Latinx communities and @feministailustrada is speaking our language… in our language. These feel like things you should be sharing with your bro primos.

21. @revolucionfeminista_

@revolucionfeminista_ / Instagram

“No habrá revolución sin evolución de conciencias. ♀” Recording the revolution around the globe. Be part of it. 

22. Cristal Gutiérrez

@cris8acupcake / Instagram

She’s a Xicana illustrator of all things feminista, immigrant rights and more. Plus, she sells these amazing Frida stickers!

23. Amanda Alcantara

@yosoy_amanda / Instagram

Amanda self-describes herself as an “unapologetic Caribbean Palabrera living in Spanglish” on all our IG feeds. She co-founded La Galería magazine and is the Digital Media Editor for Latino USA. What I love about following Amanda is that she gets vulnerable. Caption: “#tbt One year ago today I cut my hair at home at 2am because I didn’t want it to no longer define me, cuz I wanted to fight beauty standards and because I wanted to stop hiding my face.”

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America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

Entertainment

America Ferrera Celebrates 20th Anniversary Of Working On ‘Gotta Kick It Up’ With Sweet IG Post

It has been 20 years since America Ferrera’s dream of becoming an actor back true. She took to Instagram to reflect on the moment that her dream started to come true and it is a sweet reminder that anyone can chase their dreams.

America Ferrera shared a sweet post reflecting on the 20th anniversary of working on “Gotta Kick It Up!”

“Gotta Kick It Up!” was one of the earliest examples of Latino representation so many of us remember. The movie follows a school dance team trying to be the very best they could possibly be. The team was down on their luck but a new teacher introduces them to a different kind of music to get them going again.

After being introduced to Latin beats, the dance team is renewed. It taps into a cultural moment for the Latinas on the team and the authenticity of the music makes their performances some of the best.

While the movie meant so much to Latino children seeing their culture represented for the first time, the work was a major moment for Ferrera. In the Instagram post, she gushes over the celebrities she saw on the lot she was working on. Of course, anyone would be excited to see Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt hanging out. Yet, what stands out the most is Ferrera’s own excitement to realize that she can make money doing what she loves most.

“I wish I could go back and tell this little baby America that the next 20 years of her life will be filled with unbelievable opportunity to express her talent and plenty of challenges that will allow her to grow into a person, actress, producer, director, activist that she is very proud and grateful to be. We did it baby girl. I’m proud of us,” Ferrera reflects.

Watch the trailer for “Gotta Kick It Up!” here.

READ: America Ferrera’s “Superstore” Is Going To Get A Spanish-Language Adaptation In A Win For Inclusion

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This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

Entertainment

This Artist Has Been Breaking Barriers As A Non-Traditional Mariachi

On a recent episode of ABC’s game show To Tell The Truth, three celebrity panelists were tasked to uncover the identity of a real mariachi singer.

Each contender embodied “non-traditional” attributes of mariachi culture either through physical appearance or language barriers, leaving the panelists stumped.

When it came time for the big reveal, with a humble smile 53-year-old Timoteo “El Charro Negro” stood up wowing everyone. Marveled by his talents, Timoteo was asked to perform unveiling his smooth baritone voice.

While not a household name in the U.S., his career spans over 25 years thriving on the catharsis of music.

Timoteo “El Charro Negro” performing “Chiquilla Linda” on Dante Night Show in 2017.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Timoteo, born Timothy Pollard, moved to Long Beach, California with his family when he was eight years old. The move to California exposed Pollard to Latin culture, as the only Black family in a Mexican neighborhood.

As a child, he recalled watching Cantinflas because he reminded him of comedian Jerry Lewis, but musically he “got exposed to the legends by chance.”

“I was bombarded by all the 1960s, ’70s, and ’50s ranchera music,” Timoteo recalls to mitú.

The unequivocal passion mariachi artists like Javier Solis and Vicente Fernandez possessed heavily resonated with him.

“[The neighbors] always played nostalgic music, oldies but goodies, and that’s one thing I noticed about Mexicans,” Timoteo says. “They can be in their 20s but because they’ve grown up listening to the oldies it’s still very dear to them. That’s how they party.”

For as long as he can remember, Pollard “was born with the genetic disposition to love music,” knowing that his future would align with the arts.

After hearing Vicente Fernandez sing “Lástima Que Seas Ajena,” an awakening occurred in Pollard. While genres like hip-hop and rap were on the rise, Pollard’s passion for ranchera music grew. It was a moment when he realized that this genre best suited his big voice.

Enamored, Pollard began to pursue a career as a Spanish-language vocalist.

El Charro Negro
Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

At 28, Timoteo began learning Spanish by listening and singing along to those artists he adored in his youth.

“When I decided that I wanted to be a mariachi, I didn’t think it was fair to exploit the culture and not understand the language,” he says. “If I’m going to sing, I need to be able to communicate with my audience and engage with them. I need to understand what I’m saying because it was about honor and respect.”

Pollard began performing local gigs after picking up the language in a matter of months. He soon attracted the attention of “Big Boy” Radio that adorned him the name Timoteo “El Charro Negro.”

Embellishing his sound to highlight his Black heritage, Pollard included African instruments like congas and bongos in his orchestra. Faintly putting his own spin on a niche genre, Pollard avoided over-saturating the genre’s sound early in his career.

Embraced by his community as a beloved mariachi, “El Charro Negro” still encountered race-related obstacles as a Black man in the genre.

“There are those [in the industry] who are not in the least bit thrilled to this day. They won’t answer my phone calls, my emails, my text messages I’ve sent,” he says. “The public at large hasn’t a problem with it, but a lot of the time it’s those at the helm of decision making who want to keep [the genre] exclusively Mexican.”

“El Charro Negro” persisted, slowly attracting fans worldwide while promoting a message of harmony through his music.

In 2007, 12 years into his career, Pollard received a golden ticket opportunity.

El Charro Negro
Pollard (left) seen with legendary Mexican artist Vicente Fernandez (right) in 2007. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In a by-chance encounter with a stagehand working on Fernandez’s tour, Pollard was offered the chance to perform onstage. The singer was skeptical that the offer was legit. After all, what are the chances?

The next day Pollard went to his day job at the time and said, “a voice in my head, which I believe was God said, ‘wear your blue velvet traje tonight.'”

That evening Pollard went to a sold-out Stockton Area where he met his idol. As he walked on the stage, Pollard recalls Fernandez insisting that he use his personal mic and band to perform “De Que Manera Te Olvido.”

“[Fernandez] said he did not even want to join me,” he recollects about the show. “He just was kind and generous enough to let me sing that song on his stage with his audience.”

The crowd applauded thunderously, which for Pollard was a sign of good things to come.

El Charro Negro
Timoteo “El Charro Negro” with Don Francisco on Don Francisco Presenta in 2011. Photo courtesy of Timothy Pollard.

In 2010, he released his debut album “Me Regalo Contigo.” In perfect Spanish, Pollard sings with great conviction replicating the soft tones of old-school boleros.

Unraveling the rollercoaster of relationships, heart-wrenchingly beautiful ballads like “Me Regalo Contigo” and “Celos” are his most streamed songs. One hidden gem that has caught the listener’s attention is “El Medio Morir.”

As soon as the track begins it is unlike the others. Timoteo delivers a ’90s R&B love ballad in Spanish, singing with gumption as his riffs and belts encapsulate his unique sound and story.

Having appeared on shows like Sabado Gigante, Don Francisco Presenta, and Caso Cerrado in 2011, Timoteo’s career prospered.

Timoteo hasn’t released an album since 2010 but he keeps his passion alive. The singer has continued to perform, even during the Covid pandemic. He has high hopes for future success and original releases, choosing to not slow down from his destined musical journey.

“If God is with me, who can be against me? It may not happen in a quick period of time, but God will make my enemies my footstool,” he said.

“I’ve continued to be successful and do some of the things I want to do; maybe not in a particular way or in particular events, but I live in a very happy and fulfilled existence.”

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