Things That Matter

Kay Lopez Developed Instagram Gifs To Better Represent All Kinds Of Latinas

Latinx representation in media is limited but leaders like Kay Lopez,a  34-year-old social strategist and content developer, are working to change that. For her latest project she developed 100 gifs to better represent Latinas beyond those normally attached to brands or stereotypes. 

“I wasn’t finding any gifs that really spoke to how I felt Latinas should be describing their power and self. The few gifs that I did come across were tied to alcohol brands and soccer teams. It was hard to understand why these gifs didn’t already exist,” she told FIERCE by mitú. 

Her background is in social strategy and content development, and she used her skills in graphic design to create the gifs “that spoke to the Latina community.”

She also tapped into the community she developed through the Instagram account, Latinas Poderosas which has more than 30k followers. 

 

The ethos behind the online community is to uplift Latinas and claim space in the digital world while promoting positivity. 

“Empowering our community is the foundation of Latinas Poderosas. My goal has always been to empower Latinas by showcasing both past and present Latinas who have created positive impact. Women who have not settled, women who have pushed boundaries and who have made their dreams possible despite obstacles.” she said.

This was the same intention she brought to the project so she reached out to the members of this community to find out what it was they wanted, opening up her DMs to suggestions and requests.

She initially drafted several empowering terms that spoke to Latinx in a positive way.

Eventually, her efforts evolved into working to ensure she represented the diversity within the Latinx community. 

She asks for two to three words max per phrase and is continuously looking for popular colloquial adjectives throughout Latin America  to “truly capture the diversity of our community.” 

“I wanted terms that were not focused on one country, I wanted to pull and showcase the diversity in our phrases and the diversity of the Spanish language. Today you’ll find gifs that read ‘cachimbona’ a phrase used in El Salvador, ‘La Llorona’ which ties to Mexican [folklore], ‘Ya Tu Sabes’  used in the Dominican Republic, and, one of my favorites, ‘Blaxican’ created by special request. The more terms we have the more impact we have!”

Since launching earlier this month the gifs have already generated more than 20 million views and counting and so far the most popular terms are “Prima Hermana,” “Mija,” and “Bebecita.” 

Lopez, who is a first-generation Mexican-American Houston transplant living in Los Angeles, is constantly working to make the gifs more inclusive and representative. 

According to one report, nearly 40 million Instagram users over the age of 18 were Latinx in 2014 and yet, according to Lopez, the only gifs available to Latinx were primarily stereotypes. 

“I want to refrain from Latinx stereotypes as much as possible, words like ‘caliente,’ ‘chancla’ ‘tacos’ – with the exception of  ‘tacos before vatos’ which was a request from a fan – and I definitely want to stay away from words that insult our community or other communities. I want the gifs to showcase the diversity of our language, our culture, and the vibrancy of our roots.”

Diversity in a community that includes nearly a quarter of U.S. Latinos who self-identify as Afro-Latino among the millions of immigrants who come from 33 countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Her efforts are undoubtedly making the social sphere all the more colorful.

This addition to the digital landscape means that when someone searches “Latina,” “latinas poderosa” or “latinx” in the gif section on Instagram or Snapchat, they’ll be flooded with colorful words including “reina,” “poderosa,” and “diosa.”

Switching up the narrative is ultimately the goal, it’s empowerment at people’s fingertips when the terminology associated with the Latinx community, specifically women, goes from sexual or provocative (the common associations with Latinas) to diverse and uplifting. 

“I want Latinas to know that they matter, that they’re seen and heard. I want to encourage our community to create. If you find our narrative missing don’t just shrug it off, do something and create it because no one else will create it for us.” 

AOC Takes to Twitter to Defend Taylor Swift Against Greedy Music Execs Trying to Keep Her From Using Her Own Music

Entertainment

AOC Takes to Twitter to Defend Taylor Swift Against Greedy Music Execs Trying to Keep Her From Using Her Own Music

@mayadejendela / Twitter

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has used her short career to be a champion of many worthy causes. Before she even entered the political arena, she visited embattled communities like Standing Rock and Flint, Michigan in order to learn more about the environmental crises taking place. She’s since turned that environmentalism into support for the Green New Deal, a legislation that aims to address climate change and economic inequality. AOC has also been a vocal opponent of the Trump administration’s border wall and their oppressive take on immigration. On top of these important causes, the representative from New York is a great advocate for women’s rights. 

It’s with this advocacy in mind that AOC took to Twitter on Friday evening to tweet her support for Taylor Swift during the artist’s latest professional battle. 

Twitter / @taylorswift13

The defense comes from a Thursday evening tweet from Swift. In the tweet, the musician shares that, though she is being named “Artist of the Decade” by the American Music Awards, there’s a damper to her happy news. According to Swift, issues with Big Machine Records’ music executives were keeping her from being able to have access to all of the songs previous to her latest album, “Lover.” 

The two execs, Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun, own the masters to Swift’s earlier works and, as such, can control whether or not to she’s allowed to use them. According to the deal she signed with Republic Records and Universal Music Group in 2018, Swift is not allowed to re-record her earlier songs until 2020. It’s important to note that neither of these men had anything to do with the creation of these songs.

“I’ve been planning to perform a medley of my hits throughout the decade on the show,” the tweet read. “Scott Borchetta and Scooter Braun have now said that I’m not allowed to perform my old songs on television because they claim that they would be re-recording my music before I’m allowed to next year.”

Additionally, Swift explained that she had an upcoming documentary about her life in the works with Netflix. 

Twitter / @THR

Just like with the American Music Awards, the musician shared that the executives were again refusing to allow her to use old clips of her performances or any new renditions of these old songs. The note went on to request that fans let Braun and Borchetta know that they’re Team Taylor all the way.

Borchetta reportedly told Swift’s team that she could in fact use these earlier songs on two conditions. One, the musician would loose the right to re-record these songs for the year of 2020. The second condition was that Swift had to stop publicly discussing Braun and Borchetta. 

This is when AOC got into the mix with her response to Swift’s tweet. 

Twitter / @AOC

A longstanding opponent of major corporations, the representative likened the situation with Swift’s music rights to private equity groups. AOC responded to the music controversy with a call to action demanding that the music executives be “reigned in.”

“Private equity groups’ predatory practices actively hurt millions of Americans,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote. “Their leveraged buyouts have destroyed the lives of retail workers across the country, scrapping 1+ million jobs. Now, they’re holding Taylor Swift’s own music hostage.”

If you’re thinking that AOC’s support is proof that she’s a closet Swiftie, it’s actually much deeper than that.

Twitter / @AOC

Since AOC is a champion for middle and low income America, it might seem unexpected for her to back Swift who is a multimillionaire. However, the musician’s problem is one that the representative has been fighting against. As Ocasio-Cortez explained on Twitter, millions of Americans have been impacted by private equality firms. These firms buy businesses and liquidate them in order to squeeze out all of the profitability they can without concern for their employees. This results in employees being laid off, having to make due with reduced pay and/or hours and losing benefits like insurance and severance packages. 

By relating the two problems together, AOC was able to make a series of tweets about an important policy go viral and reach a huge audience. In fact, her initial tweet in response to Swift earned nearly 80K likes and almost 15K retweets. 

Whether it was thanks to Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s attention or the public pressure, this story now has a satisfying ending. 

Twitter / @THR

The music execs at Swift’s former record label and Dick Clark Productions, producer of the American Music Awards, have come to an agreement. In the press release issued by Big Machine Records, details of the agreement were laid out so all of the label’s artists are cleared for performance. 

No word yet if AOC will be tuning into Swift’s American Music Award appearance but hopefully she knows that she helped to make that performance a reality. 

The Internet Wants To Know How A Prisoner Got A Popeyes Sandwich And Posted It To His IG Story

Culture

The Internet Wants To Know How A Prisoner Got A Popeyes Sandwich And Posted It To His IG Story

@eugene3005 / Twitter

Context is often everything when it comes to social media, but users have so many questions about how a Popeyes chicken sandwich landed behind bars into the hands of a “lucky” prisoner. The Popeyes Chicken Sandwich has taken the nation by storm, selling out at nearly every Popeyes. Some have made half a dozen visits to the fried chicken chain before being able to sample the elusive sandwich. This is the collective mood Twitter user FBG Eugene (@Eugne3005) was in when he was looking through his Instagram stories. Then, he sees his friend, Frank Gutta, post himself eating a Popeyes sandwich from his cot in jail, and he’s about had it. “N***** in jail ate the Popeyes chicken sandwich before me IM SICK,” Gutta tweets in joking anger, along with the visual proof.

Now, another collective meltdown over this sandwich is underway as people try to understand how Gutta even got the sandwich delivered to his prison cell, or posted it to social media, for that matter.

Before Frank Gutta sinks his teeth into the sandwich, he poses for a quick photo.

CREDIT: @EUGENE3005 / TWITTER

“Trying to see what all the hype bout,” Frank Gutta captions the photo on his Instagram story. What’s more, it seems like Gutta has a second sandwich sitting beside him. “I’m dead af,” comments one Twitter user. Someone else tries to comfort Gutta’s friend, Eugene, who presumably is not in jail, saying “don’t get your spirits crushed homie! the man’s eating a soggy sandwich meaning that ain’t no regular popeyes chicken sandwich right there is a Popeyes Booty chicken sandwich or a Popeyes C****** chicken sandwich! either way you still have a chance for the original!”

Others wondered out loud if that cot is a prison cot or a dorm cot. “This look like some college freshman dorms. Whachu mean?” asks @KhariSafari. “Jail/college same thing” replies @___Yashiro. Khari Safari agrees, “except you owe more money after one of them.”

Gutta posts one more photo to his story to anonymously credit his “bae.”

CREDIT: @EUGENE3005 / TWITTER

Looks like Gutta is on to his second sandwich, and remembers to offer a “thanks bae.” More outrage. “He didn’t even tag or say shorty’s name 😅He belongs to the streets,” tweets one Carmen (@3ntr0_P). What lengths did “bae” go to to ensure Gutta got his chicken sandwich? First, she had to overcome the hurdle that every other sandwich-seeking-American has to go through to just obtain the sold-out sandwich. Then… how did she get it in? “Wait… don’t that mean she put it in her cooc- nvm,” asked Sweet Don (@itsbbydon).

Some people couldn’t accept that the receiver of the holy fried chicken sandwich could be so cruel. “Or maybe she’s a guard and he’s tryna protect her job and his connection to the outside world,” offers Ashley Wilson (@anwxo). It’s a far more pragmatic explanation than it is a romantic one, but that explanation “makes a lot of sense… it’s all adding up” for Carmen. 

The conspiracy theories are in: “bruh gotta be busting down a female guard.”

Credit: @6e_Drt / Twitter

Light Yagami’s (@YvngLxnk) theory that “bruh gotta be busting down a female guard” is the most liked opinion on the matter. “They allow workers to bring in food at a prison, it just has to either be sealed or able to be opened to get checked for drugs/cellphones & other stuff. We damn sure didn’t eat chow hall food,” offered @TheNappyAfreaux based off her personal experience.

Humble-braggers are now flocking to the thread to glorify their victory.

CREDIT: @NEWROUGESTON / Twitter

“I just got my 1st and 2nd taste of glory yesterday after 5 unsuccessful tries over the past few months. Added ketchup & cheese on them muff****kas,” tweeted The Wasted Talent (@NewRougeSton). Others are just dropping photos of the coveted sandwich in the thread with no caption and no likes. 

With nearly 64k likes and 22k retweets at the time of publication, the Internet is also wondering how Gutta was able to post the cultural phenomenon to social media from his cot. “Not only that … bro posted on his IG story,” tweets El Padrino (@ImGooooood). Other users are like “F*** it, he’s already in jail.” “People in jail still deserve some level of humanity. Glad bro got to try something that’s still next to impossible to get lol,” a @KhaptainKhan tweeted.

READ: A Fight Turned Fatal After Two Men Got Into An Argument Over A Popeyes Chicken Sandwich