An Open Letter to Latina Magazine

Dear Latina Magazine,

I have seen your magazine for many years crossing through supermarkets across the country, in airports, and even doctors offices. I’ll be honest I’m not a huge magazine person.

Though I will admit I do occasionally buy magazines before long flights, it’s not something I invest in. I skip over yours like so many others.

So why this letter? Why to you if I don’t read your magazine.

Well after the debacle with Kylie Jenner and PopSugar, calling her a mix of your favorite Latinas. They obviously received a lot of backlash for that and pulled the article down and apologized.

My friend and fellow Latina Vanesa Pacheco wrote a great piece about Kylie Jenner, here 

Yet, after that it seems publications haven’t learned. Recently, Latina Magazine, your magazine tweeted an article calling Beyonce “an honorary Latina.” Like many Latinas and Black women, I am pretty sure my eyes rolled so far back into my head they entered the next century.

This “nomination” you give her comes on the heels of her pro-black album Lemonade, though what strikes me is that you guys do this and, then no apology. No removal of the article. Nothing.

You guys chose to bury it under a bunch of Afro-Latina posts, like that would make it better. You know that’s like putting a vicks on a broken arm,  right? Sure abuela believes it works but yeah still a goddamn broken arm.

It was like you took your publication and slapped Afro-Latinas and honestly ALL Latinas of color right in the face. Not only that you somehow have decided to appropriate a Black American woman, thus insulting black women in the process.

Are the women you claim to represent with your publication not enough?  Yes, I am a white Latina of anglo background, but I can’t stand-by and watch this. I can’t stand-by pretending I am not in the least bit offended that someone would put a By line on such a crap article.

“Down with the brown” get the hell out of here please, just take your journalism degree and wad it up, chuck it.

You are not only representing Latin@s but you’re also representing hispanic journalists like myself and you’re doing a TERRIBLE job at it.

Furthermore you cite her Cuba trip and as a first generation American-Cuban, whose grandparents took my tiny mother and aunt off the island in 1967 because of the iron grip is absolutely so wrong.

Also how can you be Latina by association? My grade school best friend was half Israeli and half Peruvian so I am now by proxy Peruvian-Israeli by your logic correct?

Also liking Selena doesn’t make you Latina… Sorry guys! That has to be the weakest argument anymore and I am so tired of it.

Like no. Just no.

Can I ask why you feel the need to appropriate someone that has no REAL ties to Latina Culture and then a day later post Afro-Latina anthems? You can’t have it both ways, you can’t have your hand shoved in two different pots.

The fact that Vibe had to call you out and the article is still online, is still beyond me.

PopSugar at least said “hey my bad” and pulled theirs down, you can’t apologize, you don’t pull it down so you’re standing by your crap “honorary series.”

I looked through the archives, and I had to bite my lip out of frustration because it’s crap. You can’t just celebrate our Latin@s? You are called Latina…

You can’t bury it under a bunch of Afro-Latina links and articles and pretend this is going away.

No more of this honorary bullshit, no more of this comparing white celebs to Latinas, no more, enough, basta ya.

This whole idea seems to be we don’t have enough beautiful Latinas who deserved to be honored, Afro-Latina, Indigenous, Mestizas, Bi-racial, Chicanas, etc don’t sit here and act like they don’t exist because my friends exist.

These women exist in my hometown of Miami, in my college town of Boston, even here in my tiny Southwest Florida town I see them so why are you putting on blinders?

Why do you claim to be “Latina” when you can’t even honor the right people?

I watch the struggles, I grew up with girls looking for representation while I, a white Latina girl had so many to pick from and so many who represented me.

Give my fellow Latinas recognition, act like we all matter. I don’t want to be represented by people who can’t even be bothered to google “Afro-Latinas” and recognize them instead.

Instead you pick a black woman, man, white man, woman who have nothing to do with our culture. Just like you can’t be black by proxy or asian or whatever, you cannot be Latin@ by proxy.

We don’t like when our culture is appropriated so let’s not do it to others, you can’t cry with arms up when you see a costume or article making us look a certain way and then later say hey Bey, you’re down with the brown.

No jodas.

No more of this crap of acting like our women and men are not good enough. No more pretending that our broad spectrum of skin tones don’t intersect so many different cultures.

No more.

-Alex

P.S. If any other Latin@s have anything to add drop me line, I’ll gladly publish letters or commentary about it.

30 Years Later and ‘Star Wars’ is Geek Fashion

When Star Wars hit theaters in 1977 it brought with it a new look at Sci-Fi, prior to its arrival Star Trek ruled the small screen. But something about Star Wars was different, it was a Space Opera and after that America was hooked.

With it came toys, action figures, bed sheets, lunch boxes, whatever you could plaster Luke Skywalker’s face on you would find it. Back in 77 and in the subsequent years after, you wouldn’t find any traditionally “girly” toys or clothing. Sure you could steal your brother’s blaster OR better yet his clothing, but it wasn’t yours.

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1977 Princess Leia Organa Action Figure from Toy Hall of Fame

While I discovered Her Universe back in 2013, when I bought my first Doctor Who leggings the company which is owned by Ashley Eckstein the voice of Ahsoka in Star Wars: Rebels & Clone Wars  brings to the table looks that are strictly girl.

From leggings to hairpins, Eckstein’s company has paved the way for others to do the same and provide girls with plenty of cute looks. It was around this time I started noticing more and more products for girls hitting store shelves.

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Her Universe Rouge Squadron Dress models by Eckstein for Her Universe (Image belongs to Her Universe) 

The thing with Her Universe unlike many other companies is the fact that the products are also come in Plus Size and in the last year items have been sold at Torrid, especially the new Force Awakens line.

This inclusion is also important to note as well, because girls of all sizes and shape can now participate in being geeky and stylish.

I gush about Her Universe a lot because for the first time in my life I found clothes that was girly and fit the kind of image I like to perceive. It also helps that the items from the different lines are available not only from the main site but can be found online and even at places like Hot Topic and are easily accessible.

Though in 2 years and the resurgence of Star Wars items are popping up all over the place from Target to Macys, girls both young and old have choices. Lines like Rock and Republic (found at Kohls) and even JcPenneys has what they have dubbed a “New Generation” of Star Wars items which includes items for women in stylish cuts and designs.

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Rock and Republic Star Wars Cold Shoulder Sweater from Kohls (Image belongs to Rock and Republic for Kohls)

What was once not accessible to women before has now been dubbed Geek Fashion and racks are suddenly overflowing with skater dresses and leggings as well handbags, cosmetic bags and even funky heels.

You can’t escape the products being marketed at women and at young girls, suddenly “Star Wars” is pink and shiny with rhinestones and is attracting both the non-geek and the geek gal.

When you look at it like that, you’re attracting more fans and attracting women who may have never been interested in the fandom before or even interested in “geeky” things.

While it took 30 years to include women from the fashion aspect, many fans have been crafting for a long time both hand painted and sewn the designs have been around for a long time.

Next we’ll take a look at the high-fashion take over on the runways.

How ‘Star Wars’ Became Stylish

18 years ago my mother, a proud trekkie and Lord of the Rings fan took me to experience Star Wars for the first time. While I was only 7, Princess Leia and her iconic hair would stick with me for a long time.

In 2001 Star Wars: Episode 1 changed how I viewed myself, I was 11 and I knew that October I had to be Padme. Everything about her red throne room dress and make up would stay with me, just like Leia’s iconic look did a few years before.

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Padme’s Throne Room Dress, Episode 1, 2001. On display at “Star Wars and the Power of Costume” EMP Seattle, 2015.

Since then I have come into being a Geek, with a lot of judgement and shirts that are too big even for dudes. Thankfully 2015 saw the rise of Star Wars again, and a change in how women are seen in ‘Geekdom’ and how they dress.

30 years, it took 30 years to acknowledge women and girls in the Star Wars and that we are more than frumpy and unstylish but in reality bring our own look. A lot has changed in those 30 years and thanks to companies like HerUniverse and even Disney, women are being seen as more than sexy for the male gaze but for their choice in fashion and attire.

From Cover Girl to even Diane Von Furstenberg, fashion and the Star Wars galaxy have collided in what I would consider a cosmic event. The acknowledgement of what I consider myself as a Stylish Female geek is everywhere.

Though this idea of fashion and geekdom has been long time coming, in part thanks to companies recognizing women and their love of Sci-fi in what was once considered male held.

Companies like Australian based Black Milk Clothing, make everything from dresses to leggings with some of the most iconic titles in geekdom. No longer are women wearing outfits made for male counterparts, but are wearing chic high fashion pieces.

This article is a multiple part series, exploring the new high fashion world of geeky women’s fashion. It also should beg the question why were there less dresses and more t-shirts in the past, join me as we explore a galaxy that isn’t so far far away anymore.

 

 

 

12 Days of Giving Back Day 5

Warby Parker, like Toms is another well known one for one company which provide glasses and eye exams for those in need.

This company is one of those I have no idea how I came to learn about it but I wear my glasses with pride. While Warby is a bit more expensive, they do offer non-perscirption sunglasses for those of looking to give a good gift.

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As mentioned the glasses are pricey, but they provide a unique style and if you’re looking for something a bit more funky they are the perfect company.

The concept is simple in that you buy a pair and they provide a pair to someone else in the world who needs it. To date the company has provided over 500,000 glasses for those in need, and continues to provide to those who need it.

While they do provide nonprescription glasses, if you’re looking for a gift for yourself their home try on program gives you the option to shop around and for around $95 you can get a pair of stylish glasses for yourself or maybe your a child.

Unlike some of the other companies, Warby is straight forward and provide exactly what they advertise chic glasses which give back. To shop for others or yourself go here.

 

12 Days of Giving Back Day 3

This is the third installment in the 12 days of giving back series, and probably one of the best known one for one companies is Toms.

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I got my first pair of Toms in 2009 and have since bought two more pairs which I wore to work at one point because of the company. The California based company had started with shoes, has since expanded to include boots, sneakers, glasses, clothing, accessories and coffee.

Toms started with just donating shoes to children in developing countries, but has added to providing vision exams to kids who need it and with a purchase of their coffee they provide clean water to those who need it.

The great thing about Toms is just that, if you don’t know someone’s shoe size, you can get them glasses or even just a pack of coffee which is available at Whole Foods.

Though Toms now also offers marketplace, which features other companies who also give back. The marketplace has everything from bags to blankets, so there are plenty of gifts to give that give back.

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Climbing a mountain in Spain with my Gray Classics in 2011

But alas, Toms does shoes and they are some of he most comfortable shoes I have ever worn. They are also great for those of us who refuse to wear sneakers or socks for that matter.

To shop Toms and their variety of items along with their marketplace go here .

12 Days of Giving Back Day 2

Today I am excited to share a new company, but one that works with yesterday’s company The Elephant Pants. Hmong Hill which sells tribal bags and jewelry is a new company, which donates $4 of every purchase to schools.

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Currently Hmong Hill is donating to 3 schools in Africa, and has partnered with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). Through the partnership AWF helps to build or rebuild schools throughout Africa in order to establish conservation education.

Like The Elephant Pants, the bags are made in Thailand and the fabric is woven by their namesake the Hmong Hill tribe who create the unique woven fabric.

Currently Hmong Hill is running a special and for every bag you buy, they’ll include a pair of The Elephant Pants standard pants. Both companies are trying to change the outlook of our world through education and conversation. But their slogan says it all “Bright Bags. Brighter Minds.”

Check out Hmong Hill here and follow them across social media for updates about their bags.

Disney World and other happenings

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I have been absent, that I am aware of but unfortunately life has been busy and I unfortunately for the first time in maybe 4 years? Got the flu. Yes THE flu, I spent a week miserable and used almost all my sick time up at work because of how bad it was.

Aside from being a sick mess, I was also largely uninspired due to my sickness so it’s why I have been silent. The last three days I spent dealing with work and catch up, as well as a few contracting projects.

So so here we are October 1, and I’m getting ready to leave for Orlando and yes DAPPER DAY! I have largely unplugged from writing for the next few days but alas can you blame me?

I’ll also be at Food and Wine for the second year as an adult, I’ve been in the park for the last 20 years as an onlooker but last year was my first year actually eating the food. So be on the look out for that post when I get back along with pictures.

I’ll be covering Dapper Day this year with a largely closed park and the new Disney Springs.

While I won’t be on here at all, since I don’t have the app and my computers are staying at home you can follow my adventures on Instagram @DancinginMadrid I’ll be posting there before anywhere else or follow my Twitter @TheAlexWho to see what I have to say.

Aside from that, I’ll see y’all in a week with new posts and I’m thinking of adding some new elements to the blog.

Have a good weekend!

-Alex