Advertisements
RSS Feed

Tag Archives: multicultural

There are calories in the air!

Posted on

Ok, let me just say it. I have body image issues.

You know how kids have lanky bodies where their legs and arms have almost the same circumference? Well that wasn’t me. My mother says I started that way, but the child I remember was too tall, too brown and too fat. Yes, fat. And it wasn’t fun. It was clothes from the husky section at Sears and elastic waistbands. It was “what are you?” because I was neither black or white. It was not the best. Then around 6th grade I grew into my weight and although I still wasn’t thin, I wasn’t an obvious oval anymore. By the time I reached high school the need not to feed was strong.  I lost the weight, and entered the fashion world where smokes and soup were all one needed to sustain themselves.

I was not anorexic, I was not bulimic, but I was aware of every forkful that entered my body. Painfully aware. Keep a running tab aware. Apps for entrees aware.  My family called me Olive Oil and some wondered if I was ill (we’re Latinos remember? being thin is a sin). I looked fabulous.

Into my 30’s I was 5’9″, size 6. I worked out at least three times a week and ate a high protein diet.  I felt great, I looked great.

Fast forward to  now.  I’m 42, overweight, with no time, or willpower to workout. A penchant for chocolate and a deep… disgust towards my body.  People often tell me, “you look great for someone who has two kids” and I sincerely appreciate the compliment, but this is what I call a compliment with an asterisk., like… “you breathe really well for someone with a nose” .  So my goal this year?  To get rid of the asterisk.

Where to start? What to do?  For first time on my life, I started to count calories and oh my God, there are calories in the air!  Ok, not really, but practically. Two things became painfully clear:

1. No wonder I’m  overweight!

2. It’s a miracle I’m not heavier!

It’s really been an eye opener. A wake up call. A really hard look at what I’m eating and what I should be eating instead.  Every bite I take while cooking, every bocadito from my kids’ plates…it has all added up over the years, and now, it’s time for it to go.  Instead of cafe con leche, I’m drinking cafe cubano.  This saves me approximately 145 calories, which on its own isn’t a lot, but if you drink several of these everyday… imagine… 3 cafe con leches in a week’s time is… 3,045 calories!!  Viste? Did you see how easily that adds up?!  So the counting (not fun) begins.

Will I ever get back into that size 6?  Quien sabe.  The important thing is that I remain healthy, which means that I lose some weight, through conscious food choices and that I start exercising.  So as I sometimes tweet it’s time to get #FitOrBustCarajo !!

 

That’s me and my Dad.  Don’t let his uniform fool you!  He stopped doing business at a bank once because he was judged by his uniform.  That’s my father. 

Advertisements

Just because they’re selling it, doesn’t mean it’s right.

Posted on

Something happened when my daughter grew into a size 6.  I stopped buying her clothes.  The days where everything I saw was “soooo cute” were replaced with horror.  Sweatpants with words on their bottom, padded bras, strapless dresses… it was all too much.  Without really making a conscious decision, I just stopped buying her clothes.  It took me a little time to realize what the problem was, it wasn’t that my baby had grown out of the toddler section into the little girls’ clothes, it was that for the most part, little girl’s clothes are completely inappropriate.

Think about it.  Why is it ok to dress our little angels in miniskirts?  What message are we giving our daughters by buying them padded bras?  They are paying attention and if we allow them to dress scantily now, we are telling them that it’s perfectly acceptable to dress in a provocative manner.  And in a few years, when they enter that tween and teen years, will it still be “funny” or “cute” when they want to wear a miniskirt?

This phenomenon of dressing children in our image isn’t just for girls.  Most of the boy’s clothing is “street-style”, hoodies, skulls and crossbones, dickies and plaid shirts.  Are we raising gentlemen or gangsters?

Parents, what examples are you setting?  Are your clothes too tight?  Did you brush your hair today as you ran out the door to run the kids to school? Do you dress like your kids friends? Are you kids embarrassed to be seen with you?  It’s just as important the example we set as the clothes we choose for them.

All children have their own likes and dislikes.  My daughter loves glitter, as I’m sure most 6yo’s do, but I’ve taught her that if everything has glitter on it – top, pants, shoes – you just look like a big piece of aluminum foil. No one can appreciate what you have on.  When she told me she wanted pants with glitter on the bottom, it was that she wanted embellished clothing, not that she cared where it was, but unfortunately, this is what she sees on other kids, so this is what she asks for.  As parents, our job is to guide them.  Our children don’t know the perils of dressing provocatively, or of the endless choices out there, so talk to them, offer solutions and be frank.  Not every child has the same rules that we do in our home, and that’s ok.

Cultivate your child’s individual style now, so that they are confident in their choices later on, and able to be proud of what they are wearing, whether at school or at abuela’s and you will save yourself a lot of heartache now as well as when they are older.

It’s a wrap!

Posted on

As you may know I was on the organizing committee for the LATISM’11 Conference this year.  Working from the inside gave me a unique perspective which, despite the difficulties, I would not change for the world.  My poor husband saw me slowly transition from wife and mother with a project to a consumed woman and mother who occasionally made him dinner.  The machine that is known as Casa Dieppa in the last couple of weeks before the conference was in crazy mode, and he found himself stepping in to make up the slack.  When Frick and Frack met Reina (@Soylamar) Frick said, “I’ve heard you say that name a lot on the phone” and when we were looking and some of the fantastic pictures and videos many other directors and attendees have posted, Frick excitedly pointed at the people she knew in the pictures, Ana (@AnaRC), myself, papa and even my mom who attended the Gala (ella nunca se pierde una fiesta! she never misses a party!) and what a party it was!

For those of you who don’t know about Latinos In Social Media, or as we lovingly call it #LATISM, it is a volunteer based organization that started two years ago with a tweet and has grown into chapters around the country, a sustainable development program in Montecristo, Dominican Republic, a relationship with the White House, Latino2 (our tech conference), and most recently the LATISM National Conference this past week in Chicago.

As a volunteer based non-profit, we were wowed when so many great sponsors expressed their interest, put their dollars on the table and – more importantly – put together unique experiences with the LATISM community in mind.  There was an incredible amount of attention to detail put forth to ensure that our conference and community needs were being met in a manner that’s consistent with the LATISM mission of educating and empowering our community.  Take for example the Sears/Kmart opening reception “Noche Buena, Cartera Llena“.  A delightful way to kick off the conference with tastes and sounds from around Latin America.

And the sounds of Latina America followed us throughout the conference thanks to SoundCulture who provided all of the live bands that greeted us for every meal.

                  

                 

Then there were the wonderfully appointed suites, which I hope everyone had a moment to visit – PBS kids partnered with us and brought their new bilingual “Virtual PreK” program which was developed in conjunction with the Chicago Public School system, and a tool I will use at home since no one will accept a 3yo in preK.

Johnson & Johnson, a long time supporter of LATISM, from the sustainable development project in Montecristi to LATISM’11 where they brought information about their Text4Baby program as well as interviewing Ana and other LATISM directors in their suite throughout the conference.

And I know many, many of you had a moment to recharge, play and chat in our Wifi lounge, sponsored by Nintendo.  This groovy space was perfect for recharging your laptop, phone, tummy (there were snacks) and mind (hello, we’re talking gaming people!) as a proud member of the WiiFamilia I was happy to have them at LATISM’11 and know you were too.  The only time there was an empty seat in the suite was during the breakout sessions!

In between the suites, breakout sessions and days of running from break out sessions to the ballroom to handle catering details and run-of-show, there were the cafecito breaks.  Sears and Kmart were kind enough to provide us with delicious snacks, espressos, cappuccinos and lattes – que rico! I don’t know what I would’ve done without that special touch to get through those long and amazing days.

The sponsors gave LATISM’11 cache.  As you walked in, you knew that you were dealing with an organization that meant business, not as a friend put it, a meeting de las comadres.  We had large corporations, like McDonalds hosting breakfast, Google+ (how cutting edge Latino’s In Social Media is that?!) giving Google+ workshops and teaching us about the new business pages, Cricket mobile had their @MiCricket team there providing us a fun-filled dessert break with music from their Cricket phone – yes, that was a phone that we were Muving to!

Let’s not forget the amazing awards gala, and the generosity of Toyota, that not only brought us a lovely evening, their Corporate Communications Specialist, Javier Moreno (@Javi_NYC) and two gorgeous Camry’s which were displayed in the ballroom (I don’t know why I get a kick out of cars when they are inside), but they also brought a fleet of cars!  Many delegates also got to test drive the Prius and Camry during the conference thanks to @jeanmanolo.

And last, but certainly not least, Amway brought their makeup line Artistry.  After listening to the incredibly inspirational and moving closing keynote by Tony Melendez con bocas abiertas  (thanks @latinorebels for this clip), many of us were crying from exhaustion, happiness, euphoria, and epiphanies as we digested this amazing persons life.

Then as we composed ourselves and began the last dance of LATISM’11 we were able to have our makeup touched up (or in my case put on) by the Artistry makeup artists.

The glam was back, the cocktails were served, la tribu de LATISM was ready to go out with a baile!  And baile there was!

Overall the conference was amazing, at one point I was telling @TonyHTonyH that it was like “meeting old friends for the first time” which is something that only social media can do.  Instead of waiting for introductions and the right moment, it was all besos y abrazos as we shared handles, retold online jokes IRL and shared new jokes (#JSS)!

But it’s not all about branding, there were many other sponsors that helped in so many other ways, from design to media and scholarships, we received an overwhelming response from the business community.  So mi gente, what does that tell us?  That we should keep on doing what we’re doing, having honest conversations online during our Twitter parties and then taking those ideas offline through our chapters, our volunteering and collaborations to then all meet in Houston next year for LATISM12!! And let’s never forget que sin trabajo y negocio no hay fiesta, without business and hard work, there won’t be a party, so GRACIAS to everyone who made LATISM’11 possible, the sponsors, the community, my husband and YOU!!  

To really get a feel of the conference take a moment to watch this video compiled onsite by the creative genius @EdwinGil  (thank you!) y nos vemos en LATISM ’12!

Many thanks to http://www.photopeddler.com and Jacinto Ariza for their amazing coverage of LATISM ’11.  You can see more pictures on LATISM’s page at Google +


I’m not Mexican

Posted on

I say this not to exclude anyone, but to educate.

I am a Latina.  Born in the US, raised in the south.  The question back then was a simple “what are you” because apparently it was not self evident that I was a person, and the fact that I was neither white nor black was a little confusing.

I did not have the pleasure of meeting a Mexican until I was almost 20, which is also around the time that I first had “Mexican” food (tacos & such).

Since then I have had the honor and pleasure of working with countless numbers of Mexicans, have enjoyed vampiritos, learned a thing our two about the Mayan ancestry, have visited many destinations in Mexico, enjoyed some of the vast delicacies available throughout the different regions, and even met my husband (who’s not Mexican either) in Mexico.

My point? Businesses, if you want to speak to my pocketbook, dimelo en Cubano!  Just because you translated it and dropped a lime in it, does not make me your audience. 

I am not acclimated, I am an American. I am not bicultural, I am a Latina. I stand with my fellow Latin@s on issues of immigration and racism.  I do not watch Univision or Telemundo because it doesn’t speak to me, but wish there were more programming like HBO’s Epitaphios because it was great!

I tell you this because the trillion dollar market segment that you are salivating for is not a one size fits all.   Take a moment to learn that in Chicago for example, latino’s in Pilsen are predominately Mexican,  while you can find mostly Boriquas (Puerto Rican for the uninitiated) near Humboldt Park. There’s even a Colombian community, but it seems most of the Cubans got smart and relocated to better climate. 😉

The conversation amongst marketers is that the future is in personalization… how, if you continue to lump us together?

%d bloggers like this: