Why I love Collaborating With Natural Influencers

Growing up, the only T.V characters I connected with were Sister Sister ‘s Tia and Tamara Landry. Although I loved watching Lizzie Mcguire and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, I couldn’t identify with the main characters. The suburban life , blond hair, and blue eyes was more of an imagination than reality for me.

I soon realized how little representation was devoted to women of color, but this wasn’t an issue I picked up on American Television.

As a Latina, I learned in my Luz Clarita days.

If you’re a 90s kid that watched Spanish-daytime television, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Luz Clarita was a widely popular Mexican soap opera about a young orphan played by Daniela Lujan.  The series was successful at an international level, merchandise with Lujan’s face was sold all over Latin America (I personally owned a book bag, watch and quilt).  Lujan, with her piercing blue eyes and blond hair, embodied the Eurocentric beauty standard that have dominated runways and ads.

Sadly, there were never colored or curly-haired actresses playing important roles in these kid soap operas.

When I launched Hu-Huako, I made it clear in my mood boards that I wanted to include all types of women. Different shapes, colors and hair textures.

The objective: I want girls to look at my page and mentally dispose any conventional, media-defined beauty standard that has haunt them for years.

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Photography by : @aaronricketts . Models left to right @pam.xo , @yanjanay , @smotavaldez , @verroonniicaa , @mmotav , @darleneduran , @jennifermotaval and @jdp.xo

 

In 2017 I gained the courage to reach out to influencers that inspire me as well as  photograph naturalistas in the Dominican Republic.

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Model: Sofia Reyes. Zona Colonial – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
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Left to Right: Mandy Leger, Awilda Ravelo, Sofia Reyes

 

The objective: Lord knows how much I love my Dominican roots. However, a large number of the country’s population will not appreciate MY roots. My natural hair is viewed as unkept, unprofessional … not “put together”. It’s important that we showcase all beauty. It’s vital that we challenge social stigmas constructed around the natural-hair community – attached to all communities.


Natural-hair enthusiasts like Hortencia Caires (@stylefeen) , have used their platform to motivate and educate others on race, ethnicity, and curly hair. I was so stoked to work with her and she wore her custom piece beautifully.

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@stylefeen x @huhuako

 

The amount of messages I received this past summer, from women of color and young girls in their beginning stages of transitioning was compelling. It is our job to remind our younger sisters, daughters, and friends that we can not let society dominate our personal views and how we see beauty.

I still have yet to achieve my purpose of incorporating self-love and my brand, but I am grateful for the amount of support I have gained along the way and the patience my audience has gained over the years.

Thank you for a great 2017.