“Latinas in the Modern World Come from a Diversity of Backgrounds.”
We are white and brown. We are triumphant and oppressed, strong and weak, calm and feisty. @ModernLatinas is a space for these seemingly opposite traits to coexist without judgment.
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People often question the validity of our heritage. “But you don’t even look Latina,” they contest, confused by the light eyes and freckles that belong to someone with the last name Gonzales. Others prefer to turn our race into a guessing game: “Are you Italian? Greek? Israeli?”
To be mixed race is to harbor two histories in one body. And to many, our histories clash. Our mom is a white woman from West Virginia who grew up in a quaint home in a small town. She gave us our emerald eyes and freckles. Our father immigrated to California from Mexico in 1964, and his mother picked in the fields before starting a successful Mexican restaurant. Our Mexican identity gifted us skin that glows in summer and jet-black Aztecan hair – and probably our feisty attitudes as well.
Mexicans have experienced a history of discrimination and racism from white people. Consequently, our genes include the physical remnants of both the colonizer and the colonized. While we strongly identify with our Mexican roots, advocating for the Latinx community can be difficult as we don’t fit neatly into white or brown spaces. We are hardly unique in this experience. There are more mixed-race children in this world than ever before, and most are also faced with the same predicament of finding community when their linage splits off in opposite directions.
It is precisely this predicament that motivated us, with the help of our cousin, to create @ModernLatinas. Latinas in the modern world come from a diversity of backgrounds. We are immigrants and indigenous. We are white and brown. We are triumphant and oppressed, strong and weak, calm and feisty. @ModernLatinas is a space for these seemingly opposite traits to coexist without judgment.
We vary our content each week with the goal of producing a “survival guide” of sorts to challenge a negative, unidimensional image of Latinas. We post humorous slide decks with relatable memes, informational resources such as “How to Vote in the United States,” and uplifting tributes to marginalized members of the Latinx community.
Each day, we learn more about the people we hope to reach, and we tailor our efforts accordingly. Our goal is not to assert our own understanding of modern Latinas but rather to absorb the needs and values of our digital community and reflect those in content that makes each follower feel at home.
The response to @ModernLatinas has far exceeded our expectations. Our follow base has grown consistently since we started the account back in May of 2020. We frequently engage with followers through comments, direct messages, and reposts. We are excited to continue advocating for Latinas through Instagram and look forward to reminding our followers that there is no such thing as a typical Latina, only a modern Latina.
Maya and Izzy Gonzales are sisters and co-creators of @ModernLatinas a Latina Survival Guide! The sisters live in the San Francisco Bay Area. They enjoy social justice activism and engaging in conversations with their followers about what it’s like being a Latina in the modern world.