I miss Empire too [Video]

Tonight we’re lost souls. Our Wednesday night Empire ritual has taken flight. While we mourn the lack of Cookie and Boo Boo Kitty tonight, I’ve brought to you last week’s season 1 finale Snapchat story.

If you weren’t paying attention, for the first time ever I held a live Snapchat session during Empire’s 2-hour long season finale last week. Not only did I let you all into my living room as I reacted to some of Lucious’s grimiest moments, but I also responded to anyone’s questions or Snapchats directly. It was a ton of fun, and I look forward to holding more live Snapchat sessions starting with #TGIT tomorrow night! Join me at 8pm/ET and let’s talk TV!

Everything You Need to Know About Where Beyonce’s Nip Slip Occurred

Beyonce has taken full advantage of LA living, fashion included. Who wouldn’t strut around town in a crop chambray top when there’s no sign of snowflakes in the forecast? When the rest of us common folk have nip slips no one takes notice and we can recover from our embarrassment privately. Unfortunately for Bey, eyes (and cameras) follow her everywhere. So much so that her wardrobe malfunction made the evening and morning headlines: Braless Beyonce. The widely circulated photos of her nip slip were snapped as she and hubby Jay-Z walked out of the West Hollywood restaurant Gracias Madre, where the On the Run couple were feasting while Bey’s nips were still sheltered from the paparazzi lense.

If you thought Beyonce wasn’t serious about vegan cuisine, her trip to Gracias Madre shut that down. With the recent news of a vegan meal delivery service, 22 Days Nutrition, Beyonce has begun to put her stamp on vegan-living. Perhaps moving to LA will make it easier for Bey to commit 100% to a vegan diet, since the city has some of the finest vegan restaurants. Gracias Madre is among them. The restaurant has fed the likes of Common and Amber Rose.

So what can one eat at this favorite of vegan connoisseurs? It isn’t just tofu to go, that’s for sure. You probably like Mexican food: tamales, guacamole, enchiladas. At Gracias Madre you’re feasting on your food truck favorites without the guilt of stuffing your stomach to the brink of explosion. It’s no food truck though, it’s an upscale dining experience. But guess what? You don’t  have to have the Carters’ bank account to dine there. The most expensive option on the dinner menu is $18! Healthy and affordable? I’m with it.

Gracias Madre is a personal favorite. I’ve been pescetarian for about 8 years (and for months at a time I’ve gone vegan). I’ve tried my fair share of vegan restaurants, all of which I’ve enjoyed. The thing is, I’m a taco-fiend. I crave guac like my existence depends on it. When I had the pleasure of eating at Gracias Madre last year during a vacation in LA, I couldn’t believe my taste buds. It was so delicious that we ended up ordering more.

The ambiance is what seals the deal. With a bar spanning the majority of one wall on inside and an outdoor garden with picnic bench seating, you’ll never want to eat anywhere else. Apparently the rest of LA seems to feel the same way. Don’t bank on walk-ins, this place is always poppin’ (sans Bey’s nipples though!) so plan ahead and book a reservation.

Have you dined at Gracias Madre before? Drop a line below with your opinions and your fav dish on the menu or tweet me about it @katerinatorres!

What was rockin’ at the #RocNationBrunch?

Yesterday my Instagram feed was filled with all photos captioned #RocNationBrunch. While I double-tapped on the endless photo stream of beautifully dressed celebs and dynamic group photo ops, I was left with a few questions, as I’m sure were the rest of you.

  1. The first potential situation I visualized was Kim Kardashian and Adrienne Bailon at the same event. Remember how Adrienne used to date Kim’s baby brother Rob? And then there’s that little social media scuffle between Bailon and the Kardashian sisters after the Latina magazine cover story on Bailon highlighted her regret for being on the show and that past relationship. Not that the #RocNationBrunch seemed like the most intimate of affairs, but definitely a smaller gathering than other pre-Grammy festivities. Was there eye contact? Did Kim congratulate Adrienne on her recent engagement? Did Adrienne compliment Kim’s new short do?
  2. While we’re on the topic of party planning, what was the brunch food? Was there no foodies in the mix there because I saw zero food porn pics. I’m highly disappointed considering Beyonce just launched a vegan meal delivery service and I was hoping to hear about some vegan offerings at the brunch. You know, in case a late invite came my way.
  3. Beyonce posed with hubby and Willow Smith. After the New York Times articles, where the Smith kids’ abstract theories on life had all of us like “huh?” I’m curious what the Queen and the two child geniuses conversed on. Did Bey spark up dialogue on her version of feminism and then Willow was like hol’ up hol’ up,  “…you think about what you think, which is very dangerous.”
  4. Rihanna joined Kanye and Paul McCartney on the track “FourFiveSeconds,” so we know her and Kanye are cool. Can Rihanna and Kim really stand more that FourFiveSeconds with each other though? I mean as much as Kim shows her lovely naked lady lumps, with a simple tongue out photo Rihanna steals back the throne of sensuality. There appeared to be more candid pics of Rihanna than Beyonce, so was Bey like “hop off my throne, I’m the host of this ish”?
  5. What made Kanye laugh? There’s such limited quantity of smiling pictures of Kanye that even his Grammy seat placeholder is a pic of him mean-mugging. At the #RocNationBrunch, however, Kanye seemed to be in his element. I’ve never seen so many photos of this man looking genuinely happy. Who had the joke that cracked Kanye’s smile?
  6. Last night Big Sean had a concert and from the looks of the backstage IG evidence, guests made their way from the #RocNationBrunch to his concert. Who rode with who? Does everyone ride in their own limo? Was it a last minute invite Big Sean threw out there over eggs and mimosas?

I’m not sure the Grammy’s will be any fun after such a star-studded brunch yesterday, but we’ll watch to judge the dresses anyways. In the meantime, will someone who attended yesterday’s #RocNationBrunch please come forward and answer these questions?

How Lipstick Got On Pigskin

“Go for good penetration.”

Does your mind slide to the dirty side when you hear that? So does Deb Durst’s whenever she hears that phrase during a football game. She joined forces with her good friend Jill Rubin, and they wrote their first book “There’s Lipstick on My Pigskin,” an A to Z dictionary of football terminology with a woman’s take. It’s the first in a series of satirical play books the duo plans on releasing. Durst, a previous marketing professional, employed her skills from her past career into their book tour. They abide by the NFL schedule, stopping at bars and other fan gathering places on the weekends, making their way through New Jersey and Pennsylvania, to promote their book. Born into a family of Eagles’ fans—her dad owned season tickets for quite some time—her love for sports inevitably found its main stage in her career. Durst, who’s age is described in the book’s introduction as “We don’t qualify for early bird specials” talked about how men see the book, what sport is next in the series, and the controversy that has haunted the NFL this 2014-2015 season.

Kat: Where did you come up with this idea?

Deb Durst: Actually, I was watching a football game and the announcer said a term, and I started to chuckle to myself, because I often do that. And I was like, Wow, that could really mean something else [for] females who really know nothing about the sport. And then I called my girlfriend and I was like, Listen to this idea and she started to chuckle and she was like, “oh my gosh Debbie that’s it!” So I was like ok you start working on some words and I’ll start working on some words and then we’ll compare notes and we’ll build it from there.

How have men received the book?

You know what the men call it, they call it their bathroom book.

Really?

Oh yeah! When they’re in the bathroom they pick it up and they read a few and they laugh. It’s not a novel, it’s a dictionary style book and it’s written that way because of the football terms. They call it their bathroom book. Mmhmm. I’m okay with that!

Have you always had this comedic gift? Has anyone ever told you before you should write a book?

Well, yeah, because I have a hidden twitter account, and I won’t identify myself on it. And I’ve used that there to test a lot of things that are rolling around in my head, and I get to see what people say, and how they respond to me, and I’ll say hmm that sounds like something I could work with. But you’ll never see the F word, I don’t do the F word. I refuse to do the F word!

Any other words that are taboo?

Actually when we were writing the book we really kept it clean. My mother read it and she’s a pillar of the Catholic church and she’s like “ok I blushed a few times,” and I said, “Mom, you had four children, please.”

What do your kids think of the book, have they read it?

No they didn’t read it, but they were there all along when I was laughing to myself writing.

Have you picked a sport for the next one?

Oh we’re already half way through hockey and we’re about a quarter of the way through the baseball one.

Where’s your favorite place to watch Eagles games?

I actually really enjoy it at home. I enjoy Sunday dinners and that’s probably because I was raised—we were always together for Sunday dinner.

With everything going on in the NFL right now, do you have any words of encouragement for female fans that might feel disappointed with the league?

I’m really impressed that they have hired a group of females to come on board and I know one of them who was hired and I am so proud of her. I know she is going to make great strides to turn them around, so I’m elated for her and I’m elated for the NFL because they have a gem and I know she’s going to do a lot for them. She’s been involved in domestic violence the last 20 years, and she comes in and she writes policy and she talks to companies about how to handle the victims, how to handle domestic violence in the workplace. It’s very encouraging, and knowing that she’s on the team makes me feel good about it.

What’s the most Jersey thing about you?

I run out of middle fingers at every circle. Thank god they’re taking them away!

Want more on “There’s Lipstick on My Pigskin”?

Beauty Bug #1: Fill Me In

Every weekend I got this bug, it makes me want to go to Ulta, Walgreens, and Target looking for a beauty buy. It’s a beauty bug and I catch it far more often than my wallet likes to be unzipped. I really only let myself splurge if it’s an item with practicality equaling its price. So with that I introduce my weekly Beauty Bug, not just something to squeeze into your make-up bag for shits and giggles–these are must haves–tested, approved, and used routinely by yours truly.

This weekend I finally found love at first sight. No really, when I saw how perfectly filled in my eyebrows were, I knew it was time to swipe that card cha-ching. The way an artist approaches their canvas is how I approach my make-up regimen. It’s my special time to get in tune with my inner Picasso, but for years I’ve just never felt like the portrait was complete. I’d accept my make-up as good enough (I’m also okay with going natural too), it just seemed like something was missing.

I’ve known for some months now that ‘that something’ was my eyebrows. I once gave eyebrow filling a shot when I purchased a pencil filler. NEVER AGAIN. I naturally have bushy eyebrows, I get them cleaned up but not too thin because I really like thick eyebrows, except that when you fill in thick eyebrows with a creamy pencil, you’re already-thick-hair clumps together and you end up with a sticky, bushy mess. The gorgeous woman who I’m loyal to for my eyebrow waxing always has her brows looking on point, so when she got done waxing mine this weekend I said, “Please tell me how you get your eyebrows to look SO good. Do you fill them in?” To which she responded, “Yes! I actually use our product from here (European Wax Center). Sit down let me do them.” Not only did my girl fill them in, but she taught me exactly how to do it so that it’s natural while giving your face that finished look. I was so excited when she handed me the mirror and it didn’t look like a dark clumpy mess, instead they were smooth, filled, and shapely.

There’s a reason why they looked so perfect: brow powder. Using a powder product allows a dry application which blends loosely and by applying it with an angle brush you can get the powder into the ridges where it mostly needs to do its job. I’ve had friends use everything from pencil to eyeliner gel to mascara to no avail in order to get flawless brows. That’s why I had to share this week’s Beauty BugNatural Brow Powder from European Wax Center–because you beautiful ladies don’t deserve to keep struggling with the wrong methods anymore. My eyebrows are almost black so I bought it in Venice and my girl recommended I use the lighter shade in the palette and only use the darker if you’re going for a more dramatic make-up look. Get to filling!

Forbes’ Most Powerful Celebs and the Memories We Have of Them

Back in June, Forbes announced the list of the world’s most powerful celebrities with little to no debate against their top 10 overall choices. Beyoncé is #1, so yeah, no objection here. These celebrities aren’t memorable to us because of their financial wealth though, no. It’s the moments they’ve edged into pop culture history that have had a lasting impression on the public. In the past year, here’s why each of these celebrities caught your attention a little more than the rest.

#10 Robert Downey Jr.
He’s the Iron Man, duh.
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Source: mrhankey.tumblr.com

#9 Katy Perry
She teamed up with Juicy J and gave us something less bubbly and more dark. “Dark Horse” has been played out on the radio for far too long.
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Source: perrymckee.tumblr.com

#8 Rihanna
Remember when her Instagram was full of puffs and nipples? Yeah, I miss those days too.
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Source: shortii-xx.tumblr.com

#7 Floyd Mayweather
Money Mayweather isn’t always the biggest man in the room. Maria Sharapova had trouble finding him at the ESPY’s.
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Source: www.gifbay.com

#6 Jay Z
The Solange elevator incident gave us meme’s for days.
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Source: www.reddit.com

#5 Ellen Degeneres
She gave fruition to the royalty of selfies.
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Source: www.vulture.com

#4 Oprah Winfrey
No, she didn’t give away cars to everyone in an audience, but she did play one hell of a role on The Butler.
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Source: gifthescreen.tumblr.com

#3 Dr. Dre
That Beats deal with Apple was crazy. And then they called Dre at the conference. Only Apple.
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Source: gopop.co

#2 LeBron James
I could mention tons, but right now there’s nothing more memorable than his homecoming.
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Source: zer0radiogifs.tumblr.com

#1 Beyoncé
She secretly recorded an album and music videos to go with it, and dropped it with no warning.
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Source: tumblr.com

Welcome Home: College Grads and Their New Reality

By now most college grads are near the end of riding the high of graduation. Your parents threw you a party to celebrate your accomplishment, you’re almost done emptying out your plastic drawers that so nicely decorated your dorm/apartment, and you’re desperately seeking a job that’ll be your lifelong career. But more frightening than anything else is your new reality, moving back in with your family. Panic. Ok now chill the fuck out. I know how it feels, I’ve been there. You’ll make it through of this I’m certain. I’m heading into year three living at home, I’m still breathing, heart’s still beating. It doesn’t go on without some struggle though. So I’ll tell you what I’ve learned, sacrificed, and benefitted while living at home the past 2+ years since I graduated from Quinnipiac University way back when in May 2012.

Let’s start with the bad…

Watchful Eyes. I’m lucky that I don’t have strict parents. I pretty much come and go as I please. I stroll in sometimes at 5 am and other days I’m in bed by 9 pm. It’s never an issue where I go, what time I come home, or who I’m with. But they’re watching. It still bothers me that there’s people in the house I come home to and they know my ins and outs. Get used to a lack of privacy and make yourself comfortable with the idea of transparency because even if they aren’t confronting you about it, their eyes are always watching and your old folks are sharper than you think. My mom will always hit me with the, “I heard you coming upstairs right before my alarm went off for work.” Translation: “You came home at the time I was waking up for work, wtf were you doing out at that time?” Just set guidelines from the beginning by not giving too many details about your whereabouts. The less you tell them initially, the less they expect to know.

Finding Food . The biggest fight I have in my house is over leftovers. Just the other day I hadn’t eaten the pizza my mom bought the night before. The next day I daydreamed about that pizza all damn day and was really looking forward to getting home after a long day at work and just heating up my slices and filling up my tummy. Instead, I got home to find the empty pizza box in the garbage. If you don’t hide the food you want to eat, someone else will eat it. It’s every man for himself in a family kitchen, so lock up your goods if you’re going to want it later.

Quiet Your Questions. Although I don’t deal with strict parents, their conversational questions are what still make living home painfully different than my four years away at college. My parents don’t mean to be intrusive when they ask me where I’m going as I’m walking out of the house, but even so, it’s frustrating. For four years, I was used to getting up and walking out my front door without that question being asked on my way out. I’m always honest about what I’m doing because like I said, I have pretty chill parents, but it still gets under my skin, that little extra step of saying, “I’m going out with the girls.” Again, keep your responses vague if you don’t want them expecting to know your every move.

Now for the good stuff…

Mo’ Home Mo’ Money. It’s expensive out there in the real world. Rent money, utilities, groceries, and dare I say, cable. Living with your parents gives you the amenities and comforts of living in a home without paying the hefty bills. Yeah they might ask for a tiny rent payment, help with a bill, or to throw them some grocery money, but you’re not paying alladat by yourself. It’s a load off your shoulders and allows you to save money so when it is time to leave the nest, you have a nice cushy emergency fund and some mula to furnish your new place.

Home Cooking. I can cook, if I wanted to. I’m the only one in my house whose job and school is in NYC, so I commute what consumes a good chunk of time everyday. The last thing I want to do is cook after all that traveling back and forth. Luckily most days of the week, my mom has a home-cooked Puerto Rican meal on the stovetop. My tummy thanks her each time. I’m also vegetarian, the only one at my mom’s house, and she’s always so kind to provide a vegetarian option in the meal. She even stopped putting jamón in her beans. Just for me! Those little things you won’t get anywhere but home. And my stepdad makes everyone coffee in bed on occasion during the weekends, and I’m thankful.

Sobering Siblings. When I first went away to school, my sister was too young for us to bond over life. By the time I moved back, she was in her last year of middle school prepping for high school. She’s 15 now and she’s honestly my best friend. AKC, as everyone knows her, keeps me grounded and her advice is so on point. Now that she’s a teenager, we have real conversations and she’s funny as shit. Because my mom has a demanding job, I find myself doing a lot for my sister and it’s brought us closer together. I’ve even asked my mom if when I do finally move out, she’d consider letting my sister come live with me.

Livin’ With Love. There’s a lot of bumps and bruises on the path to greatness. Sometimes you get discouraged and feel like giving up, that’s when that warm loving place you live totally comes in the clutch. When I moved home from college I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I was dealing with some health problems and personal heartache. Some days I couldn’t get out of bed, I’d just lay there and cry wondering if all the success I dreamed about was even attainable or if I’d been kidding myself my whole life. Those were the days my mom and dad held me up. Their words of encouragement and wisdom, their patience, and attentive listening were exactly what was needed for me to get my shit together. With their help I cleared my mind, dusted off the anxiety, and pursued my goals. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t have applied to NYU for my masters, and I wouldn’t be so close to achieving all I’ve ever wanted. The love of parents cannot be replaced. And that’s worth all the other little hassles of living with them.

How To Disconnect and Make It Worth It

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As I settled onto a large rock on the Hollywood Hills feeling the fresh California air breezing through my hair, I finally felt relief. After a week of late nights editing video, minimal sleep, missing a flight, and struggling through a 48-hour migraine, I needed a vacation. But with the mobile devices so readily at my side, it felt like I’d never escape the rush. However, I’ve found ways to disconnect from the continuous movement that exists on my social media timelines and instead focus on rejuvenating during my time off. Now that summer’s here and you’ll be taking some vacaciones, here’s three tips on how to disconnect and make it worth your while.

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Tie up loose ends before taking off. Before you dig up your bikinis for that tropical island that awaits you, let people know you won’t be available. There’s nothing more irritating than work emails that appear to be urgent but could actually wait. Tell your boss you’ll be gone with limited connectivity and provide a method of contact in the event of absolute necessity. Also, set up an OOO message on your email and voicemail. Provide details on how long you plan on being away so that no one expects an immediate response. This will make you feel at ease knowing that all correspondence will be waiting for you once you return and reconnect, and no one is refreshing their inbox expecting your response.

Silence your smartphone and tablets. Once I’ve arrived, hopefully on-time, to my flight, my phone gets put on silent. No vibrate, no ringtones, just silence. This might seem silly, but it’s a simple move that’ll make all the difference. The beep and vibrate of your phone is a constant reminder of emails, messages, and notifications that require your attention, but if your phone is silenced you will find yourself forgetting all about those things and abandoning the glossy screen for the gleaming rays of sun in your eyes.

Own a digital camera and take it with you everywhere. Our iPhones and Galaxies have great cameras, but they also have pages of apps tempting us into a black hole of distractions. Taking photos during your vacation is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the scenery and appreciate all the little things that make your time away from home memorable. One of my professors in college once told me, if she hope we’d learned anything from her, it was to be present in the moment. You don’t have to Instagram the photo of the amazing view from your hotel right this second, that moment is special to you, and when you get back home and reconnect, it’ll be waiting to download off your digital camera. No rush needed.

Not only are you disconnecting for the sake of your sanity, but also to be present in all of the moments you’re experiencing in new places. Everything lives forever on the internet, so if you missed a trending topic you can definitely look it all up later on. Take the time for yourself. You don’t want to have to respond when your coworkers ask you what you did on your trip–ehh, tweet?

 

This Is How She Makes It

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Latina finds ways to overcome the challenges of breaking into the entertainment industry.

Not many people are able to say they had the opportunity to showcase their skills in front of their biggest influence. For Judianny Compres, a thirty-something actress in New York City, today is that day. Her face would be most familiar to mainstream audiences for her role opposite Eddie Murphy in Tower Heist. On this day though, she beams with excitement as she chats about the full circle moment that awaits her, an audition for director Ivo van Hove, whose production of the play A Streetcar Named Desire inspired her during the early stages of her acting career. 

Most people are overcome with nerves at such a moment, but Compres is as cool as the unsweetened iced tea she’s sipping. “Opportunity meets preparedness,” she said, noting that there’s nothing she can do except lay it all on that stage. 

The Dominican actress earned her undergraduate degree in theater at the CUNY Baccalaureate program—an honors program where students may pick courses in their major from any of the CUNY schools—before studying at Stella Adler and then HB Studio, all of which has helped her hone a confidence that prepared her for this audition. Compres is trying for any of three female lead roles in the Ingmar Bergman play Scenes From a Marriage being put on by the New York Theater Workshop, which combines the experience of performing with nurturing artists’ individual work. “My hope is that not everybody has to be white, especially with this director who’s a visionary,”said the Latina with cinnamon brown skin and honey colored hair. “I’m hoping that he will have the vision to incorporate a more 2014 New York, more diverse.” 

The talk of more diversity extends beyond New York and into Tinseltown with the question on everyone’s mind: is this the year of Latinos in entertainment? With controversial television shows like Devious Maids—providing five Latina lead roles— premiering their second season and the success of Netflix original series Orange is the New Black, the number of roles opening up for Latinas has been growing. Some argue it isn’t enough and that the roles offered do not capture Latinos in all their complexities. According to a study by USC released in October 2013, Hispanics are up there in numbers as movie goers, at 26%, and yet only 4.2% of the speaking roles are of their own.

So what is the root of this disparity? And how can the issue become less talk and more action?

Compres believes the cycle starts early on with the lack of encouragement the Latino youth receives to pursue careers in the arts. A career as a lawyer or doctor would garner more pats on the back from her family than her acting credits, she notes. Her mother has warned her about a lifelong career in acting saying, “You’re thinking of pajaritos preñaos (pipe dreams).”. By supporting children from an early age and encouraging them to get involved in the arts, the future of diverse inclusion in film and television stands a chance. And as millennials align themselves in power positions within the media and entertainment world, they will help cultivate a greater respect for the arts in their Latino communities, she predicts. “The generational component is key.”.

As a film history professor at University of Texas at Austin, Charles Ramirez-Berg agrees that part of the solution is generational. “It’s just kind of human nature for first generation Latinos who go to college to seek out a life-long profession, like being a doctor or lawyer,” he says and “it’s the next generation that has the opportunity to explore.”That is the generation that will increase Latino inclusion in film, Ramirez-Berg believes, and “in our history, in the history of Latinos, that generation is now.” 

Latinos also need to become content producers, Compres argues. “To have writers and producers developing content that’s inclusive,” will drive the future of Latino representation on the big screen.

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Compres also abides by this standard as she maneuvers her own career goals. She’s currently working on a screenplay called In The Cargo that tells the story of a Dominican immigrant and her treacherous journey to the states in search of a better life. She believes that universal themes can transcend race, mentioning movies like Maria Full of Grace, a Spanish-language movie whose story arc of a pregnant woman trafficking drugs into the United States captured audience’s attention, regardless of language. In the movie A Better Life cited by Ramirez-Berg, the story at surface seems to be about a Mexican immigrant, but the tale of a father and son stirs up universal emotions. “There’s this curious thing that the more specific you make it, the more universal it becomes,”said Ramirez-Berg.

Compres also thinks the classics can be colorblind. “These great stories, like Ibsen and Tennessee Williams, Shakespeare, transcend race and ethnicity, “she says, “but oftentimes the vision of the creator, of the director is not there, they only see white.”She’s not opposed to chasing roles she knows lend themselves to inclusivity. “A lot of times they’re not looking for Latinas but I know the story is not white specific so I go and show them I can do the job,” said Compres crediting this go-getter attitude for helping her land a few gigs. 

The same could be said of the Spy Kids series written and directed by Robert Rodriguez. Ramirez-Berg points out that the movie series are centered around the Cortes family although “there’s nothing in that story that says they have to be Latino.” He believes part of the success that surrounds Robert Rodriguez is his focus on creating genre movies that happen to have Latinos or be Spanish-language. 

Still, there have been plenty of times when Compres reads through casting call lists seeking Caucasian, Caucasian, Caucasian. Plenty of times when they’ve told her  “you need more of an accent.” Plenty of times when they’ve told her “you need to be more Latina.” But what makes a Latina more Latina? Perhaps it’s the sexy coke bottle image that’s been drilled into audiences.

The study by USC also reveals the alarmingly prevalent sexualization of Hispanic women. According to the study, “Hispanic females are more likely to be depicted in sexy attire and partially naked than Black or White females.”The sexualized Latina portrayed in films translates into complications for Latinas seeking respect and growth in the entertainment industry. Take for instance the money-well that Sofia Vergara has filled to the brim with her curvaceous dumb Latina act in the Emmy Award winning sitcom Modern Family. There’s also Jennifer Lopez, whose round romp made having a big booty a trait to appreciate.

The pressure of sexualized Latinas dates back over a century according to Ramirez-Berg, who details the harlot character in Westerners, with their floral skirts and exposed shoulders, as intentionally created to be the “very alluring but they’re dangerous” figure.

Xiomara Medina, a film editor and aspiring singer, has felt the strain of the sexualized Latina image displayed in the media. For many people in the industry, networking events are useful to landing gigs, but Medina says she has found it difficult to get the respect she works hard for because of her physical appearance. The curvy Puerto Rican with long blonde highlighted hair  has learned that the extra effort of dressing more conservatively than usual is necessary if she wants the focus to be on her work and not her cleavage. “As a woman, a lot of men want to date you. That’s a big challenge. How do you tell somebody that you need an opportunity from that you don’t want to date them?” said Medina. “Stick with the people who are taking you seriously and giving you the opportunities.” 

While Medina has felt the pressure of Latina sexualization in her professional encounters, Compres has felt the same when walking into auditions. Seeing model-looking women chasing the same roles she’s there for. Oh I’m never going to get the job. But sometimes she does. 

Medina also encourages Latinas to create their own content. She implements this in her own life by using her video editing skills to direct and produce the music videos for her songs. Her bilingual skills proved to be an advantage when she got one of her first major film editing jobs on the film about salsa singer Hector Lavoe, The King. She was able to edit the film with an understanding of Hector Lavoe as an artist while also comprehending the content in both English and Spanish.

Both Compres and Medina strongly urge the public to back up Latino projects. That means when a movie as telling as Cesar Chavez is released, there shouldn’t be an empty seat in the theater during opening weekend. If the audience does not show up for a Latino project, the funding for the next one will be that much harder to gather. 

Compres’s mentor Zachary Sklar knows how tough the film industry is when it comes to seeking out financial support for a project. Sklar, an Academy Award nominee for his screenwriting work on JFK, has mentored her through the writing process of three screenplays, one of which—Happy New Year!— was made into a film that was screened at Cannes. 

He knows she has her work cut out for her on her most recent screenplay In The Cargo, when he admits, “I don’t think it’s the traditional commercial vehicle that people in the film industry are looking for, so that’s why it’s rough.” So her plans to bring her screenplay to film festivals and network will be key. “She’s also good at talking to people and making connections and getting out there, and that’s half the battle,” said Sklar. “In this case she has the goods, the work is really excellent.” 

The effort to increase the presence of Latina women in Hollywood is as the saying goes, it takes a village, or un pueblo. The actresses must be prepared to show their best performances to nail the roles that aren’t necessarily for Latinas, and develop their careers in order to fill those behind the scenes positions as well. Taking on all the roles guarantees that there will be more voices in the industry vying for Latinas and telling those stories from the community that need to be heard. Sklar has witnessed Compres’s dedication to giving voice to such stories, “She felt a moral responsibility to tell the story of people who really can’t speak for themselves, they don’t have a voice in the mainstream media, and Judianny has that voice and she’s willing to do the research and talk to these people, which she did.” 

While she waits on callbacks for her audition, she’s still buzzing around working and networking. “It’s a very exciting time to be a Latino in the industry,” said Compres, “but it’s not enough, there has to be more.”And she’s dead set on contributing to that. “I just don’t know how to quit.”

Photo Source: Judianny Compres

Mani Madness

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With Memorial Day weekend around the corner kicking off summer, it’s time to get your manis and pedis on point. You don’t want to be caught at any cookout in the coming weeks with chipped nails or even worst, rough feet. Thanks to Instagram and Etsy, DIY mani-pedis are totally doable and even cheaper than getting them done. Check out some of my favorite nail art stickers, trends, and tutorial videos. And keep scrolling for mi abuelita’s tip that’ll keep your feet sandal ready!

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Photo Credit: NailSpin on Etsy

 

Frida Kahlo at my fingertips? Yes, please! If you need a little inspiration from an accomplished Latina, you can have Kahlo’s iconic portrait at hand with these stickers available on Etsy from NailSpin for $6.00:

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Credit: MiniatureMakerSupply on Etsy

 

Dot it up. You’ve seen this tool is most tutorial videos, and you can own a set of your own ball stylus to master all sized dotting for your miniature masterpieces available on Etsy from MiniatureMakerSupply for $7.50:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Credit: NailStencils on Etsy

Show your chevron. I love all things chevron and I don’t see this nail trend ending any time soon. It’s a great way to color block on your nails. Here’s some stencils to nail those classy clean edges, available on Etsy from NailStencils for $5.11:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Credit: DecalGirlUSA on Etsy

 

Storyboard nail beds? I love when nail art travels from one fingernail to the next and you can see the entire story or portrait shown across all five fingers. My best childhood memory was picking dandelions in my grandparents yard and trying my hardest to bare them in one blow, so I absolutely felt a kid again when I came across these decals, available on Etsy from DecalGirlUSA for $3.85:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Credit: Nails4Beauty on Etsy

 

Texture Texters. I’m a sucker for nails that are full of texture, after all I want to have something fascinating to look at while my thumbs are hard at work sending summer tweets. Caviar and Velvet are two of my favorite, check them out available on Etsy from Beauty4Nails for $12.00:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo Credit: DecalGirlUSA on Etsy

 

 

Flaunt your feathers. Sometimes all you want is to add a delicate touch of color, cue in peacock feathers, duh! Go on and shake ya tail feather all summer with these adorning your pearly white nails, available on Etsy from DecalGirlUSA for $3.85:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You gon learn today! Here’s some of my favorite nail art tutorial videos from Instagram and the artists behind them so you can follow and keep on learning.

@banicured_
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@thecraftyninja

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@ohmygoshpolish

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Mi Abuelita’s Tip: When I was little I was practically allergic to lotion–not really, I just hated it: the texture, slimy feeling–and my grandmother never gave up trying to convince me to lather full-body before bed. Once I got to college, I realized my Buelz was right and my love affair with lotion began. The one tip that sticks with me the most though is Buelz’s tip for keeping your feet soft, so when it’s sandal time 24/7 you’re feet will look flawless and those #SOTD Instagram photos will make everyone have a shoegasm. Before bed, soak your feet in lotion, preferably a foot lotion. Then take a pair of your fluffy house socks and put them on with your feet all lathered up. Do this at least twice a week!