What makes you proud of being a Woman but also Latina?
I'm proud to be a woman because our rich and diverse history has taught me that I can be anything I set my mind to. Our past is filled with fascinating stories of women who have overcome all kinds of adversity. These women were some of the pioneers who broke through the status quo and gave others the right to be independent individuals who can choose for themselves how they want to live their life.
I'm proud to be Latina, firstly because I have a bad ass family. I think my pride comes from all of the moments I've had the privilege of spending with them, they have all taught me so much. The most valuable lessons have been to be respectful, kind and mindful. Without these traits, I wouldn't be who I am now. Another reason is the food! I don't care what anyone says, my mamas frijoles are bomb! Not only is her food delicious, I love how she can bring all of us together. All of the problems from the outside world dissipate and only good vibes remain. It's truly beautiful.
Is there someone you look up to?
I look up to my parents, they've been married for over 50 years and though they may bicker every once in a while, I know their love for each other remains as strong as the day they married. One of my favorite things about them is their interest in gardening. The way they know what every single plant is called, or when to plant it or how much to water them and when has always amazed me.
Do you feel Latino Culture has had a big impact on who you are?
Latino culture has definitely had a big impact on who I am now. Some of the first art I saw as a kid was Frida Kahlo's paintings. I think it sparked something in me that provided me the impetus to start my journey as an artist. Later on, I read her biography and learned that through everything, she still painted. I loved the idea of expressing yourself for you, not for others. Her subject matter was about her life's difficulties, she never sugarcoated it. In my opinion, that's the most beautiful art, the paintings where you can see into the artists very core, uncensored, unapologetic and true.
Do you have any projects you are working on and accomplishments that you would like to talk about?
Currently, I'm working on my very first series of paintings that focus on marine life and mermaids. I hope that when they're done I can show them in a gallery. I also started my first art page ever, its a big deal for me because I've never shown off all of the drawings and paintings I have. It's a little nerve racking to think that people I don't know are looking and judging my art. That's definitely an accomplishment in my book.
Do you have any words of advice and encouragement to future generations of all women?
Here are some of the top things that come to mind right now.
- Always remember that no matter what you wear, you deserve respect. No one has the right over your body but you!
- Don’t waste your time on being jealous of others, look at what you’re jealous of and instead of being negative, find out what makes you feel that way and try to emulate what you like. Jealousy is a form of flattery, ya know.
- Measure your tits! I don’t know how many years I thought I was a B cup, I went to get measured and it turns out I’m a D! No wonder my bras are uncomfortable and don’t fit. On that same note, don’t torture yourself with sizes, I did and nothing ever fit because I always tried to fit in smaller clothes. No one deserves to walk around uncomfortable all day. Humans come in many different shapes and sizes. Don’t let size dictate how beautiful you feel, like i did.
- Be patent. Living in Tucson, if you’re smart, you learn patience when driving anywhere in town. No matter how fast you go, there’s always a guarantee that you’ll be stopped at a red light and won’t get to your destination any faster. I think life is like this, if there’s nothing you can do about a situation, just be patient and go with the flow, it’s not like you have a choice.
- Lastly, Be happy! Do what you love and be grateful for what you have. Live in the moment and most of all have fun! Life is too short not to.
All my love,
Elvira Morando (Ellie)