relationships

Francia Raísa Said Her Surgery Scar From Donating Her Kidney To Selena Gomez Makes Her Feel “Special”

Francia Raísa became BFF goals when news broke last year that the Grown-ish actress donated her kidney to her best friend Selena Gomez. Now, the Mexican-Honduran star, who was left with an incision under her stomach from the surgery, is certain to be your latest body positivity heroine, as she’s encouraging women to embrace their scars.

“My scars do not define me,” Raísa, 29, tells SELF. “My scars tell my story. And so I really appreciate these scars because they honestly changed my life—not just, you know, because of Selena, just me, personally, life came into perspective. I learned a lot.”

In a video interview with the women’s health and wellness magazine, Raísa opens up about the procedure. When she learned that Gomez, who she was living with at the time, needed the kidney transplant due to her lupus complications, she immediately offered to help.

“From the minute I said, ‘Of course I’ll get tested,’ obviously it was like, you’re my best friend, you’re my sister, of course,” Raísa said. “But, you know, I wasn’t educated on kidney surgery.”

While she noted that she felt at peace with her decision, the actress said there were ups and down — for both her and Gomez, 24.

According to Raísa, her social worker told her, “It’s going to be hard. The recipient is gonna glow and she’s gonna recover a lot faster than the donor is. Because she’s receiving something she needs. You’re losing something you don’t need to lose.”

She was right.

“Selena and I both went through a depression,” Raísa, who disclosed that Gomez experienced complications after the procedure and had to go back into surgery, said. “I remember getting a text message from Selena saying, ‘I’m so scared I might die.'”

The recovery process was difficult, too. Raísa, who lives an active lifestyle, was out of commission for about two months following the surgery. “It was hard to wake up and look forward to doing nothing,” she said.

Eventually, life fell back into place. In fact, it took a turn for the better.

“This last year has been the craziest of my life. I went through huge changes. I moved, and then all of the sudden I was donating a kidney. Like, what? And then I got on this hit TV show, and I have a new boyfriend, and it’s just crazy,” she said.

Healed and thriving, she is letting women and girls everywhere know that storms are tough, but they’re always followed by rainbows and sunshine.

“Your scars don’t define you. It’s a part of your story, and it’s a part of the story that makes you special and you different. Girl, show it,” she said.

Read: Holding Back Tears Francia Raisa Talks About The “Latina Sisterhood” She And Selena Gomez Have During Billboard’s Woman Of The Year

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

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The Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ Is Being Shared To Honor Hispanic Workers Fighting COVID-19

There’s no denying that the world looks a lot different now than it did in 1947. And while the list of all of the positive changes that the decades stretching between now and then have done for the world and minorities, a recent campaign is also highlighting the ways in which our current president could take some notes on certain values the United States held dear during this time. Particularly ones that had been pressed for by one of our former presidents.

As part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy” effort, he worked to promote positive and healthy relations between the United States in Latin American countries.

At the time Rooseveltaimed to ensure that the North, Central and South American countries avoided breaking under the influence of Axis countries during World War II. As part of this campaign, Roosevelt comissioned a Spanish and a Portuguese version of the U.S. national anthem. According to Time Magazine he also “recruited Hollywood to participate in this Good Neighbor Policy; Walt Disney went on goodwill tour of South America, hoping to find a new market for his films, and ended up producing two movies inspired by the trip: Saludos Amigos (1942) and The Three Caballeros (1944). The Brazilian star Carmen Miranda also got a boost, and her role in The Gang’s All Here made her even more famous in the U.S. And alongside these cross-cultural exchanges, the U.S. government decided it needed an anthem that could reach Spanish speakers.”

According to NPR, Clotilde Arias, wrote wrote the translation at the end of World War II, was born in the small Peruvian city, Iquitos in 1901 and moved to New York City to become a composer when she was 22-years-old. Her version of the anthem is now part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Now in an effort to support Latino communities affected by the coronavirus, the non-profit We Are All Human Foundation’s Hispanic Star campaign commissioned the a remake of the song.

Hoping to raise awareness of its Hispanic Recovery Plan and efforts to help to connect Hispanic small businesses and workers with resources during the pandemic, the campaign brought the old recording from obscurity.

For the song, the 2019 winner of the singing competition La Voz,  Jeidimar Rijos, performed “El Pendón Estrellado.” Or, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” 

The song has already received quite a bit of comments and support on Youtube.

Hang in there, fam. We can only get through this together.

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It’s The Beginning Of The Year And Cardi B and Selena Gomez Have Already Topped Spotify’s Most-Streamed Female Artists

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It’s The Beginning Of The Year And Cardi B and Selena Gomez Have Already Topped Spotify’s Most-Streamed Female Artists

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Spotify released a list of the music streaming service’s most-popular female artists, and it’s filled with Latina singers.

The platform, which has tens of millions of subscribers from across the world, including Latin American countries like Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic, created catalogs for its most-streamed female artists worldwide and in the US between January 1 and March 1 of 2019.

Globally, Dominicana-Trinidadian rapper Cardi B came out higher than any other Latina artist at No. 8, unsurprisingly as the Bronx hitmaker followed her 2018 platinum debut album “Invasion of Privacy” with several more bangers like “Money” and, most recently,” “Please Me” with Bruno Mars.

@iamcardib / Instagram

Behind Cardi is Selena Gomez (No. 9), whose 2018 hits “Taki Taki” and “Back To You” continue to dominate just about everyone’s playlists.

Latin American artists also made the list, with colombiana Karol G at 13. Cuban-Mexican breakout Camila Cabello followed at 14, Chicana Becky G at 16 and Demi Lovato at 18.

@karolg / Instagram

Similar to Spotify’s worldwide streams, there were also six Latinas on the platform’s 20 most-listened to female artists in the US.

Once again, Belcalis Marlenis Almanzar leads her compañeras, this time making the top five at No. 4. Following behind her is Kehlani (No. 9), Camila Cabello (No. 10), Selena Gomez (No. 12), Demi Lovato (No. 16) and the Puerto Rican-Mexican singer-songwriter Julia Michaels at No. 18.

The list shows the growing strength of Latinas in music, especially the rise of Spanish-language urbano hits, as artists like Cardi (“I Like It”), Selena (“Taki Taki”), Camila (“Havana”), Karol G (“Mi Cama”), Becky G (“Sin Pijama”) and Demi Lovato’s (“Échame La Culpa”) chart-toppers in the last year were partly or fully sung in Spanish.

@kehlani / Instagram

Check out Spotify’s full lists of the most-streamed female artists of 2019 worldwide and in the US below.

The 20 most-streamed female artists in the world:

1. Ariana Grande

2. Billie Eilish

3. Lady Gaga

4. Halsey

5. Dua Lipa

6. Taylor Swift

7. Rihanna

8. Cardi B

9. Selena Gomez

10. Nicki Minaj

11. Sia

12. Bebe Rexha

13. Karol G

14. Camila Cabello

15. Anne-Marie

16. Becky G

17. Beyoncé

18. Demi Lovato

19. Miley Cyrus

20. Adele

The 20 most-streamed female artists in the US:

1. Ariana Grande

2. Billie Eilish

3. Halsey

4. Cardi B

5. Taylor Swift

6. Nicki MInaj

7. Lady Gaga

8. Rihanna

9. Kehlani

10. Camila Cabello

11. Dua Lipa

12. Selena Gomez

13. Bebe Rexha

14. Beyonce

15. Ella Mai

16. Demi Lovato

17. SZA

18. Julia Michaels

19. Sia

20. Lana Del Rey

Read: Up Next: Rombai Is Ushering In The Return Of Latin Pop Bands

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