As much of a force that women of color so often prove themselves to be, it’s only on very rare occasions that they are given an opportunity to be honored for their accomplishments and contributions by print and digital media. Today, magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle still struggle to include even of the moment women of color. Surprisingly, the same is true for glossies based in countries where women of color make up the majority of the population. Even alternative editions of these magazines that are based in Latin America highlight this problem.
It’s why, when news that Vogue Mexico’s latest feature included a woman of color across its front cover, we were particularly surprised and blown away.
Indigenous actress Yalitza Aparicio is gracing the January issue of Vogue Mexico!
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La vida de esta oaxaqueña pasó de la discreción de su hogar en Tlaxiaco a las pantallas del cine y la televisión, conquistando los aplausos y los corazones del mundo. Apartada de los reflectores, damos eco a la voz de una mujer tan genuina que es capaz de opacar a las mismas estrellas: #YalitzaAparicio [Checa el video completo en #InstagramTV y en nuestra bio. No te pierdas la edición impresa el 27 de diciembre.] #YalitzaEnVogueMx #Vogue20 Fotografía: @SantiagoAndMauricio Estilismo: @PamelaOcampo Realización: @Re_Montemayor
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The Mexican-born “Roma” actress’s feature on Vogue Mexico’s January’s issue marks the first time the magazine has put a woman of indigenous origin on its cover. Speaking about her appearance on the magazine, Aparicio told the magazine in an accompanying video that her appearance means that “Certain stereotypes are being broken: that only people with a certain profile can be actresses or be on the cover of magazines. Other faces are now being recognized. It is something that makes me so happy and proud of my roots.”
If you haven’t seen “Roma” — which is currently on Netflix — Aparicio is the star of Alfonso Cuarón’s film.
The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September and quickly gained the praise of critics and fans alike. It has already won countless awards and is also nominated for several Golden Globes including Best Foreign Film. Aparicio’s role as a maid and nanny of a middle-class family in Mexico City has captivated audiences and encouraged creators of the film to rally for an Oscar. The black-and-white film takes place in the early ’70s and touches on several socioeconomic and cultural issues, but at the heart of the movie is Cleo, who is based on Cuarón’s real nanny.
The 26-year-old, from Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca speaks Spanish and Mixteco, auditioned for the role of Cleo after her sister encouraged her to try out for the part. Before that, the actress had been in school pursuing a career as a teacher. Cuarón auditioned countless of actresses, but once he met Aparicio, he knew he had found his leading lady. “We had armies of casting crews going through little villages in Oaxaca, a southern state in Mexico,” Cuaron told the Hollywood Reporter. “I was so lucky to have met her.”
Naturally, her performance in “Roma” has gotten her worldwide attention and is gaining her international acclaim.
She was recently asked if she’s considering doing more work as an actress, and she said that while she loved her role in “Roma” she hasn’t secured any new roles yet.
“I do realize that if I want to continue being in movies, I have to study to be an actress.”
Latinas are thanking the actress for her part in ensuring more diversity on screen and in media.
a indigenous mexican woman on the cover of vogue mexico… thank you Yalitza pic.twitter.com/zTGBaAmIwg
— roma (@frenchdispatchs) December 17, 2018
Let’s be real this cover is gonna be a collector’s edition.
Her cover style is the latest in Dior fashion.
YES! YES! YES! A thousand YES to this! 👏👏👏👏#Roma star Yalitza Aparicio covers the latest issue of Vogue Mexico photographed by Santiago & Mauricio IN FREAKING DIOR and she looks FABULOUS! L@VogueMexico @ROMACuaron @netflix @Dior pic.twitter.com/aq5RyUPI5y
— Tom & Lorenzo (@tomandlorenzo) December 17, 2018
She nails the look and is absolutely stunning!
Amen to this!
— Horte Coleman (@LovelyHorte) December 17, 2018
This cover is sure to sell out.
The world agrees with you.
Bellísima! This is how Vogue Mexico should look every month. https://t.co/GAvWJKqTqt
— Arlene Dávila (@arlenedavila1) December 17, 2018
They need more women of color featured in this magazine (and all magazines). Period!
Too many emotions.
Yalitza Aparicio from the movie Roma is on the cover of Vogue Mexico. This is so huge. I could cry! pic.twitter.com/8ekW1m6VPy
— Papi Chulo (@AwkwardHug) December 17, 2018
Has Yalitza seen the response to this? She’ll be crying too!
This cover is the only thing that matters right now.
Saludos a ti, Yalitza!
Here’s a video from her shoot with Vogue Mexico where she shares more about her Oaxaqueñan roots.
“My skin, very Mexican, very Oaxaqueñan and very human. From the color of my land and the diversity of its colors,” she says in the video. “Certain stereotypes are being broken: that only people with a certain profile can be actresses or be on the cover of magazines. Other faces of Mexico are now being recognized. It is something that makes me so happy and proud of my roots.”
The magazine hits the newsstands on Dec. 27.