Beauty vlogger Monica Veloz grew familiar with colorism before she could truly understand the notion. The Afro-Latina told HuffPost she still remembers how boys in her bilingual day care in Brooklyn, New York, would say her skin looked like “charcoal” or “tar.”
“No, your skin is unclean, ” Veloz, 26, recalls one girl saying after she asked to use her towel. “I certainly didn’t understand it. It wasn’t even like I went home and screamed, at the time I didn’t really attend. But plainly it impressed a nerve because … I can even tell you the color of the shirt she was wearing.”
Known on YouTube and Instagram as MonicaStyle Muse, the Dominican social media star says “colorism is the story of my life, ” but Veloz has also made a self-conscious decision to use her pulpit to create a narrative of inclusion for Afro-Latinos.
“This platform for me has to be more than exactly me telling you how to outstrip your appearance and how to do your whisker because there’s girls who are younger than me who might have a girl telling her the same thing, ” Veloz said. “And hopefully she can see my video and be like,’ Well, they used to call Monica’ charcoal’ and look at her.”
Veloz’s YouTube channel is fitted with charm tips-off and Dominican-inspired videos — including bachata dance tutorials, Dominican slang assignments, and a Dominican makeup hack parody video.But the influencer hasn’t ever seemed cozy fully espousing who she is on social media.
“I ever felt like I had to dim my dawn to constitute everyone comfortable, ” she said. “I felt like I had to be like the proper pitch-black daughter. Black girls can’t be too loud, you can’t was way too additional. If you have a big plunder[ you] don’t wear something[ that] ’s gonna improve your butt.”
After more than four years of seeing “it appear corporate all the time” with her YouTube videos, Veloz was laid off from her chore as an manager helper for a publishing corporation at the end of the 2016. The suffer pushed her to lastly grow self-employed and allow her genuine colors to gleam through her MonicaMuse content.
“Now I feel like I’m free, and I don’t have to apologize for the direction I am, ” Veloz told HuffPost. “When you satisfy me, you might envision me without my wig, you are able to hear me with no makeup. But you’ve accompanied me like that are currently. It’s not a facade.”
Veloz’s focus on her Dominican roots is intentional, more. The influencer peppers her tutorials with Spanglish, Latin music and cultural rights cites in the expectation that younger followers will seem represented in her narration.
“I feel like I was that “girls ” who felt like she had to hide who she was, and I remember me feeling like I was never Dominican enough, ” Veloz said. “I was always this girl who felt like she had to choose between being pitch-black or Dominican, especially growing up in Brooklyn. I ever had to deal with not seeming complete.”
“It’s important for me to now exploit my programme to inform other beings because when you tell people’ Afro-Latino, ’ they’re like ’no, I’m very proud of who I am. I’m Dominican, I’m Mexican, I’m Colombian, ” she included. “It’s okay to be proud of that but likewise be aware that you’re black”
Earlier this year, Afro-Latino identity became what Veloz called a “trending topic” after “Love& Hip Hop: Miami” aired a clash between Dominican singer Amara La Negra and a Puerto Rican music producer( who told Amara to be “a little bit more Beyonce, a little less Macy Gray.”)
The incident sparked a communication about internal intolerance within the Latino community and motivated the vlogger to movie a 20 -minute “rant video” addressing the fight of being both black and Latina . Veloz was appreciative to have the conversation in the mainstream but too find frustrated to have parties debate her experiences as something new.
“Being Afro-Latina cannot be a storyline, ” Veloz told HuffPost. “I want people to understand that being Afro-Latina isn’t something that’s gonna go forth. It’s not something that’s gonna just be veering. My skin is not a trend, my skin isn’t a hashtag, my surface is not something that you can just, you are familiar with, use to make views.”
Veloz added it’s also important for people of color to harbour labels accountable when companies use diversification as a marketing strategy while not actually being inclusive with their products.
“If a label is blatantly telling you,’ we are not carrying your shade because it is not working for us right now, and we’re going to give it to you around the summer, ’ you don’t buy their make, ” Veloz said. “Because let me tell you, my skin is not seasonal. My scalp is not an after estimate. My skin should be a part of the conversation.”
“If a firebrand isn’t inclusive of all colors, we need to start forming the decisions whether or not we should support it because they’re here to work for us, ” she said. “We have the capability, and I hope people understand that.”
Read more: www.huffingtonpost.com