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Inspirational Latinas

Sure, we hear about Salma Hayek, Lala Velasquez, Sara Ramirez, Eva Mendez, Zoe Saldana, Eva Longoria, Michelle Rodriguez, Rosario Dawson, Cote de Pablo, and Sophia Vergara. We do so because they've taken Hollywood by storm. I think this is great. I explained why in my article The Changing Face of Beauty. To quickly recap, I wrote that I believe people of different ethnic origins need to see others who look like them, others with the same or similar backgrounds. They need to see these people achieving, so that it will reinforce the fact that they too can achieve. Thus, today I will remind you of other Latinas, inspirational women, some of whom may not be as well-known as those afore mentioned. However, these women can be classified as role models as well. They are women to emulate and derive strength and determination from.

Galina Espinoza, was once the senior editor at People magazine. However, as Latina magazine's editor-in-chief she holds a high profile position. Her job comes with a host of responsibilities that include quality control, checking content authenticity and relevancy, grammar, and flow of content. At this leading fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazine for acculturated U.S. Latina women, Ms. Espinoza must also cast her eye over images, audio, and video -- in addition to building relationships. In the role of pop culture expert, she has appeared on any number of television shows such as NBC's Today Show, Access Hollywood, and The Joy Behar Show. This native New Yorker received a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, and earned a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

Jennifer Lopez is known to many as an American actress, singer, record producer, television personality, and television producer. However, Ms. Lopez began her career as a dancer on the television comedy In Living Color. This Nuyorican then ventured further into acting, and gained recognition in the action-thriller Money Train. In the biographical film Selena for playing the lead, she earned an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress. Ms. Lopez also heads a production company that not only brings the Latin experience to the screen, but provides gainful employment for many. In February 2007 she led People en Espanol's list of "100 Most Influential Hispanics." Going from strength to strength, she has parlayed her fame into an empire that makes fab clothing, accessories, and fragrances available to the masses. Most recognizable in her celebrity endorsements, this mother, wife, fashion icon, and mogul also happens to be an advocate for human rights and vaccinations. She is a supporter of Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

Catalina Sandino Moreno is an actress who has been quoted as having said she feels a responsibility to portray stories that people should know. Born in Bogota, Columbia, this multi-dimensional young woman studied advertising at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota before she became an actress. After being noticed for her talent at the Rubén Di Pietro acting school in Bogota, she relocated to New York City. At a casting audition for the 2004 film Maria Full of Grace, out of more than 900 girls, she won the lead! At the time, Ms. Sandino Moreno's role in this movie made her the second South American, and third Latina actress to receive an Academy Award nomination. In addition to her many awards won, and her multitude of nominations, she played the role of the female vampire Maria in the The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.

Nina Persales, a nationally recognized civil rights attorney has become the Director of Litigation for MALDEF the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "law firm of the Latino community," Ms. Persales and MALDEF seek to promote social change through advocacy, education, and litigation. Their areas are many, including: employment, immigrant rights, and political access. In 2006 this highly acclaimed civil rights litigator argued a civil rights case before the Supreme Court and won. This Nuyorican who has made her home in Texas has worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education fund. When speaking of winning the above named case, the attorney with the well-deserved reputation said her father -- a civil rights lawyer too -- was bursting with pride for her.

Ethnic beauties remember, just because you may not often see them on television or on the news, there are inspirational women everywhere. These women are making a difference. To readily see one, take a look in the mirror!

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