This week, we’re featuring millennial video blogger Dania Cristobal as our Everyday Chica. La guatemalan spoke with Ain’t I Latina? about launching her vlog, She Souled Out, identifying as Afro-Latina and why her mom’s her biggest inspiration.
You’ve just launched your YouTube channel She Souled Out. What inspired you to launch it? What topics will you address on your channel?
There are a number of reasons why I created this YouTube channel. I love connecting with people and YouTube found me at an interesting time in my life. I just graduated from college and things did not work out the way I had imagined career wise. YouTube took my mind off of things, and inspired me to go after what I want. Also, that life is a blessing and it’s all about being dedicated.
Talk to me about your line of paraphernalia, Hair I Am.
I wanted to create a symbol of self-love. I feel like our younger generation look toward many things to define their beauty instead of actually loving what they see in the mirror. I created this button line as a symbol of empowerment. Eventually I aspire to create shirts in the future. I just want the button to be a reminder that all women are beautiful!
How do you identity? Do you consider yourself Afro-Latina, or use another term to describe your race and/or ethnicity?
I used to identify myself as Hispanic but always had a long explanation of my African-American side as well. I feel like the term Afro-Latina clicks for me and defines who I am to a tee. Once I heard this term, it was like I looked for this term my whole life. I am a proud Afro-Latina.
What is your earliest memory of identifying as Afro-Latina/Blatina/Latinegra? How did you come to identify as such?
I had an experience in high school where a group of Spanish boys expressed their disdain for me. They said I was trying to be ‘Black.’ That carried with me because I am very proud of my Guatemalan culture. It just showed me how some people have certain stereotypes of what a real ‘Latin’ women should be. As our times change, I hope to show that there is more than one way a Latina woman should look. As long as you’re proud of your heritage, that is all that should matter.
Who inspires you?
My mother is my ultimate inspiration. The way she carries herself and the way she taught me how to find the beauty in all things.