I’m Natalie Alcantara, a senior at Arcadia University majoring in Global Media concentrating in Fashion Studies, with a dual minor in French and Fine Arts. I am many things, an overall creator, marketer, dancer, stylist, photographer, model, but above it all I am an Afrolatina. I come from an immigrant family of the Dominican Republic, with African roots running through my family tree. My culture and roots are everything to me, so they are in everything I do. My goal is to impact the lives of as many people I can, motivating, educating, and inspiring. To represent a culture that is ignored, and if not, fetishized. To help the uprising of diverse idols my fellow Afrolatinas can look up to. No more shall we feel ashamed of our skin, hair, and African features.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been mami’s “negra”. She would use it as a term of endearment…or whenever she wanted to sweet talk me into doing something for her. Growing up, I only heard this word in a positive setting, so you can imagine my surprise when I overheard a group of light skinned Latinas saying disgusting things while referring to a darker skinned Latina as a “negra”. After this encounter, I began to experience a lot more prejudice within the Latinx community towards people with darker complexions. The word “negra” in spanish is the female noun for “black”. Older generations view this as a word they should not be associated with, and many refuse to acknowledge their black roots, passing down their views onto the next generations. Colorism rules our community because all our telenovelas, friends of other cultures, and society tell us it is bad to be black. While we are evolving and educating each other on this issue, we still discriminate within our own community, allowing the colorism to continue outside of it. The fashion industry is just a leaf on this hateful tree, passing off as progressive yet discriminating undercover towards the “negras” within the Latinx community. For my thesis, I will attempt to break down the illusion the fashion industry gives the world to make the masses believe they are diversifying. I will put the industry under a magnifying glass of exposure and reveal the truth behind their so called “progresion” so that we can push for real change. The fashion industry is diverse, but how much diversity is enough?
Creative Thesis Web Site