Latina Spotlight - Erika de la Cruz
Erika de la Cruz
Best Selling Author & Founder of @Passionista Positive Mindset Advocate
Tell us about yourself:
Sure I'm a Mexican American Positive Mind-Set Advocate. I share personal development content on TV, at our events in our Passionista online community. I wrote a Best Seller called Passionsitas in the female entrepreneurial space and also own a blog called The LA Girl, highlighting happenings, fashion, and mindfulness to live a balanced and fabulous life.
What have been your struggles as a Latina?
To be honest, I think it's been my struggle to claim my own identity as a Latina. Growing up, it was an every day occurrence for kids to use names like "beaner" for the Latinx kid in class and I remember feeling grateful that they'd skip me in the teasing. The stigma did not get better as I grew up, more people encouraged me to "lean on my roots from Spain," implying that "Mexican" wasn't exactly an asset. I wound up being shy to admit that I was indeed Mexican, until a couple years after college when the pain of not being able to embrace and lift up my people sank in. Quickly, I wanted the world to know I was very Mexican and very proud. I remember being a little girl and hoping that maybe one brunette I saw on TV might be Mexican, but not having anywhere to confirm or deny it. Now, I get messages all the time from young girls expressing how much it meant for them to see me in my craft, making it very known.
What does Latina Made mean to you?
It means a celebration! Latina means ICONIC to me, and my greatest hope is that the two become synonymous as a new, elevated stigma in the United States.
What made you who you are today?
My willingness to dig into any parts of my life that felt painful. Being able to transform my fears or blocks lies in investigating them, and then, developing myself in order to be FREE. I'm really proud of my habit of facing and elevating those parts, not avoiding them. When you avoid pain points, they fester and grow inside you, stopping you from living a full life. Expression becomes Suppression when we don't look inward or seek help to grow ourselves.
What advice would you give to young Latinas in our community?
Know that you are the world! Like white stories that we see in the U.S. media, with all types of people depicted: who experience poverty, hardship, entrepreneurship, luxury with complex lives and achievements, with different jobs, families, or economic circumstances, so too are we not just ONE THING. Transform the traditional stigmas of what you see depicted most in the media, and invite our country to always see the aspirational, beautiful and iconic side of what it means to be Latin.