In the confessional:
This is different for me to write and for you to read.
No Election 2012.
No civic engagement.
The side you know all too well, as my heart beats in every post that aims to inform and empower young Latina women by making our political system accessible and encouraging them to be involved and improve their communities.
But the "hidden" side of this politics blogger with 11 years of journalism and a Yale PHD under her leopard print belt is that I care about how I look--a lot.
Is it vanity? Maybe.
Can this slight obsession be traced back to my summers spent in my papis' homeland of Colombia--where top exports include beauty queens (shhh on the OTHER goods). Likely.
Is it that now, my skin isn't as forgiving as it was 10 years ago, so I follow my beauty regiment of cleanse, mist, age-karate-chop (aka moisturize), under eye cream gentle pats, and in the morning, SPF, over every exposed part of skin, including my cuticles, with cultish devotion? Jes.
Who would have thought that when Mary Kay came to Washington, DC to co-sponsor the Latinos in Social Media (LATISM) Top Blogueras mini-MBA, I would be asked to model in a photoshoot with Latina Bloggers Connect. These women are tops in fashion and beauty.
In other words, the red carpet, paparazzi, crazed fans comes to them as easily as me explaining how a bill becomes a law.
I took a deep breathe and dove in, platform stilettos first!
Beat the curls into submission (straighten) before you go big, Miss Texas B.I.G! (contradictory, unless you are an ethnic-haired girl. You. Get. It.)
Better than Photoshop--veteran make-up artist Luis Casco who masterfully blended away dark circles and smoothed away the fine "laugh lines" stubbornly clinging to the corners of my eyes.
I settled on this sleek Black Halo dress and Yves Saint Laurent purple suede platforms after Miami-based celebrity stylist Angie Escamilla tried to get me out of my comfort zone with some fun short shorts, high heels, and a belted blazer.
Although this politics blogger was swimming in the "deep end" of flashbulbs, puckered lips, and make luuuvvvv to the camera!, I observed my fellow blogueras with respect and pride, all of them hard-werrkk-it-guurrll, behind and in front of the cameras.
Confidence springs from passion, perseverance, and the courage to step right up to, then past our limits--the real ones--the conventional wisdom, the groupthink, or the glass ceiling. Then there are the imagined ones that are as powerful. The whispers of:
At any given moment, women only show you a side, maybe two: serious, professional, mother, friend, daughter, loca, negotiator, classmate, girlfriend, brainiac.
But together, all these sides form the foundation of what makes us beautiful.
Our beauty is skin, soul, brain, and heart deep.When did you go past your comfort zone?