2 months ago
Yalitza Aparicio is a 25-year-old aspiring preschool teacher now critically acclaimed Mexican actress of Mixtec and Triqui heritage. Born in Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, and raised by a single mother who worked as a maid, this trailblazing young woman is best known for her powerful debut performance as Cleo, based on Alfonzo Cuaron’s childhood nanny, in his semi-autobiographical Netflix film, Roma. The film and Aparicio have not only been receiving lots of accolades but also are creating awareness of the Indigenous population, inequality, and the socioeconomic division in Mexico. This morning the film racked 10 Academy Award nominations including Netflix’s first-ever Best Picture nomination AND Aparicio’s historic nomination as the first Indigenous woman to be nominated for lead actress (the second Mexican actress nominated in this category, Salma Hayek being the first in 2002)! Aparicio is continuously breaking down barriers for people of color, in December she became the first woman of Indigenous descent to appear on the cover of Vogue Mexico, which led to the magazine’s largest-ever social media response. Aparicio talked to NY Times on what she wishes to accomplish with her nomination, “Most specifically for people to take away that anyone can do this, that anyone can actually go after their dreams, that you’re not limited by your race or your class or your ethnicity or your socioeconomic conditions, but that really there is room for everybody.” Aparicio is an amazing role model that the world needs right now. You make us all so proud and inspired, Yalitza. Congrats!