Welcome to my very detailed recap of the 2018 WeAllGrow Latina Summit. Please, note that if you're here for the ad-related info only, you should go straight to #7. If not, please enjoy the entire experience, my way. Thank you!
1. LATINAS TAKE WAY MORE SELFIES THAN I THOUGHT:
On day 1, we had our field trips. I was selected to explore Long Beach, a place where I had never been before, surrounded by mostly Latina bloggers and influencers. I must say I felt a little out of place in the beginning, because I'm not used to seeing so many people taking so many selfies in so many places in so short time. But as the hours together went by, I got used to it. And it even started feeling normal at some point. Scary, I know.
2. LONG BEACH IS A COOL PLACE:
The trip started around 8 am, and by 4pm I had already drunk a couple mimosas in a nice catamaran, seen some magical dolphins swimming in the ocean, sailed the Long Beach waters and not died of hypothermia, toured the Museum of Latin America Art with museum lady Susan, learned about non-broke Caribbean artists/art, explored the Aquarium of the Pacific with Kenny, a very passionate tour guide, had lunch with a 4-year-old Chilean penguin called Admiral Fancy Pants, eaten a mix of tacos, risotto and fish (at an aquarium...), bravely flew in a helicopter without having a panic attack, indulged in pretty delicious Mexican chocolate, had a very Latinx dance party, and made around 7 new friends. It was as great as it sounds, and the people from #VisitLB treated us all like social media royalty. Yeah... they made sure we learned the hashtag.
3. I HATE DANCE PARTIES WITH STRANGERS:
This one is pretty straight forward. And also, I don't understand those songs that have weird choreographs where all the girls do the same steps and they seem to always know what's going on. I mean, I lived in Missouri for a year and I never experienced that there. So, what the hell...
4. EVERYONE LOOKS DIFFERENT AT NIGHT:
That same day, we had an open bar welcome party, and a "silver" carpet and runway show sponsored by Neutrogena, who pretty much paid for everything this weekend. Although their message was contradictory at times, I thought it was pretty cool that the girls who walked the runway were normal human beings and not ultra-skinny models we Latinas can't relate to. Almost all of us have curves, you know? Oh, and since I didn't take my glasses with me, I pretty much couldn't recognize anyone with their hairdos and makeup on. The difference was nuts. NUTS.
5. THIS IS A TIP: ALWAYS STAY IN THE HOTEL:
Driving back and forth from Los Angeles to Long Beach at 6 am is inhumane. If you have to drive more than 20 minutes to get to the summit, don't do it. Especially since your days start so early and finish so late. Just, don't.
6. MEAN BOYS ARE NOT ALLOWED:
The next day started with a makeup "masterclass" by a guy whose name I just can't remember, but seemed pretty famous. The round tables were filled with Neutrogena makeup and other girls who clearly knew way more than me about such topic. I'm sure you can feel how intimidated I was at this point, but whatever, yo me entregué. As makeup guy used Neutrogena's new crazy mega camera to scan the skin of his model (the girl he was gonna use for his tutorial), he made some pretty mean comments about her skin. He said that she had lots of wrinkles and shamed her for it. The girl is like 26, come on... And she looked pretty great. I didn't see no wrinkles, even with my glasses on. But anyways, that's not the point cause even if she had, what the hell, man. The cool part was that everyone's reaction was the same, and some even confronted him in the stage to the point of making him spend the rest of the tutorial complimenting his model on how great she looked and how she didn't really had any wrinkles. Oh, but it was late makeup guy... too freaking late.
So, moraleja: if you're ESPECIALLY a boy at a girl's conference or actually in any occasion, don't you dare being mean, or you'll suffer the consequences. *After that he vanished and we never saw him again.*
7. LATINX MILLENNIALS WANT AUTHENTICITY:
Once I finally left the makeup class in which not only I failed to put makeup on the way the pros do it, but also were reminded 125 times of Neutrogena's hashtag #NEVERBETTER, the learning really started. The first session I attended to was called Culture as Content: How to Engage Latinx Millennials and the speakers were pretty awesome.
We had Wendy, a shy girl who's the Chief Content Officer of FIERCE by Mitú (more on that one later), Andrea, Remezcla's Editor in Chief and Mariela, Editor In Chief at HipLatina and a bunch of other things. My key learning from this one was that in order to really attract the Latinx community's attention, we need to stay relevant, promote and honor representation, and be as authentic as possible. We don't need a taco and a sombrero to talk about Latinx, darker skin can be Latinx and needs representation, and women have too much power and only a few brands/people give them the importance they deserve.
Also, we're still trying to figure out if Latinx is a good word to use or not. But more on that later as well.
8. NO ONE GETS THE ALGORITHM:
Not even Instagram's partner brands. But apparently the only way to organically boost your spot up in people's timelines is by constantly going Live (as in Facebook Live and Instagram Live), posting Stories and engaging in conversations so that the algorithm thinks you're friends with everyone. But before going live, you need to plan it, promote it (the topic and time you're going live) and keep doing it even if no one seems to be watching it. That's the only way you can grow your reach without having to spend money on boosting anything, so do it because apparently Zuck isn't gonna tell us any of his secrets.
9. DON'T FORCE SPANISHNESS:
If your brand doesn't have Hispanic or Latinx roots, don't force it. You can still stay true to your essence and appeal to this audience by honoring your authentic self and showing how, in addition, you understand, notice and support this market.
Take Mazda, for example. They had a super cute activation in the summit where people could go make their own origami cranes and write their wishes on them to fulfill the ancient Japanese legend that promises people who fold 1000 of them would be granted a wish by the gods. That's Japanese AF, but still all Latinas were going crazy about it. In the end, they were really happy to engage with Mazda's culture and really appreciated their effort to make them feel welcomed. They learned something new, something that connected them to it, and of course millions of selfies as you can imagine. So, the point is, it's not about trying to be something you're not, it's about saying I'm this, this is what I have to offer, and I want to share it with you because I think you're pretty awesome too.
10. LATINAS ARE FEARLESS & EXTREMELY POLITICAL:
If you thought that Latinas only care about their families, looking fabulosas and reggaeton singers, think twice. By the end of the night we got to meet some incredible, and I repeat, INCREDIBLE women who not only work every day to bring change to their communities, but also inspire others to do the same. We had a powerful evening with Lucy Flores, Rosa Clemente, Carolina Rubio and Paola Mendoza, creator of the Women's March. They shared their rad stories, and encouraged bloggers, influencers and every other girl in the room to stop caring about meaningless things like likes and Instagram fame, (LOL) and get themselves incarcerated by fighting for our people. And I mean it, those were the exact words. Which might have had a bit too much of passion, but still was empowering and inspiring as hell. So, take that into consideration when you're talking to them (us). They (we) need you, as a brand, to take a stand and fight for what is right. #CalladitasNoMore
By the way, did you know that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that all immigrants, even those with permanent legal status (a.k.a. Green Card Holders) and asylum seekers, do not have the right to periodic bond hearings anymore? That's pretty scary. So, I guess the going to jail speech only applies to citizens at this moment. Crazy times...
11. SELENA STILL LIVES:
I just wanna take a quick minute to share how impressive it is (to me) that the late Selena Quintanilla is still such a dear and important icon for the Mexican culture. And even for the Latinx culture in general. Everyone goes crazy when they hear their songs. But that you probably knew. So, moving on...
12. MICHELLE POLER IS MY SPIRIT ANIMAL:
If you still don't know Michelle and her 100 Days Without Fear experience, you need to google her right now. Her humor and grace when talking about topics such as dealing with the unknown, seeking growth over safety, embracing authenticity, daring to fail, and more is remarkable and extremely motivational. She gained a standing ovation for her amazing speech and her courage, and also a bunch of fans who made a crazy line to take a selfie with her.
What are you waiting for? Go find that woman and watch all her TED talks now. You're welcome.
13. BACK TO THE ROOTS:
One of the most amazing things I got to experience during the final days of WAG, was the increasing intention to create awareness not only about physical health, but also about mental and spiritual health. From Eliana Murillo, Founder and Head of Multicultural Marketing at Google speaking about disability, depression and dark places, to Millana Snow, Winner of Project Runway Season 8, talking about the power of intention, believing and blocking negativity to stay focused and achieve your goals. From Aveeno sponsored massages and dermatologist consultations, to sound baths and breathworks... Wellness is not considered a trend anymore but an awakening that's only going to grow, and Latinas are loving it.
Our women are favoring and choosing natural and eco-friendly ingredients, foods, clothes, brands, over those that carry harsh chemicals, are politically and socially irresponsible and don't cater to their specific needs... They're getting more conscious about what they put on and in their bodies, equally. They are paying closer attention to their holistic wellbeing and are ready to talk about it. So, sounds like a great moment to go green to me.
14. LATINX WOMEN CAN DO ANYTHING:
When a group of women gets together to reach a goal, nothing can stop them no matter what... especially, if they're Latinas. It is wonderful to see how women like Ana Flores and her team are not only creating amazing life-changing events, such as We All Grow, but they are also changing the course of history by teaching and reminding women how to tap into their inner power, which is usually shut down by those who want them to believe that calladitas se ven más bonitas.
We All Grow taught me about technical social media and digital things, sure, but more importantly, it connected me to women with similar passions and mindsets as mine. It inspired me to do whatever the hell I want to do, and reminded me that I can. It grounded me and gave me that reboot that we all need from time to time. And it motivated me to work harder to support and honor my culture, the most beautiful one of all.