Yalitza Aparicio, the star of “Roma,” is the primary indigenous lady in historical past to be nominated for an Oscar. She has additionally been featured in additional nationwide and worldwide publications than every other Mexican superstar in latest reminiscence.
Aparicio, the daughter of a home employee, advised The New York Instances she hoped her nomination would present “you’re not restricted by your race or your class or your ethnicity or your socioeconomic circumstances.”
As I watched the Golden Globes, the place “Roma” was honored with two awards, I needed I might expertise the second although Aparicio’s eyes. I’d by no means wished something like that earlier than. What’s occurring to her proper now could be pure magic.
However those that have been cheering her rising fame — from her first worldwide accolade on the Venice Movie Pageant, to her Oscar nomination final Tuesday alongside the likes of Glenn Shut and Girl Gaga — are the identical individuals who have usually seen ladies like Aparicio as much less worthy.
We Mexicans have judged ladies like her due to the colour of their pores and skin, as a result of they don’t communicate English or as a result of their moms make a residing cleansing different folks’s houses. However now we’re praising Aparicio. We speak about how her “indigenous magnificence” stands out when she’s sporting Dior. We take selfies if we run into her and speak about how a lot we admire her.
What sort of Mexicans are we? A bunch of hypocrites. We’re glad Aparicio is doing nicely, however we don’t wish to supply Social Safety to the ladies who clear our homes. We’re proud Aparicio is indigenous, however we would really feel embarrassed if somebody one shade darker than us joins our household. We’re moved by Aparicio’s roots within the indigenous Mixteca area, however are cautious to level out that our postal code is exterior of these bounds.
We worth Aparicio solely as a result of “Roma” director Alfonso Cuarón made her priceless.
Cuarón has stated he had no political motivations, however “Roma” has steered the nationwide dialog towards ladies’s and indigenous folks’s rights. This is because of each Cuarón’s efforts and to Aparicio’s expertise. Nonetheless, as people, we proceed to be unable to transform our actuality or our mentality the way in which “Roma” modified Aparicio’s life. She is on the duvet of Vogue Mexico — which helps illustration and encourages tens of millions of girls to dream — however systemic obstacles stay. As an viewers and as Mexicans, we concentrate on Aparicio and never on the 11 million indigenous individuals who reside below one of the vital disgraceful types of discrimination within the historical past of humanity: the discrimination towards Mexicans by fellow Mexicans.
My hope is that that is only the start and that we aspire to — and can — unfold the Aparicio magic to all the opposite ladies who appear to be her.