NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — A local content creator with sizable international following talks about good and bad hair.

“Hey yall, welcome back to my channel, I’m Rocio and this is rizzas rizos.  Hello!  Welcome.  This is Rizzas Riozos, if it’s your first time, don’t forget to subscribe.”

Hailing originally from New Orleans for eight years Rocio has made youtube and social media content.”My family understands that this is not just a hobby, it’s my career now.  This is my full-time job! The brands are looking for Latino creators, Latino bloggers, Latino YouTubers, and Latino podcasters.  They are looking because they know there is an audience out there.”

She began sharing her life and personality because of a lack of representation in the curly and kinky hair community. She said that there weren’t enough Latinos creating content around naturally curly hair.”For Latinos, there is a phrase called pelo malo, which is translated to bad hair.  A lot of women who are of Hispanic decent are just taught to straighten their hair because that is the beauty standard.”

To be Latino is to be part of a myriad of different races, cultures, and history.”People see us as Latinos as a whole and generalize us as being one thing, not knowing there are so many different countries and parts of history that make us who we are.”

The term Afro-Latino is a newer description that more people, like Rocio, are choosing to identify with. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 25 percent of Latinos in the U.S. identify as Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, or Latino with African descent. 

“I thought in order for me to be accepted as beautiful, I had to straighten my hair.  We have black ancestors in our family.  My grandmother is black.  She is a black Latina.  A lot of Latinos want to identify as being afro Latino or being black because there is that taboo as being different when the rest of your family has a lighter skin color.”

Beyond the color of the skin, hair type is also an indicator of racial makeup. Rocio’s channel may have started with hair, but it’s evolved into her sharing all aspects of her life, from her as a mother, wife, and proponent of pride in everyone being unapologetically who they are, including traveling the country on a tour and promoting Afro Latino awareness.

“We talk about what it means to not only love the roots on your head but also the roots that make us who we are today.  In that tour, the topic evolved into something that is bigger than hair, but the love of your self-identity.”

Hair is like humanity, it’s stronger when individual strands come together and it shines when it’s cared for.
Be sure to check out our Hispanic Heritage Special!

  • Friday, October 14 at 6:30 p.m. on WGNO
  • Saturday, October 15 at 9:30 p.m. on NOLA-38

Stay updated with the latest news, weather, and sports by downloading the WGNO app on the Apple or Google Play store and subscribing to the WGNO newsletter.