NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) —Rocio Isabel Garza is a professional content creator and natural hair advocate from New Orleans, Louisiana.
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! Major brands are looking for Latino creators, Latino bloggers, Latino YouTubers and Latino podcasters. They are looking because they know there is a large audience out there,” explains Rocio.
Rocio’s journey as a content creator began because she noticed a lack of representation in the curly and kinky hair community when looking at YouTube channels, and says, “There weren’t enough Latinos who were creating content around naturally curly hair. For Latinos, there is a phrase called pelo malo, which is translated from Spanish to bad hair. A lot of women who are of Hispanic decent are 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 and Rocio says, “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 compound identity, that more people, like Rocio are choosing to identify with. According to the U.S. Census, approximately 25 percent of Latinos in the country, identify as being 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 don’t want to identify as being Afro-Latino or being black, because there is that taboo of being different, when the rest of your family has lighter skin color,” says Rocio.
Rocio’s YouTube channel may have started with hair care tutorials, but it has evolved into a lifestyle channel, where she shares all aspects of her life, from motherhood, her as a wife, and her as an advocate for everyone to take pride in themselves. She travels the country promoting Afro-Latino awareness and 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 the individuals strands come together and it shines when every hair is cared for.
To learn more about Rocio, hair, lifestyle and Afro-Latino awareness click the links below.