Lately, the topic of feminism as it relates to successful, independent, and intelligent Latinas has come up a lot. And I mean a lot. In casual conversations amongst my not-yet-thirty, flirty, and thriving girlfriends, on the phone with parents; it’s even infiltrated American politics! Just look at Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. She’s divorced and has no kids, but I highly doubt she sits around moping all day long because the fairy tale of having a husband, kids, a dog, and a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence didn’t work out for her. Al contrario. And it would take a certain kind of extraordinary man to be such an extraordinary woman’s companion. That’s my kind of heroine; the one who makes her own rules in love. Which brings me to my new obsession: Feminista by Erica Kennedy, new from St. Martin’s Press. The critically acclaimed journalista and author of Bling has created the ultimate chick-lit masterpiece. Her protagonist, Sydney Zamora (who is half Afro Cuban, half white), is a fabulous, fashion-forward magazine writer who, at 33, has a post quarter-life meltdown and comes to the determination that she has to get married before it’s too late. So she hires the equivalent of Patti Stanger from Bravo’s The Millionaire Matchmaker, Mitzi Berman, to find Sydney’s impossibly perfect Señor Right. Mitzi’s challenge is to bend some of Sydney’s staunchly feminista ways, i.e. get her to dress sexy and girly, because, according to her, “If you don't make some radical changes in your behavior, you will die alone.” Sounds just like Patti! Once Mitzi finds a potential mate in the spoiled department store heir Max Cooper, this modern tale of the tough choices a woman must make in the quest to having it all not only resonates, but it truly entertains. When recently asked to break down the term feminista in an interview about her new book, Kennedy offered:
“Feminista is just my modern spin on the word "feminist" (a word I think a lot of women are uncomfortable with because it conjures images of a militant man-hater with hairy armpits). Feminista is a fashionable feminist. It's about the yin and yang of what it means to be a modern woman today. We're strong and vulnerable. We're ambitious and nurturing. We want cute shoes that show off our pretty pink toenails and we can also fix the HTML code on our blog! We might want a career and a family—or maybe we just want the family, or just the career. It's about being the woman you are, however you define that.”
Couldn’t agree with her more. Except my toes are a vibrant purple from OPI’s new España line. Olé!