The year I graduated high school was the year I saw myself in glossy images and Spanglish words. The images weren't me and the words were not my own, but Latina arrived on my doorstep in 1996, giving me permission to celebrate the hyphen. You know, the one between Mexican and American.
It was in the much-beloved Dolores Dice column that I found myself reflected in the questions featured. And in Dolores' wise and sassy Spanglish straight-talk responses, I found my favorite kind of validation: the kind that comes with the playful sarcasm and tough love.
Dolores may not have been literally answering my questions each month, but she spoke to all of us when she broke through our insecurities and reminded us to celebrate our self-worth. I looked up to her—as a writer, woman, and a Latina. I was devastated to learn of her passing. What an inspirational woman!
"Good luck finding someone to take over the column, Latina" I thought. “You can't replace the irreplaceable.” And, as Latina's new advice and relationship columnist (someone pinch me!) I won't. Instead, I plan to bring my own voice to the table, as I do on my websites, www.aspiringmama.com and www.girlbodypride.com, where I share my own unfiltered craziness as a homeschooling Mexican American mother living in Maine who also happens to deal with body image and self-worth issues and trying to remember where I put my keys because ADHD is both a punchline and a total pain in the ass.