A Few of Our Favorite Reasons to Love Being Latina

What a year to be Latina, as we represented everywhere from City Hall to the Supreme Court, and from reality TV to real-life dramas like the fight over the DREAM Act. Here’s a look at all of the ways we rocked 2010.

1. 1–7: We're Maestras of the Universe

1–7: We’re Maestras of the Universe

When Mexico’s Ximena Navarrete was crowned Miss Universe this year, she joined a very Latina club: With her win, in the past 10 years we’ve won the pageant seven times!

2. 29: We Made Law School Dean

29: We Made Law School Dean

Rachel F. Moran was named dean of UCLA’s School of Law in June, making her the first Latina dean of a top-ranked U.S. law school. The Mexican American scholar’s goal? To “prepare a new generation of lawyers with the knowledge, skills and ethical compass to make a difference.” Surely Sonia Sotomayor is proud.

3. 51–53: We’re Changing the Face of Fashion

51–53: We’re Changing the Face of Fashion

Watch out, world! The newest Latino celeb entrepreneurs are 18 and under:

The New Material Girl
Go to any Macy’s store nationwide and you’ll find the designs of 14-year-old Lourdes Leon. Still known mainly as “Madonna’s daughter” to most, Lola collaborated on her very own clothing line with mother Madge earlier this year— a fun and flirty ’80s-inspired line aptly titled Material Girl. “When it comes to designing the line, it’s pretty much her point of view,” Madonna told People.

The Super-Sized Talent
Mexican actor Rico Rodriguez, 12, plays Manny on ABC’s Modern Family. But Rodriguez has plans to expand his brand with  a clothing line for plus-sized and middle-sized people. Best of all, he’s working on the line with his mom, dad, sister, two brothers and some cousins. "It’s hard for us to find clothes in our size," he says. "So we thought, 'How about we just make our own clothes?' "

The Dreamer

You’d think that a starring role on an Emmy-winning TV series (Wizards of Waverly Place) and a second album (A Year Without Rain) would be enough to keep Selena  Gomez occupied—no way, José. The ambitious 18-year-old mexicana added “fashion designer” to her résumé when she launched her clothing line, Dream Out Loud, in August—a “comfortable, casual and affordable” line sold exclusively at Kmart.

4. 90–108: We’ve Thrown Away the Script!

90–108: We’ve Thrown Away the Script!

Meet the Latinos who have officially taken over reality TV. MTV’s Jersey Shore—which delivered record-breaking numbers for the network this year—stars three Latinos: Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi—who was born in Santiago, Chile (and adopted at six months by Italian American parents), Irish and Spanish Jenni “JWoww” Farley and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, who is part Italian and Puerto Rican. Maybe GTL stands for “Guidos That are Latino”? Over on ABC, Puerto Rican hottie Roberto Martinez won Ali’s heart on The Bachelorette, while Mexican American Robert Roldan danced his way to the top three finalists on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance (in a year that welcomed five Latinos to the top 10). Another Latino who almost went all the way on a reality competition is Angelo Sosa, who became a finalist on Bravo’s Top Chef D.C. VH1 also cooked up some Latino entertainment, compliments of Puerto Rican couple La La Vazquez and her NBA superstar hubby Carmelo Anthony, for La La’s Full-Court Wedding—about their walk toward the aisle. Also on VH1, mexicano Mario Lopez and his pregnant fiancée, Courtney Mazza, costar in their own reality show about becoming new parents, Saved by the Baby. And Victor and Digna Carpio—who are naturalized American citizens from Ecuador—showed the world what it was like to raise six babies and a 9-year-old son on a single income on the TLC reality show Sextuplets Take New York.

5. 119: We Clean Up Other People’s Messes

119: We Clean Up Other People’s Messes

When cleanup of the BP oil spill began in the Gulf of Mexico, it was no surprise to find hundreds of Latinos in the thick of the muck, willing to do the dirty work that many would not touch. About 144 of those work for Martha Mosquera, a Colombian American who owns a company that specializes in cleaning up oil spills around the country—and about 40 of those were fellow gutsy Latinas not afraid of a little oil. Even as Immigration and Customs Enforcement bore down to verify that no undocumented workers were being used, Las Aceitosas (as they called themselves) laid down booms to trap oil, collecting the gunk with skimmers, all to help restore a vital piece of the country.

6. 126–128: We’re the Face Of Beauty—Literally!

126–128: We’re the Face Of Beauty—Literally!

More and more beauty companies are realizing that Latina stars make the most incredible spokesmodels. Besides being gorgeous, they speak to a demographic that spends more than one billion dollars a year on beauty products! Joining the ranks this year: Spanish stunner Penélope Cruz, who became the ambassador of Láncôme’s classic Tresor fragrance; Zoë Saldana, who starred in Avon’s cosmetic and fragrance campaigns; and Sofia Vergara, who inked a deal with Suave Professionals.