As a teenager in today’s society, I go through major anxiety on a daily basis. I constantly feel pressured to look and act a certain way, based on everyone else’s standards of what a woman should be and look like. Living in LA, I constantly find myself falling into the trap of “You have to wear this, and pose like this so you get this amount of likes and feel better about yourself.” But NO. After finding myself falling into the trap of living in an artificial world, I reassure myself that I am so much more.
VISUAL ARTIST / STYLIST
CLINICAL & NEURO PSYCH
As I sit here reflecting on my life to answer a short three word question with such endless meaning behind it, I can’t help but think I MADE IT!
Success, school, work, relationships, body image; the list goes on. One thing that all these relate to in my life is SELF-LOVE. For many years I struggled with this, not because I hated myself but because I lived for other people. It’s crazy to think if you were to seek my true thoughts and feelings, you would see how highly (not as in better than anyone else) I think of myself, but yet I always put my needs on the back burner. I wanted to make my parents proud so I followed their path. I wanted to save those that now I know I never could, and with all these mentally draining me I deflected all this on my physical appearance. In my eyes I always felt too fat or too skinny and rarely just right.
Kristyan Kimberly Cortez-Sanchez
As many immigrant children, I was raised with the ideology that pursuing higher education was the only option. My mother worked in the fields, then at the Mervyn's warehouse (when that was a thing), and currently as a custodial at a university, which has enamored her more with the idea of UNIVERSITIES. My dad was a HUSTLER, that man had no boundaries when it came to providing for his family. He worked in the fields, sold oranges on street corners, held odd jobs, and finally became a semi-truck driver a few years before he died at the age of 35. I say all this because their story, their struggle, their dreams, their back breaking work, is intertwined with my story.
WHAT'S MY NAME? Kristine Esguerra
WIFE / MOTHER / PHARMACIST
Growing up, I chose to put work before my studies especially when I had to live on my own at an early age since my parents moved out of state and I chose to stay in CA. At some point I was going to school and working 3 jobs, which is why it took me longer to finish school. Money definitely was a barrier because I really did not want to take out loans since I don’t like owing money.
ALEX GALLARDO ORTIZ
WHAT'S MY NAME? ALEX GALLARDO ORTIZ
HEALTH & WELLNESS PROFESSIONAL
I feel like this journey into true womanhood began in college, so I’ll start there.
To make a long story short, I fell in love with the field of Sports Medicine after already being in college for 3 years. I worked towards becoming certified and went to a school where I felt I sacrificed the “normal” college experience to do clinical hours, spent weekends traveling with teams, and worked full time on top of that.