“Being a Mexican woman means not giving up and always moving forward,” shared Ariel, a nineteen-year old fashionista. As a trans woman in Mexico City, Ariel knows about determination and drive. Connecting over Zoom from her parents’ house, with a crucifix reflected in the television beyond her, she explained that she had always liked stereotypically feminine activities and clothes, but, for a long time, suppressed the feeling that she was a woman. “When I was teeny-tiny, I even tried on mom’s gorgeous red lipstick and felt absolutely stunning,” she said.
After seeing posts on social media from trans influencers like Victoria Volkóva and Ophelia Pastran, Ariel recognized that the way she had been feeling was normal, and she finally had resources to help. “I discovered that I was a woman when I was about seventeen years old,” she shared. Social media not only helped Ariel understand her gender identity, but also motivated her to start living her life in a way that made her feel happy and satisfied with who she was. When asked about her experience as a trans woman in Mexico, Ariel spoke on the violence that comes not only from men, but from fellow women: “Fortunately, I’ve learned to protect myself so that no person minimizes my experience as a trans woman.”
“This violence is part of Mexico,” she admitted, and while she understands the privilege of being born as a man into a machista country, she’d much rather fight alongside all the women with whom feels that she belongs. “It makes no sense to me that there are assassinations of people just because they are women,” she added.
When she’s not modeling, or honing her make-up skills, Ariel is fighting for social justice and representation. “Everyone is sick of seeing the same thing over and over again,” Ariel said about fashion, “Mexican culture, colors, and communities should serve as rich sources of inspiration in the fashion world.” She dreams of a world where Mexican women are recognized for uplifting a nation in shambles.