“Representation” is the latest buzzword thrown around in media. You will see it plastered across TV screens and Twitter anytime an actor of color scores an important role or more culturally diverse movies and shows are produced. But what does representation truly mean? To me, a Dominican born American content creator, it means the world.
My first instances of seeing a Dominican on a large platform took place back in 2003, while my family and I watched Amelia Vega become the first Dominican Miss Universe. I can still vividly remember the immeasurable amount of pride I felt seeing her being crowned.
Throughout my life, that pride continues to grow as there has been more representation of Dominicans on the big screen. Actresses such as Zoe Saldana and Dascha Polanco, personalities like The Kid Mero and Julissa Bermudez, and others have put Dominicans on the map. There is also representation on a smaller scale, with online content creators and influencers, easily accessible through our Instagram and YouTube apps. That representation has made the biggest difference.
Earlier this year, I was able to go to an event by one of my favorite Dominican influencers, Ada Rojas of All Things Ada. This event was one I will remember forever. Seeing someone who looks like me, talks like me, with a similar background reminded me that everything I want is within my reach. Representation shows you that what you want is possible, you need someone to do it first to show you the way.
By Lisa De La Cruz of The Wonder of Ivy