Promoting Latinx Voices in Social Media

Students filled up all 120 seats in the auditorium at HSS 165 in Santa Monica College before the guest speaker starts to talk. Everybody in attendance came to see the YouTube star who the school tried to bring for over a year. The Cuban-American star Jenny Lorenzo visited SMC for the Encouraging Latinx Voices in Social Media event.

Lorenzo is a Cuban American from Miami who has been living in Los Angeles for the last six years. Lorenzo discovered a passion for acting in high school and created her career through YouTube.

When Lorenzo first started her Youtube channel, no one would have guessed she was a Latina because of the common stereotypes of what Latina women typically looked and sounded like. When she showed more of her Latina side in newer videos, her career really took off. “When I chose to be 100% myself and hustled hard, the fans responded well!” Lorenzo said.

Lorenzo's “abuela” videos imitating her abuela, or "grandmother" in Spanish, took off and racked up thousands of views online.

That success led to her working at well-known organizations Buzzfeed, Mitú, and Pero. After seven years of multimedia work, Lorenzo decided to return to working independently on her channel, current works to inspire other Latinx individuals to get their content into the world.

For those who wanted to be successful in her field, Lorenzo says that consistency and self-motivation are key. “Upload content about once a week," Lorenzo said. “Just do it.”

SMC student Irvin Ramirez attended the speech because he follows Lorenzo on social media and is a fan. “My favorite video is the abuela video because it is relatable,” he said. Irvin’s grandmother does not live in the U.S., so he found the videos extremely humorous and something special. Another student, Jazmine Flores, attended the event for extra credit in her Anthropology class but realized this meant something much more. “I am excited to hear her because I am Latina, so it is special to me," said Flores.

Lorenzo took time to come speak at SMC to encourage more Latinx to get their voices heard in this industry. During her career, she felt many obligations to be someone she wasn't. “At one point I was suggested to lie about my bilingual abilities and to pass as a non-hispanic white woman,” Lorenzo said. Although this feedback was emotional to her, she said it did not make her quit and back down, but rather fight harder to express her true self.