Yalitza Aparicio And Jorge Antonio Guerrero, the actors from Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, are a breath of fresh air in media as it proves the upcoming issues of Vanity Fair and Vogue.
Roma has been critically acclaimed as one of the best films in Alfonso Cuarón's career. Not only are the story and cinematography breathtaking, but also the showcasing of new faces on film have made this film groundbreaking and highly anticipated. The Oscar-winning director makes powerful statements regarding the importance of representation in storytelling, by introducing new talents to the big screen, including Jorge Antonio Guerrero and Yalitza Aparicio. In this way, Cuarón chose to tell a story from the perspective of those who have been relegated to the back for far too long, giving a voice to those who been kept silent.
As a result of the popularity of this film, Guerrero and Aparicio have been featured in two of the most respected and influential publications in fashion: Vanity Fair and Vogue. This means that finally, little by little, these unseen faces are receiving the recognition, celebration, and visibility they deserve, defying the history of filmmaking and the media's status quo.
Jorge Antonio Guerrero, an emerging actor from Mexico City, gives a breath of fresh air to the rather stubborn industry of fashion magazines, specifically Vogue, which only put a black woman on its celebrated September cover this year. As one of the models for a small article in the American publication, Guerrero stands out in the conversation of fashion as a democratic means of representation. By breaking the mold of what a Vogue model should look like, Guerrero's pictures wearing high-fashion clothes are a huge step forward, regarding male beauty standards.
In turn, Yalitza Aparicio, the actress who plays Cleo in Roma, has also received her fair share of international attention. Born in Tlaxiaco, a small town in the state of Oaxaca, Aparicio got the part in a strike of luck, or maybe it was destiny. Back when production was looking for young women who spoke Mixteco, one of the many indigenous languages in Mexico, they moved the casting process to this southern Mexican state. Alfonso Cuarón himself was at her audition when she went to Mexico City, and she recalls being a little scared about the experience, since she didn’t know who Cuarón was until she had the chance to look him up on the internet.
She was worried because he didn’t look like his pictures, thinking that maybe this casting thing was nothing but a trap that had to do with human trafficking or kidnapping (a sad reality to which indigenous women and children are very vulnerable in Mexico). However, after realizing that she was safe, she did the test and the part was hers. Now, Aparicio, a teacher turned actress, has been celebrated as the highlight of the film, with one of the most moving and excellent performances of the year.
Media attention has not ceased since the movie's premiere in Venice, and Aparicio is firmly in the spotlight. Applauded and recognized as the best performance in a film in 2018, Time wrote that Aparicio's "performance is the kind of jewel a filmmaker could seek forever and never find." And recently, the actress broke another mould with ease, poise, and elegance, appearing in a shoot for Vanity Fair, another important publication of style, fashion, and beauty.
This is the first time a woman of Mexican indigenous heritage is featured on the publication, finally inserting them in the crucial task of giving visibility to diversity. Ironically, as she is celebrated in American publications, in Mexico she has received racist comments, a reflection of the sad reality of racism in Mexican society. The most recent edition of Vogue in Mexico features the actress on the cover.
What really matters now is that both she and Guerrero are opening new doors for those who have been marginalized, since, as Max Ortega (Vogue's stylist) states, “a reflection of you on a global platform can make possibilities seem infinite.”
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