Hello lovelies! Sooooo, we are very close to the end of SFC September and I am sad….but today I have an interview with The Collected Mutineer, who is a contributor on The Collective like myself. She is so cool and I’m excited for you all to get to know her!
Tell the readers a bit about yourself.
Writer by day, superhero by night! Well, sort of. I have one too many academic degrees, and no job to speak of—unless you obsessing over celebrities and TV shows, of course. I’m a travel nerd, photography fan, and bookworm. I read too much fanfiction than is probably healthy. I’ve lived in three countries, and spent more summers in Spain than in California. I enjoy a good cuppa. And here’s a confession: I never took down the enormous Orlando Bloom poster on the back of my childhood bedroom door.
What do you think is the greatest strength you have, and how do you bring that out in the work you do?
Do eating and sleeping count as a strengths? According to my overlords, it’s confidence (and cat whispering). I think that a lot of people view confident women as bitches, when really it is just a woman acting the way men act every day. As an ambivert (someone who is both introverted and extroverted), I often push myself to be more confident than I am naturally. I make myself ask questions and be bold. I force myself into situations that I know will help me grow, such as moving 6000 miles away to study in London. I think that this type of confidence can come across in the way that I write, in the way in which I address issues, and in the questions that I ask the people around me. I can only hope that a little of this comes across in my work for The Collective, as well as my other projects.
What do you “geek out” over?
Anyone who has read any of my posts for The Collective knows that I love all things Tom Hiddleston, BBC Sherlock, and Game of Thrones (okay, basically everything that most nerds currently love). But off the beaten track, I geek out over all sorts of weird things. I love old movies, historical trivia, and cooking shows. I get excited over costuming and make up for films, and part of me thinks that I should have studied something completely different in college. I think my two biggest “geeking out” things, though, are film scores and literature. I also love to read cookbooks, dictionaries, and baby name books. Etymology is a weakness.
How do you express your femininity on a daily basis?
I don’t always wear dresses and makeup, but I do care what my hair looks like. Obviously gender isn’t tied to how long or short one’s hair is, but I have always favored big “feminine” curls. If I have time in the morning, I like to make sure my hair is loose and flowing with a bit of a spring to it. I often feel like Jo in Little Women, in that my hair is my one true beauty! I feel empowered when my hair is rockin’ it.
Do you find you are treated differently when you act more feminine? As if you can’t be strong and powerful?
Unfortunately, yes. And I often get a double dose of that when people hear my Hispanic last name. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I’m more passionate in bed than non-Hispanic women, or if I know how to cook like a good little wifey. It makes me so sad to hear these stereotypes.
Who are your biggest female role models? How have they helped shape who you are today?
My mom is definitely one. She loves stereotypically “feminine” things, and even majored in Home Economics. (Yes, once upon a time, that was a college major!) She would have loved to have stayed home and been a housewife, but went out and worked to help put food on the table. She has always encouraged me to do what I love, not what others want me to do. Another would have to be Lucille Ball. I grew up watching I Love Lucy reruns, and fell into awe from the time I could process what it meant to be funny. Lucille was brave in so many ways. Thanks to her insistence that her real-life husband Desi Arnaz play her TV husband, she changed the way Americans viewed Hispanics. She is also had a huge influence on the role of the female comedian, and the role of women in TV and film industries. Did you know that she was the first female head of a production company?
How do you deal with people you can’t like things “because you are a girl”? Have you encountered this?
Oh, I get that all the time. When I was young, it was because I liked cars, legos, and bows and arrows. Now, I hear it from men who find out that I like superheroes and soccer. I usually try to rise above it, and not argue, but sometimes I relish putting those men in their place. Once, back in 2012, I wore my Real Madrid jacket to the class I was teaching. Before I could even begin the class, a young man in the front row asked if I was wearing my boyfriend’s jacket. I said I wasn’t, that it belonged to me. He laughed, and asked me if could name the team captain. I looked at him with a straight face and said, “Yes, I can. His name is Iker Casillas, and he’s the goalie. I can also name the other members of the current team, if you need a refresher course in Spanish futbol.” He never challenged me again.
What advice would you give to young women who are afraid to express who feel like they can’t be a strong female?
Be yourself. “Feminine” or not, you can still be strong. Femininity does not equal weakness. There will be haters out there who don’t understand you, and that’s fine. Don’t define yourself by other people’s expectations and outdated standards. You can never make everyone happy, and there is only one solution to that: be happy with yourself first, before all things.
I swear, everyone at The Collective is an actual, real life blogging unicorn. Thank you so much, Mutineer for being a part of this series. If you enjoyed reading this post, please give it a like! You can read more from the Mutineer (oh, and me….and the Collectress) over on acollectivemind.com.
Till next time,