A fashy statement for our times:
In Perfectly You: Embracing the Power of Being Real, Atencio writes about the encounter when she was selected to be part of the network’s presence at the annual White House gathering.
She wrote how thrilled she was to “represent our people, proud of having a seat at the table, literally and figuratively.” In an effort to honor her heritage, she planned on wearing something prominently featuring the colors yellow, blue and red, the colors featured on many South American nations’ flags. Just before she was about to leave, she got the call from a manager at NBC.
“‘Mariana, I just wanted to make sure you’re prepared for such a prestigious gathering,'” the manager said, according to Atencio’s book. She said the manager then asked her what she planned on wearing, and then suggests, “‘Please don’t look too Latina.'” Offended and outraged, Atencio said she asked the manager to explain what she meant. “‘Why don’t you go to Saks Fifth Avenue and have someone help you out… Have them pick out something demure. Not too colorful or tight. Think Ivanka Trump, okay?'”
“This person was making me feel smaller and smaller with each word,” Atencio writes about how the encounter made her feel. “Can you imagine someone in your field asking you to please not look so African American? [Ed.: Yes?] Or Asian? [Ditto] Or white? [No] Don’t look so Muslim [That would be yes again] or Christian? [Mmmm] How do you change who you are?”
Well you could talk to Ivanka’s plastic surgeon for starters.