No Such Thing As ‘Pelo Malo’: Christine Gutierrez and Li Saumet of Bomba Estéreo Talk About the Beauty in All Hair 

No Such Thing As ‘Pelo Malo’: Christine Gutierrez and Li Saumet of Bomba Estéreo Talk About the Beauty in All Hair 
Credit: Instagram

For a long time, the Latino community was set on what was acceptable beauty standards. This has been particularly true for hair. From hearing that there was such a thing as “pelo malo” to making it seem as if blonde hair was the best hair color (due to the influences of Eurocentrism), Latinas have had to navigate a lot when it has come to their hair. However, in today’s world, Latinas are now leading a charge to reclaim their narrative, shatter stereotypes, and nurture self-esteem.  

At the forefront of this transformative movement are Christine Gutierrez and Li Saumet, influential figures within the community, united by the impactful #MyHairAMiModo campaign by Dove. This movement is a rallying cry to redefine the unique relationship Latinas have with their hair. 

Per Usual, Latinas Continue to Incite Change

Christine Gutierrez, revered as a guiding light for many, serves as both a self-esteem expert and a driving force behind the #MyHairAMiModo initiative. Recognizing her unwavering commitment to elevating hair self-expression conversations, Dove forged a partnership beyond traditional beauty campaigns.  

Gutierrez co-hosted a groundbreaking #MyHairAMiModo Masterclass during the campaign’s launch, offering a transformative experience tailored for hair stylists. Ultimately, she aimed to provide them with actionable tools to challenge stereotypes and propagate hair positivity not only within the confines of salons but also across communities nationwide. And she nailed it. 

Reflecting on her involvement, Gutierrez tells BELatina, “I now encourage myself to wear my hair up and feel beautiful wearing my hair in all different ways! It took time, compassion, and personal growth to arrive there.” 

On the other hand, Li Saumet, a powerful force in the Latino music scene and a key member of Bomba Estéreo, stands as a living testament to using art and influence to inspire and uplift women. In a sense, her connection to the #MyHairAMiModo campaign is an alignment of values. Saumet shares, “The #MyHairAMiModo campaign and our collaboration with Dove are very much what Bomba Estéreo is about. The updated verses are about being genuine, being original and above all else, accepting and celebrating yourself as you are.” 

Saumet’s synergy with the campaign is organic, rooted in her experimental approach to hair as a form of self-expression. Recognizing the unique pressures Latinas face concerning their hair, Saumet asserts, “It’s important for brands like Dove to elevate the pressures Latina women face when it comes to their hair because the more we talk about it, the more possibilities there will be for positive change.” 

Going beyond superficial aesthetics, the #MyHairAMiModo campaign touches upon the essence of self-love and acceptance. Through the collaborative efforts of Gutierrez and Saumet, Dove transforms into a platform amplifying voices that champion the true beauty of Latinas. 

Saumet further adds, ” It has been wonderful to see a brand like Dove use their platforms to break paradigms and drive people to do good.” 

“It was also nice to work in a team with many of women because normally brands are still very male-dominated. I loved seeing women lead and witnessing feminine energy directed toward empowerment,” she says. 

In a conversation with Gutierrez, she emphasizes the transformative potential of the campaign, stating, “We can break the hair wounds and be the hair cycle breakers we are meant to be. Overcoming these insecurities and embracing myself as-is, helped build the foundation for the work I do now to help uplift others.” 

Saumet echoes this sentiment, stating, “The connection was very organic for me because I often experiment with my hair to express myself and my personal style.” 

As Latinas continue to embrace positive self-talk and redefine their relationships with their hair, the #MyHairAMiModo campaign stands as a way to empower Latinas and women everywhere. This movement is a call to rewrite societal norms, ensuring self-esteem is not bound by expectations but thrives in the celebration of diverse beauty. 

In Saumet’s poignant words, “I encourage Latinas around the world, no matter the age or the place, to work together to remove harmful hair stereotypes from our community and create a safe space for communities’ growth.” This sentiment echoes through the campaign, inspiring Latinas to rewrite their narratives, one hair strand at a time.  

How to Keep Up with Li Saumet and Christine Gutierrez 

These Latinas are making sure they are leaving a dent in the community. Saumet, for example, explains that many new things are currently happening with Bomba Estéreo.  

“I’m excited for this new road filled with love and good energy,”  

Gutierrez is also doing amazing things. This year, she is hosting her annual deep healing Diosa Retreat in Vieques, Puerto Rico. It is to take place in July 2024. She also has women’s circle facilitator training for anyone who wants to lead women’s circles. She hosts these trainings alongside Beatriz Bonnin. As if she’s not doing enough, she is also publishing her second book, “I Am Worthy,” in the near future. If you want more information on what other projects Gutierrez is working on, you can subscribe to her newsletter.    

Make sure to support these Latinas. After all, that’s how we can showcase our power.  

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