Instagram can be a source of information and affirmation for many. From finding and following Boricua Creatives to connecting with LeMom James, to connecting with art that reflects the diversity that mainstream media can lack. For Mexican American creative Kay Lopez, Instagram helped her bounce back after being laid off in 2017. A talented illustrator and artist Lopez noticed a gap in Latina representation available on Instagram and seeks to change that. Her latest project was designing and launching Latina gifs on social media platforms.
Kay Lopez is the creator of Latinas Poderosas. Created in 2017, Latina Poderosas mission is to inspire the modern-day mujer by celebrating her roots and encouraging her to stay connected to her cultura, language, and sazón. Lopez started the Instagram after reeling from a layoff and speaking with several people in her community about her next moves. Through these conversations, she realized that her family and friends both thought she had what it took to launch her own brand. As the child of immigrant parents she felt a bit fearful about launching her own thing however, her mami told her she believed in her and that was motivation enough. Today Latinas Poderosas has over thirty – eight thousand followers on Instagram, an online store where you can get merchandise, and hosts events.
Using Instagram as a way to build and connect to community for over two years has also helped Lopez identify gaps on the platform. Everyone knows that one of the best things about Instagram is using gifs in your stories. Additionally, all Latinas know that sometimes your message comes across better in Spanish or Spanglish. While Instagram had a number of short phrases and words in English that people could choose from, they were lacking Spanish and Spanglish options.
Lopez saw this as an opportunity to expand the gif options on Instagram and help bring some diversity to the platform at the same time.
With the goal of designing and uploading 100 gifs that Latinas could use, Lopez, set out on her newest creative project. “I set my goal to create 100 gifs because I wanted tons of options for the community to use not just a few,” Lopez to Forbes. “I focused on positive, empowering messages that women could use. I created a list of my own and then tapped into the Latinas Poderosas community for suggestions and once I had 100 I got to work.”
The gifs launched on June 11th with options like “bebecita, Jefa, and Loca Pero Cute.” The caption accompanying the announcement of the gifs continued to ask the community for their input on what the next set of gifs should be. A few short days later, another set of gifs was launched on June 18th and another set was launched on July 10th. Varying in font, colors, and design the gifs offer a range of options for all your Spanish and or Spanglish gif punctuation needs. You can use the bold red “mamacita” gif for your fire going out photo and choose the “abuelita vibes” gif for the nights you opt to stay in instead. There is just about a gif for all your needs.
Lopez proves that inspiration can come from anywhere and that diversity in social media can continue to expand.
You can find your perfect gif on Instagram and Snapchat by searching Latina, Latinx, and Latinas Poderosas.