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This bold girl is ushering in a new wave of media representation for Latinos.

Seeing ourselves represented in the media in a fun and fearless way is a wonderful thing for the Latino community.

This bold girl is ushering in a new wave of media representation for Latinos.

The second I saw the spark of self-confidence in the little girl's eyes, I knew Bomba Estéreo's music video "Soy Yo" would be different.

You may have heard of Bomba Estéreo — they're a Colombian band that's seen some heightened success recently. Will Smith teamed up with them on the song "Fiesta," and "Soy Yo" plays in a badass recent Target commercial starring Rita Moreno. The Spanish phrase "bomba estéreo" is a term used in Colombia for a really cool, awesome, badass party ... and I can definitely imagine being at one of those, dancing the night away with "Soy Yo" playing on repeat.

The song's title means "I'm Me" in Spanish, and the video proudly showcases a curious and modern little girl roaming a neighborhood. Throughout the song, she comes upon a series of things that could be considered obstacles to anyone who may not be sure of themselves, but she knocks each one down with pure gold bravado.


This little girl may very well be my spirit animal.

I was so transfixed by the protagonist's delightfully confident swagger that after I watched it, I immediately called my sister to have her watch too.

We both instantly fell in love with the pint-sized star and agreed the little girl has a striking resemblance to my sister when she was that age — actions and all, which made it that much cooler. Watch the video for yourself:

So, yeah, this is a well-made music video, and the song is pretty catchy. But for the Latino community, this video is a really big deal even beyond all that.

Why? Because I almost never saw myself represented in the media when I was a kid.

I didn't have a Latina version of a Winnie Cooper character from "The Wonder Years" on television when I was growing up. Sure, we had the hilarious La Chilindrina, a bonafide crybaby and drama queen, from the hugely popular television show "El Chavo del Ocho," which I adore. But she wasn't exactly the picture of self-confidence. And she also doesn't depict what I consider an accurate representation of little girls in the Latino community.

So this video matters A LOT. Young Latino girls now will have someone like this video's protagonist on screen, and they can relate to her. She looks like them, and she's fearless and bold in a music video from a band that's getting a big break in America. That's amazing. Where have girls like her on TV been all my life?

The video opens with our heroine spinning around in her salon chair.

She absolutely loves the way she looks — no fancy curls or updo needed. This scene screams, "I love myself!" It's an awesome display of self-confidence.

Sure, her look may not fit the stereotypical mold of what some people consider attractive, but she loves it and that's all that matters. Get it, girl! If all of us could look in the mirror and be as confident as she is, that would be a wonderful thing.

Then comes a face-off with a pair of girls, where our protagonist unapologetically toot-toots their negativity away.

Just when we expect our little starlet to feel intimidated, powerless, or embarrassed over the sneers of her peers, like in most tween movies and old after-school specials, she busts out her flute and plays with unapologetic originality.  

This scene is proof that you don't always have to fight when you feel threatened or intimidated: You can diffuse the situation by just being your goofy self too.

The music video also tackles fearlessness in the most delightful way possible when our main character jumps into a basketball game.

Sure, she may not have the skills of the others playing in the pickup basketball game ... but that's not going to stop her from trying anyway. She doesn't need the b-ball skills to impress. She's got the confidence and the courage to just go for it, and that speaks volumes.

On her last stop, the girl encounters a trio of breakdancing boys and adds her own funky fresh moves.

OK, so she doesn't dance exactly like them, but she has her own impressive moves that she's happy to bust out, and they showcase her unshakeable confidence in herself and her originality. Yassss! Here's a tiny sample:

And a little something like this...

Or even this classic move...

I. Love. This.

Watching a young Latina girl walk around like the world is her oyster is mind-blowingly awesome.

This video makes a powerful statement for the next generation of girls about what they can do. It's a massive cultural shift. Can I get a heck yeah for this awesome representation of pride and self-confidence for Latina girls everywhere?

Director Torben Kjelstrup says his inspiration for the video came from an old photo of his girlfriend from the '90s. "She was looking so overly confident that she totally pulled it off, and I felt it resonated perfectly with the theme of 'Soy Yo.'" He said Sarai, the lead actress in the video, took it to the next level with her performance. Hell yes, she did.

This video makes me feel elated (and not just because I can't stop dancing while listening to the song). It makes me excited about the new direction Latino representation is taking that includes more self-awareness, more self-worth, and a great desire to show it all off.

Get. It. Girl.

Researchers at Harvard University have studied the connection between spanking and kids' brain development for the first time, and their findings echo what studies have indicated for years: Spanking isn't good for children.

Comments on this article will no doubt be filled with people who a) say they were spanked and "turned out fine" or b) say that the reason kids are [fill in the blank with some societal ill] these days are because they aren't spanked. However, a growing body of research points to spanking creating more problems than it solves.

"We know that children whose families use corporal punishment are more likely to develop anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and other mental health problems, but many people don't think about spanking as a form of violence," said Katie A. McLaughlin, director of the Stress & Development Lab in the Department of Psychology, and the senior researcher on the study which was published Friday in the journal Child Development. "In this study, we wanted to examine whether there was an impact of spanking at a neurobiological level, in terms of how the brain is developing."

You can read the entire study here, but the gist is that kids' brain activity was measured using an MRI machine as they reacted to photos of actors displaying "fearful" and "neutral" faces. What researchers found was that kids who had been spanked had similar brain neural responses to fearful faces as kids who had been abused.

"There were no regions of the brain where activation to fearful relative to neutral faces differed between children who were abused and children who were spanked," the authors wrote in a statement.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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