Latina Magazine's Editorial Director On The Incomplete Narrative Surrounding Latinas
Robyn Moreno is on a mission: to empower and motivate Latinas to be themselves. As Latina Magazine's Editor-in-Chief, Moreno has an inspiring list of accomplishments. She has been nominated for an Emmy as the host and producer of the lifestyle show Plum Daily Hamptons and has contributed content that has appeared in Elle, InStyle, Glamour, USA TODAY and The New York Daily News, just to name a few.
She has become one of the most sought-after lifestyle experts and highlights that no matter what your budget is, personal style, beauty and joy can be achieved easily in all areas of life. In addition to her day job, Moreno publishes a weekly newsletter and blog, Pockets of Pretty through RobynMoreno.com and has written a bestselling book, Practically Posh: The Smart Girl’s Guide to a Glam Life.
MBG spoke with Robyn about her professional journey, the Latina narrative, and how anyone can identify and work towards their #SoulGoals.
From Texas to New York City
Moreno, a 4th generation Tejana, graduated from University of Texas at Austin with a degree in journalism. She didn't really know what she wanted to do after graduation, but a trip to her local bookstore solidified her career goals. "I went to the bookstore and saw Latina Magazine in the stands. It was the first time I identified with someone on the cover of a magazine and the contents inside of it. It was a defining moment for me, because right then and there I knew that I wanted to work for this magazine."
"I bought a one way ticket to New York City and I worked at my cousin's restaurant, and a month later I submitted my resume to a job opening at Latina Magazine as an editorial assistant. I decided to walk it to their offices in Times Square (where they were located at the time) and I fully thought I would just leave it with the receptionist. But someone at the office literally opened the door for me and I was actually able to go into the offices. One of the women said to me, hey this is weird, but are you able to interview now? They had just fired someone the day before and I was able to meet with the managing editor. I was hired on the spot. This happened on a Friday and I began work the following Monday. It literally changed my life. I'm now the Editor-in-Chief and it's been an amazing journey."
Moreno's experience with Latina Magazine has taught her many things, but two really stand out:
1. It's Important for Other Latinas to Open Doors for One Another
"Someone literally opened the door for me at the Latina offices, and if it wasn't for that opportunity, who knows what would have happened. We won't be able to get into the White House, to get into board rooms, or win Oscars if we don't help each other rise."
2. Have the Courage to Knock on That Door
"My desire to succeed is bigger than my fear of failure. It feels much worse to not have gone for it, than to have gone for it and fail. When you work and try for something, there is a certain validation that keeps you motivated. We only have one life. My father died when I was young; he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and passed away very suddenly. I learned from a young age that life goes by so quickly. His death made life more urgent for me. I learned that if you don't ask, you don't get. If there is something that you really want, I mean really, really want, you must find a way to make it happen and not be afraid. I call these wants 'soul goals', a deep centered want that doesn't go away. They can be children, marriage, starting your own business, finishing school, whatever your strong desires are, don't be afraid to go after them."
On What the Media Gets Wrong About Latinas
"Latina Magazine was founded on the idea that people weren't getting what Latinas were all about. Our founder (Christy Haubegger) didn't see Latinas in the media who were like her: educated, professional, talented, and so on. All she saw were caricatures of what other people thought Latinas were like. Back then, there were only a few ways of being Latina that were being depicted in the media. It's important that we tell our story, because if we don't, then someone else will tell it for us. There was an incomplete story out there surrounding the Latina woman and that's how the magazine was brought to life."
"The narrative that the media and the current administration tells about Latinas is wrong. Our work is more important than ever. In many ways, we've grown so much, and in many ways we haven't. Let's say, roughly, that there are 28 million Latinas living in this country. Well, guess what? That means that there are 28 million different ways to be Latina. You can be black, white, speak Spanish or not. It took me so long to realize, this is who I am and I'm not apologizing for anything."
Latina Magazine just celebrated its 20th anniversary, and with Moreno at the helm, the publication is guaranteed to grow and inspire countless Latinas along the way. Count the founder and staff at MBG among the inspired!
Keep Up With Robyn Moreno
Check out Robyn in Latina Magazine's new online tutorial #BeautyOurWay where she gives tips and tricks on how to enhance your makeup game.