‘Roma’ made Yalitza Aparicio a star. Now she’s giving a voice to her indigenous fans.

2/21/2019 – The Washington Post

Long before Yalitza Aparicio became the first indigenous woman nominated for best actress at the Oscars, she applied for a retail position at a clothing store in her hometown of Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca.

She didn’t get the job. Aparicio, now in the same conversations as Glenn Close and Lady Gaga, recalls the store manager’s exact words: “It’s your skin color.”

She wasn’t surprised. It isn’t unusual for people with indigenous features to face discrimination in Mexico. But now Aparicio, who had never acted before landing the lead role in the critically lauded “Roma,” has gone from aspiring public school teacher in a city of less than 18,000 to the first indigenous woman on Vogue Mexico’s cover. Fans tout her as the face of indigenous Mexico. Trolls leave racist comments on her social media. And at just 25 years old, she’s wrestling with the rewards and burdens of fame.

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