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Meet Alondra Lopez, a sixteen-year-old girl from Lake Elsinore, California. If you didn’t catch Alondra’s season of My Dream Quinceañera last year, you should put it on your list of things to do.
During this empowering season, which follows girls start-to-finish along their quinceañera journey, Alondra Lopez brought a different type of story to screen. She was initially hesitant about having her own quince because of her size, but now looks back on the experience as a critical (and fantastic) part of her life.
Now reflecting on the experience, Alondra chatted with us about getting rid of the toxic people in her life and becoming her own best role model. Keep reading.
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ATV: In the past, you have said you didn’t want to have a quinceañara because you’ve “always been bigger than the other kids” and “didn’t want to be the center of attention.” What advice do you have for girls who have felt the same way?
Alondra Lopez: It doesn’t matter what size you are because at the end of the day, it’s your special day. I know it may seem scary because all eyes are going to be on you but when you’re in that dress, nothing matters. No one [else] matters, you see yourself, and all your flaws seem to disappear.
Part of the reason you decided to have a quince was because you started surrounding yourself with positive people who encouraged you. How have these friendships altered your outlook on life?
I used to surround myself with toxic [people], who, instead of lifting me up would put me down. But once I realized what they were doing and took myself of out that situation, my life became happier. I smile more because my friends compliment me when I [am] feeling down. They cheer me up. I learned that if you surround yourself with toxic people, your life becomes toxic as well.
Who are some role models?
Growing up there weren’t any plus-sized girls on TV or in magazines, so there wasn’t really anyone who helped me in terms of my confidence. Of course there were people who talked about body confidence, but they were all skinny with “perfect” bodies. I was never really like, “wow that girl looks like me, she gets what I’m going through.” I had to take on being my own role model.
Looking back on your quince, how was the experience different from what you expected? How was it the same?
It was so much different than I expected. I thought I was going going to be self-conscious because everyone was there to see me, but instead I felt beautiful. The first time I saw myself with my hair and makeup done and with my dress on, I couldn’t believe it was me.
I felt the most beautiful I had ever felt in my life. When everyone saw me, they all told me how beautiful I looked, and the little girls [said] I looked like a princess. In that moment, nothing mattered. Nothing anyone ever told me mattered because I finally felt beautiful. My quince was the greatest experience I’ve ever had and I wish every girl gets to experience the same thing.