Healthy Chica Conference Gives Girls Tools To Create a Movement

Latinitas Uses Media, Tech and Musician/Health Enthusiast Suzette Quintanilla to Debunk Confusing Health Messages 

AUSTIN, TX- Media has such power and influence, directing mixed messages at teen girls about diet, esteem, body image, sexuality, happiness, achievement and much more.  Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference, Oct 24, 9am-4pm at ACC Eastview for any girl ages 9-18 puts the message-making in girls’ hands and is an opportunity to re-script confusing perspectives about what is and isn’t healthy .  Conference attendees will use video, photography, blogging and other digital media methods to explore nutrition, exercise and mental wellness.

Suzette Quintanilla, sister to the late Selena Quintanilla and drummer for the Los Dinos, will kick off the morning by sharing her journey to a fit lifestyle. Girls and teens at Latinitas’ Healthy Chica Conference will also be visited by nutritionists, doctors, dentists, acupuncturists, hospice workers, girls’ health experts and social workers who will share their career experiences during lunch.  Girls will also complete an exercise circuit sampling CrossFit, yoga and martial arts.

Latinitas is a non-profit organization focused on empowering girls and teens using media and technology. It also publishes the first and only magazine made for and by young Latinas. (www.latinitasmagazine.org)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistics report 73 percent of Mexican American women are overweight or obese, ten percent more than the general population. More than half of Mexican American women do not report any leisure exercise and are consequently at greater risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer.  As the U.S.’s largest Latina population, statistics paint a dire picture about the fate of Latina female health, overall.   And, these numbers are only addressing physical health. One out of 7 young Latinas attempt suicide, a majority afraid to get help due to dated and cultural stigmas about depression. In many ways, Latina girls’ and teens’ health and wellness is in crisis.

“Media manipulates what ‘good health’ is photo-shopping bodies to an unreachable body ideal. Ad-driven, it’s also hard to know what is really good nutrition and what is a fad.” Said Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, Latinitas founder and COO.  “This event lets Latina and other girls define healthy living on their own terms, a point of view not covered well in mainstream media.”

Registration is $10 and includes lunch.  Girls and teens can register at www.laslatinitas.com or by calling 512.900.0304.  Scholarships are available upon request or girls can post a picture of a healthy habit (ex. lacing up tennis shoes for a run, grabbing an orange as a snack) to Latinitas social media outlets (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) with the hashtag, #healthychica for free admission.

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Contact Laura Donnelly Gonzalez at 512.809.4618 or laura@latinitasmagazine.org for an interview.     

 

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