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The Oscars Meant More This Year

By: Natalia Quinonez

A tumultuous year almost guaranteed that the Oscars looked nothing like they used to. It’s taken me nearly a week to process the pivotal moments that made history. Women are making strides through their work instead of just being noticed for their beautiful red carpet looks. Don't get me wrong, I will always love a good red-carpet look. But breaking barriers in other areas of the entertainment industry is what really gets me excited.

In a male-dominated industry, this year, the women nominees paved the way for little girls who dream of making it.

Chloé Zhao won the Oscar for directing “Nomadland,” becoming the first woman of color to win the award and the second woman to win. Zhao was also the first woman to get four Oscar nominations in a single year.

That's important to me because I have three younger sisters I constantly encourage to dream big.

Looking back to when I was a little girl, I shied away from things that seemed male dominated, and yet I also didn’t want to appear to girly. It's amazing now to see girls and boys not conforming to their certain gender. Women can be in touch with different sides of themselves.

I don't want my little sisters to ever feel like they need to hide a piece of themselves. I hope that Zhao’s success inspires them to follow whatever they desire, no matter if it’s in a seemingly male dominated industry. While my younger sister, Xiomara, is great at doing makeup, she also aspires to go to the United States Military Academy at West Point next year.

When I was younger, I felt that society expected me to choose between beauty or brains, thin or muscular, a career or a family, pink or blue. The truth is we are now seeing women go after it all.

In moments like Zhao’s acceptance speech, I am grateful that my little sisters see women speaking up and showing the world that we can do anything. Women are pushing boundaries across the board. We finally have our first female vice president.

Little by little, as women continue to make their mark in the entertainment industry, they are holding the country accountable for being treated equally. The future certainly is female.

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