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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

‘Today’s outfit is confidence’: atypical TikTok star charms Mexico

MEXICO – 49 years old and less than five feet tall Martha Izquierdo doesn’t quite fit the model of a TikTok influencer. But after surviving sexual assault, kidnapping, two bouts of cancer and two heart attacks, conquering social media was almost an easy task for this Mexican journalist.

Ms. Izquierdo, who lives in a small town in southern Oaxaca, has over 600,000 followers on the social network, and her videos have garnered nearly 24 million likes.

What made her so popular during the pandemic and in a country with record levels of violence?

“I started talking about the problems associated with a positive outlook on life,” said Ms Izquierdo. “Confront your fears by making people understand that each of us is unique and irreplaceable.”

In a recent video typical of her content, Ms. Izquierdo walks towards the camera in a simple black T-shirt and floral pants. “Today’s outfit is all about confidence,” she says. “So you don’t stop believing in yourself.”

In another video, which has more than 300,000 views, she runs out of the house on her way to work.

“I am late, but always with the best possible attitude to everyday life,” she says. “How did you all wake up – did you give yourself a dose of love?”

Ms. Izquierdo, an award-winning journalist with many years of experience in reporting, is relatively new on social media. Since the pandemic began its assault on Mexico in 2020, it decided to open a TikTok account under the name @marthaizquierdooficial.

“We were afraid to go outside, we were afraid to die,” she said in a recent interview. “I think vulnerability has made a lot of people sit down and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to think about life and what we’re doing wrong.’ And that’s where I came from. “

In May, Ms. Izquierdo posted a video of her dressed up as Wonder Woman to celebrate her cancer remission. The video went viral and soon Ms. Izquierdo began to gain legions of fans.

“I danced, dressed up, wore costumes,” she said. “I’m not a character – this person on TikTok is actually me. And I’m even a little crazy. ”

In a country where the pandemic has wreaked havoc on public health and the economy, Ms. Izquierdo is giving her fans a dose of pure pleasure. And in the digital age, where everything is glamor in photoshop, Ms Izquierdo is very ordinary, whether it is exercise, commuting or dancing to the cumbia. the music in her backyard made her extraordinary.

Her colorful outfits are part of her appeal, from traditional Oaxaca dresses to beach bikinis, a long scar from cancer surgery proudly slicing through her belly. But Ms. Izquierdo’s brand is not so much fashion as it is confidence.

“If you have to start over, start over,” she said in one video. “This is the whole point of life – never give up.”

Cristina Mendes Sanchez, who discovered Ms Izquierdo’s video a few months ago, has been suffering from depression and obesity since her partner died 15 years ago. She soon became a big fan.

“I love her, I want to be like her,” said 49-year-old Ms Mendes. “This woman is really brave!”

It was not easy for Ms. Izquierdo to be an icon of affirmation, who had to go through some of the most painful moments of her life before she could experience the abundance that made her a social media star.

She was born in Veracruz, bordering the Gulf of Mexico, to an accountant and a housewife mother. From a young age, she knew that she wanted to become a journalist.

“When they asked me, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up? “I said,“ Scientist, singer or journalist, ”Ms. Izquierdo recalls. “But since God didn’t give me Einstein’s IQ or Pavarotti’s voice, I got stuck in journalism.”

Following her parents’ divorce, Ms. Izquierdo was sent to live with her extended family in Oaxaca, where, according to her, a male relative had repeatedly raped her since the age of 9.

“I got it out of my head,” she said.

It wasn’t until years later, after she met her partner, that she properly remembered what had happened and through therapy was able to resist the violence – and even forgive her abuser.

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“I cannot contain resentment or negative emotions in my heart,” said Ms Izquierdo. “Life is not meant for this.”

After graduating from high school, Ms Izquierdo returned to Veracruz to study journalism and eventually became the national correspondent for one of Mexico’s leading newspapers, Reforma. She now works for a local radio station in Oaxaca, spreading the news.

“She was a well-known journalist,” said Soledad Yarkin, a reporter who first met Ms Izquierdo over 20 years ago. “She had very good connections with people in power, but also with ordinary people.”

For many reporters in Mexico, one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists, reporting on the news carries enormous risks, often covering cartel-fueled violence that has terrorized the country for decades.

In 2007, she said, three newspaper vendors in a town near her home were killed by a violent Zeta cartel whose killers mistook their victims for journalists. When Ms. Izquierdo went to cover the murders, she received a phone call and was told she was next.

Ms. Izquierdo drove home, packed her suitcase and fled to Mexico City. But soon she returned to the field and again found herself in danger.

In April 2013, while covering the conflict between local landowners, she was surrounded and detained by armed men. It was only when the army arrived that Ms. Izquierdo was released.

Yet despite constantly facing dangers at work, Ms Izquierdo said her biggest challenge in life came when her 18-year-old partner, who was battling cancer and kidney problems, finally passed away.

“I wanted to kill myself because I loved him so much that I stopped loving myself,” she said.

Then, in 2015, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and given eight months to live. Again, she thought about giving up.

But her friends and family convinced her to keep fighting. She underwent chemotherapy and several surgeries, which left scars on her body.

“I cried in front of the mirror when I looked at myself because my body looked disfigured,” said Ms. Izquierdo. “I felt like Frankenstein.”

She eventually defeated cancer, but in 2017 it returned, this time in the stomach. In February of that year, she suffered a heart attack.

A few months after the second heart attack, Ms. Izquierdo said that everything had changed. Unconscious, Ms. Izquierdo said she had a vision during which she heard the voice of her deceased partner, who told her to continue living.

“If I came back to life, then with only one purpose,” she said. “To continue living, to be happy and to help other people with my life experience.”

It was this positive attitude that propelled her to fame on TikTok. But along with all the followers came trolls who called her plump or unattractive. At first, she began to receive negative reviews; then she decided to stop caring.

“When I allowed myself to succumb to unfounded negative comments, I said to myself, ‘No, I love myself.’

Soon the number of negative comments began to fall, although the number of her followers increased. Ms Izquierdo said the way haters are changing their attitude towards her is what she considers to be one of the greatest accomplishments of her TikTok presence. This is also the messages she receives from fans telling her about the impact she has made on their lives.

A few weeks ago, one of these fans, Ms. Mendes, got the courage to hook up with her idol. As a result, the telephone conversation, she said, turned her life upside down: she went to a weight loss specialist and plans to start training.

“I want to wake up dancing like her every morning,” Ms Mendes said. “She is a woman worth her weight in gold.”

For Ms. Izquierdo, this impact is the essence of all her efforts.

“It’s worth it if I can change someone who is facing a problem,” she said. “If I can make them smile.”

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
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