By Jenay Wright – Changing the stigma of beauty, and creating a safe space for women in all shapes, sizes, colors, and background is a goal that Princess Malcolm has taken under her wing. Through lots of self-love, confidence, and using her voice and platform to shed light on body positivity speaks volume. Her boldness reflects vicariously through her Instagram platform as she brings awareness to the importance of loving yourself externally and internally.
Malcolm showcases that beauty comes from within, and it is all that you make of it. Although many of us have struggled from the constant pressure to live up to Eurocentric Beauty Standards, there is a space for Afro -Latinas to feel represented, heard, and seen shoutout to this Reina, who we are highlighting, and her efforts to change narratives this Latinx American heritage month.
Walk me through your favorite memory growing up in Panama.
Omg, my favorite memory growing up in Panama is our trips to the beach. I loved
going to the beach and spending time with my family. Everyone would bring a
dish, we will play games, the loud music and just have a blast.
Did you ever struggle with feeling Latino enough?
I did and still do sometimes. I guess moving to the US is when it became an
issue because I have been told a few times I am not Latina and I just speak
Spanish. I think its mainly because of a lack of information about Latin America
Countries and their history.
Have you faced any challenges being an Afro-Panamanian?
The biggest challenge I faced was back in 2003 someone told me I was not
Black. They did not consider me Afrolatina or black just Hispanic because I
spoke Spanish. I explained that I was Afro-Latina and that my family migrated to Panama
from Jamaica and Barbados. I am either too black to be Latina or not black
enough to be considered Afro-Latina. Once again this all has to do with the lack of
history and knowledge.
Has the term Afro-Latina always resonated with you?
Yes, and it will always resonate with me. It represents both the African and Latin American origin parts of my background.
How do you celebrate your roots and culture?
I celebrate my roots and culture by being proud of where I come from. Talking
about where I come from and educating others about my country to wearing my
natural hair is a few examples.
What is the biggest misconception you’ve heard as an Afro-Latina?
Many people believe that Afro-Latinos have to be either black or Latino and we can’t
be both. This has always been the biggest issue on hand.
On your Instagram, you hold a space for self-love and body positivity, Is
this always something you have been passionate about? How has your
relationship been with self-love?
To be honest this for me is still something new and it’s a work in progress.
Growing up I was picked on a lot for my looks and it really made my teen/the late
twenties challenging. I actually went through different faces of body acceptance
and probably in the last six years is when I really started to practice self-love. My
relationship with self-love is a daily practice but I must say I have learned to be
kinder about my body and self.
Have you ever struggled with low self-esteem and or insecurities? If so,
how did you overcome those obstacles?
Yes very much in my teens all the way through my late twenties. One thing I was
very insecure about was my big smile and lips. I got picked on for having big lips
a lot so when it came to smiling I will smile not showing my teeth. This was one
of the first things I learned to accept about myself. I realized that my big smile
just showed how happy I was and it made me unique so I stop hiding it and now
it’s one of my favorite things about myself.
What has helped you build the confidence you wear proudly on your
sleeves today? How do you instill those into others around you?
My best friend Rochelle played a huge part in my self-love journey. She still does
on those days where I feel Black because we all have those she is always there to
remind me I am worthy. I think the best way to instill anything in others is to lead
by example. I have shared some of my struggles on my socials, been honest
about celebrating aging, and discussed how now I love my imperfections. I
think the best way I have done that and continue to do so is by being my authentic
What has been the most rewarding chapter in your journey of being a
Self Love advocate?
The most rewarding chapter is this one right now. As I turned forty celebrating
this new decade so much has happened. I had no idea about the impact I have on my
community and how many people are invested in my journey. From moms
reaching out telling me how they share my post with their daughters to discuss
body positivity, others reaching out to express how I inspire them to live their
dreams and just the outpouring of love makes this chapter the sweetest so far.
Do you often feel underrepresented as an Afro-Latina woman?
I don’t feel as underrepresented as before because the world and society have
become more diverse in visibility. Things have changed a lot from when I was
growing up but there is still much more work to be done.
What do you want your followers to take away from your page?
I want my followers to see someone who believed that she could and she did, no
matter her age, her race, the statistics, and no matter what others said she did not
What advice do you have for anyone battling to love themselves?
I would tell them self-love is something internal and it starts with us. Nobody can teach us to love ourselves and we can’t put that responsibility on anyone but us. It all starts with us and is a daily work in progress but it’s worth it.
Keep up with Princess on Social Media!