|Spring 2006 Issue
|© 2002-2008 All rights reserved. La Diva Latina is a registered trademark and intellectual property of the V. Davis Publishing Company Inc. All rights reserved.
Who does she think she is? She lends her voice to her own online magazine where thousands all over the world hear her message. All this she does from her wheel chair, due to brittle bone disease. How does she make that happen?
Nathasha Alvarez is the founder of Audacity Magazine, the Magazine for Disabled People with an Able Mind. Nathasha is more than an able mind. She is tenacious and intelligent. She makes things happen because she believes in her message. She’s not afraid to speak her mind. Now with this online magazine her message is reaching people as far as South Africa, Australia, England, Canada, and of course the USA. She plans on making her online magazine more interactive, a social network for disabled people. Talking to her, you know that she will make that happen.
What made her start this magazine? “Well, I love magazines. Simply LOVE them. I literally have about 30 of them in my house right now. But you know how in Cosmo, or Vogue, or Latina magazine and probably your magazine too, I’m sure….” Hey! I’m thinking. How dare she? :) “It’s a lot of fluff.” she continues. “It’s all about having a make-over, or what Penelope Cruz is wearing. That’s fine. But it doesn’t speak to me and many disabled people that are out there.”
Nathasha is adamant about her magazine and continues explaining the desperate need for a magazine that targets disabled people. "You know that there are 20 million disabled people in the US according to a study made in 1997. I have to do more research to see a newer study but that’s a lot of people.” Talk about ‘able mind’! She’s rattling off statistics right from the top of her head! Some of you know that I love statistics!
She explains that ‘disabled’ means many things. “But of those millions of disabled people, 1.6 million are in wheelchairs. Don’t they want our money? Why aren’t big companies targeting us? We buy things too.”
The interesting thing about Nathasha and Audacity Magazine is that you do not need to be disabled to appreciate what she and her writers have to say. We can all relate to stories of dancing like no one is watching, or having a bad day, or the scent of freshly baked bread, or being a mom, or a host of other articles in Audacity Magazine.
During the day, Nathasha is an 8th grade teacher. I couldn’t believe it because I hear that middle school is the toughest. She says she absolutely loves it! She loves her job and the students she teaches. She then goes on talking about how our society treats children.
“It seems oxymoronic. We tell our children we want them to stay children, not to grow up so fast but then we put them in these situations. Why should a 6th grader be in the same school building as an 8th grader. Or a 9th grader be in the same school building with an 18 year old? What do u think can possible happen? It’s like we play ‘Survivor' with our children.”
I ask her about another popular TV show. “What is your opinion- well, I am not sure if they are considered ‘disabled’ but u know the reality show about that family. You know, he’s a midget. I forgot the name of the show.”
“The term is not midget. It is little person or dwarf.” I wanted to shrink right inside the little notepad I was writing on. “The medical definition of a dwarf is someone under 4’9”. I myself am a dwarf. I’m about 3 feet tall.” Now I want to shrink inside the pen I was writing with because the notepad is too big compared to how small I feel now. “Sorry. I had forgotten the correct terminology.”
“He’s great! The show is wonderful! Matt Roloff. He is disabled because he has crutches. He actually won our Most Audacious Person with a Disability Award.”
“Well, he may have won that award but you should win the “Diva on Wheels” award!
“Thank you. You know I got the most votes for The Diva Visionary Award on TangoDiva.com a website with the mission to equip women with tools that give them the confidence to travel alone.”
How dare she call me out on my missing that fact. I guess they don’t call her audacious for nothing! I asked her what she thinks a Diva is.
“A Diva is a woman who knows she deserves the best and won’t ever settle for less. She finds her way because she believes in herself. But also a Diva is someone that not only believes in herself but also in her community and gives back to her community.”
And that is the definition of Nathasha Alvarez. She’s confident, intelligent, audacious and is giving millions of disabled people a voice.
Right on and Ride on, Ms. Diva on Wheels!
|La Diva Latina