Following in the oh-so-stylish footsteps of icons like Princess Diana and Audrey Hepburn, these dazzling Latina beauties strive to make a lasting difference in the world. Each has embraced a cause (or several) close to her heart and found a way to use her style, talent, grace, and celebrity status to educate us on the importance of giving back.
These phenomenal women deserve our admiration but they’ve demonstrated that they don’t want to be put on a pedestal—so as you take a moment to admire their dedication, just remember that imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Gorgeous musician Shakira has made headlines for her recent appointment to serve on the White House Advisory Commission on Excellence for Hispanics. And she wasn’t chosen because of her excellent musical talents. Shakira has been working to help underprivileged children and their families in her hometown of Barranquilla, Colombia, since she was 18 years old. She founded the Barefoot Foundation in the U.S. with the goal of making education universally accessible to every child. She also contributes her efforts and talents to ALAS and UNICEF.
Actress Eva Longoria grew up with an intellectually disabled sister. In 2006 she founded Eva’s Heroes, an organization dedicated to enriching the lives of those with intellectual special needs based on four tenets: interact, grow, learn, and love. Eva’s Heroes provides teen and young adults with the tools to flourish in society, giving them job experience and guidance that is often unavailable to those with intellectual disabilities. Eva has dedicated herself to several other causes including the American Heart Association, PADRES Contra El Càncer, United Farm Workers, and the American Latino Museum.
Supermodel/Author/Entrepreneur/Activist Christy Turlington was practically the face of the late ’80s and early ’90s, her image gracing countless magazine covers, billboards, and runways for just about every major designer. She retired from modeling in 1994 to finish her undergraduate degree in comparative religion and philosophy (She’s got layers!). Christy has followed her passions and has successfully melded her fashion background with more scholarly pursuits from yoga, to writing, to philanthropy.
Her Salvadorean mother inspired the family to travel to El Salvador in the early ’90s to help rebuild after the war. After losing her father to lung cancer, Christy participated in several anti-smoking campaigns with groups like the American Lung Association. Motherhood made her aware of the importance of maternal and child healthcare, leading her to work closely with CARE and most recently, to direct a documentary titled Every Mother Counts.
Former actress, model, jet-setter, Studio 54 regular, and perhaps most famously, wife of Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger has focused her energies on fighting for human rights for more than three decades. She has won numerous awards and worked with a variety of organizations providing aid to oppressed people around the world. Like Ms. Turlington, Bianca has roots in a war-torn country—Nicaragua. Although coincidentally, it was a trip to El Salvador in the early ’80s that she credits for inspiring her to make fighting for human rights her life’s pursuit. In 2006, she founded the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation. She continues her valuable efforts to be “a voice for the most vulnerable people.”
Actress Salma Hayek has long worked to increase awareness and educate women about domestic violence, including a recent PSA for the National Domestic Violence Hotline. She has also given financial support and aid to women in her hometown of Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. Although she has scaled back her charitable work since the birth of her daughter, Valentina, motherhood has inspired her to help make healthcare available to mothers in developing nations through her work with Pampers and UNICEF. In Sierra Leone, Salma made news when she breastfed a hungry baby whose mother couldn’t produce milk.