Lose it: Justice Sonia Sotomayor got a lot of attention when President Obama first nominated her for the US Supreme Court in 2009. She would be the court’s first Hispanic and third female justice. Unfortunately rather than dwell on her many accomplishments, many people focused in on her weight. One Salon.com article asked “How do you say 55, overweight, and diabetic in Spanish?” and implied she would be unfit to rule because of her ill health prospects. (Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type I diabetes as a child and it is not caused by weight gain.)
Love it: Since becoming a public figure, Justice Sotomayor has given hundreds of speeches, mainly to women’s and ethnic groups, encouraging them to overcome negative stereotypes and be smart, strong, and politically active. Her 2013 memoir, My Beloved World, is published in both Spanish and English and details her difficult childhood in the New York housing projects. Today she lives in the U-Street Corridor, a neighborhood in Washington D.C. that was once known as “the black broadway” and today is still one of the most ethnically and economically diverse areas in the region, because she says it reminds her of home.
Live it: Never be ashamed of your roots. You are who you are because of your past, not in spite of it.