It’s my fear that I’ve been getting a bit too soft lately. Yes, me, your favorite badass (Okay, I’m not your favorite but you have to agree that I am a badass). I’m saying all this sweet, mushy stuff, being all introspective and whatnot. I got up one morning, looked in the mirror of my blog posts, and damn near didn’t recognize myself.
I would imagine that the MTV’s series The Real World had a similar experience. Last season’s The Real World, which originated from the great borough of Brooklyn, was a wonderful show, thoughtful in its approach to challenging topics such a transexuality (I think I just made up a word. And I think I like it.) and military deployment. Enlightening. Heartfelt…And so very much unlike The Real World that we have come to know and love over the years. Gone was the f-ing and the f-ery. The show, like my recent posts, wasn’t a shadow of its former self; it wasn’t itself at all.
Well, folks I got an announcement. Mother is back on her broom. And the new season of The Real World (Wednesdays, 10 p.m. Eastern/Pacific), now set in Cancun, is back to doing what it does best — hooking up and hard partying with some occasional respectable “work” thrown in for good measure. (Hey, those vodka shots don’t pay for themselves.)
I knew I wanted to talk to one of the RW’ers from Cancun. Recently, I got my chance to chat with Ayiiia, a Latina sistah of Mexican extraction, who hails from Chula Vista, CA. Oh, by the way, that’s how sistah spells her name. Not a typo. And it’s pronounced I-EEE-A (as in “What you looking at?). The name, in my opinion, should be said with mad swagger, hands waiving in the air and acting like you just don’t care.
So, as you might suspect, I had ask her about her name. And the answer was pretty surprising. For the first three years of Ayiiia’s life, her name was Leticia. And one day, I guess out the blue really, her parents decided to change her name to Ayiiia, the name of of family friend she, to this day, has never met. Okay, trying to wrap my brain around that one.
Ayiiia’s route to The Real World and the sunny beaches of Cancun was different from those of her fellow castmates. A while back, she entered an MTV online contest to become a member of the cast of the Hollywood edition but she was too late to make the cut. When MTV informed her that it was going to hold another internet contest (realworldcasting.com), she was all in. Ayiiia said that the three month process was “stressful” and “a lot of hard work”. With the help of friends, from her hometown and abroad, campaigning for her, she got the coveted phone call letting her know she made the show.
Still, Ayiiia had no idea where she would be going until the last on-camera interview. She “freaked out at the news” and thanked her lucky stars that she was going to a place where she knew the language.
As it turned out, Ayiiia was the only castmate who spoke Spanish. Another castmate, Derek, of Mexican heritage as well, understands the language but doesn’t speak it. When I asked her what is was like being a Mexican American in her ancestral land of Mexico, she said that the people were “very welcoming”. She did admit that about 10 percent looked at her funny like “you’re Mexican but you don’t speak good Spanish” or “you speak Spanish with an American accent.” Did she complain, get in their faces? Oh hell no. My girl knows what’s up. Ayiiia said that wanted to stay in their “good side”. Afterall, she is in THEIR country.
And speaking of staying on someone’s good side (Yes, my dear, the rocky transitions are back. All is right with the world), you might want to stay on Ayiiia’s good side. Ayiiia, who described herself as being “outgoing”, “outspoken”, and “loyal to the people in her life”, also admitted to “turning into a different person” when folks ended up on her bad side. Her reaction was not without cause. “I went through a lot,” she said, “People pretended to be my friends [who weren’t]…and [my] shattered heart.” So she learned to be tough, to get tough. And when people attacked her, she attacked back.
So yeah, I was getting a little nervous. Next question: Is she into dispensing beatdowns? “I would never hurt anyone personally” said Ayiiia, “If someone yelled at me, yell back.” Thank you Jesus, I can breathe now.
This season on The Real World: Cancun, Ayiiia learned that she need not go there when confronted. She learned to to give people a chance, to not allow her anger to get the best of her, to think before she speaks. This is not the first time that Ayiiia has made a significant life change. At age 13, she was partying hard and hanging out with “the wrong crowd”. By the time she became a junior in high school, she was a straight A student.
Of course when landed in Cancun, Ayiiia said the party girl came out again in full force.
So what should we expect this season? Typical drama, said Ayiiia. Boozing. Hooking up. Personal issues.
Yes, my dears, The Real World is back. Let the party begin!
Here’s some of what my girl Ayiiia was up to in Cancun: