TikTok is a home for creators to celebrate their unique perspectives, share their stories, and educate their communities. Up next on our Creator Spotlight Series is Jonny Morales, known on TikTok as @jonnym0rales.
Jonny is the epitome of what it means to embrace your culture as he often encourages his fans to share their culture with others. With the help of his Mexican mother, he creates content that showcases popular Hispanic dishes, snacks, music, and traditions. He also invites his American girlfriend along for the ride to show how fun and exciting it is to break down the cultural barriers.
Tune in to TikTok LIVE on September 17 at 5PM PT/ 8PM ET via @TikTok to hear more from Jonny on how his culture has inspired him, and read below to find out more about his journey on TikTok!
What does it mean to you to be part of the Latinx community?
Being a part of the Latinx community means being a part of something bigger than yourself. It means making memories together, and sharing them with the world to bring ever-lasting joy.
How has your culture influenced or shaped you?
Growing up, finding my identity was the thing I struggled with the most. I couldn't figure out how to balance being Mexican and American, since I was being told I couldn't really be both, or at least not completely both. This pushed me to discover that it has never been about picking one or the other. It has always been about learning to embrace my roots, and share them with others so that they can do the same with their background. And through sharing, I am inviting people to become a part of my family, and be a part of the Latinx family. Family truly is everything, but it's not exclusive to people with a specific background. The Latinx family has open arms to anyone who accepts the invitation!
How do you share your culture & community on and off of TikTok?
On TikTok, I dedicate my videos to displaying the excitement and fun that comes with the Latinx community. Off of TikTok, I am at school studying Spanish and Biology in hopes of becoming a Medical Interpreter. I get the opportunity weekly to volunteer as an interpreter with a local clinic that specializes in providing healthcare to underprivileged individuals. A lot of the times, these individuals are Hispanic, so I am able to step in and make sure these people are heard and understood. Through this, I am able to teach the staff at the clinic about the Latinx community, such as everyday Spanish phrases that they can use in conversation.
How has the TikTok community inspired you?
The TikTok community has reshaped the definition of "home" for me. Home isn't where you sleep, or go to at the end of a long day to rest. Home is a place where you are welcomed as you are, and are able to find comfort and rest. I feel more than welcomed to be a part of the TikTok community, and I find comfort in the videos that the platform motivates me to make. I am also able to find rest since I do not feel pressured or required to meet unattainable expectations from social media. TikTok feels like home.
What video are you most proud of creating?
This video is super interesting to me for many reasons! It speaks a lot, without using actual words! To summarize it, it was during a trend called the "photogenic trend", where you take pictures randomly of yourself to see if you're "photogenic". Well, I thought it would be funny to do a different take on it where I totally FAIL because my mom interrupts to tell me I have to clean the house! (Super relatable thing amongst youth, since we always have to clean in a Hispanic household!) Well not only did the video do well, but it also gained traction in other countries! As I was translating the comments that were in other languages, it was people saying they relate to the video because they too had a parent who was the same way! I found it so incredible how this comedic video that had no words, just movement and a fun song was so relatable to many across the world! (Regardless of a language barrier). Comedy is a worldwide language.
What are some content creation tips you would offer to other creators?
My favorite tip to give is to always write down your ideas! Whether it's a word, an item you want to use, or a concept that you have, write it down! Doing this will help you work towards making that video come to life! It'll serve as a reminder that there is a story you have to tell, and it will encourage you to jump on it! We all always have ideas all the time, but it can be hard to remember everything when our creative minds are consistently running. Writing things down will not only statistically improve your ability to fully remember your ideas, but it will also become a tangible first step to creating content that matters to you.
Who are some Latinx creators that everyone should be following/watching?
A Latinx creator that we should all be following/watching is @leogonzall!! HE IS HILARIOUS. He is easily one of the best at using comedy to bring so much laughter to our platform. Additionally, he does skits that are relevant to the Latinx community, which allows him to promote the culture in a positive and fun way!
[Trailblazer illustrations created by Brazillian artist Niege Borges for TikTok's Latinx Heritage Month celebration]