Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy Yo” Shows All Us Nerd Girls How to Dominate Our Block

By Katherine Mancera

You probably saw Bomba Estéreo’s “Soy Yo” music video when it exploded the internet a few months ago. But in case you didn’t, or you haven’t seen it in the last week, you should prooooobably watch it. Right now.

Bomba Estéreo is a Colombian band with an electro-cumbia flavor, and “Soy Yo” is an awesome “ode to little brown girls everywhere,” in the words of Remezcla. The video follows a sassy, confident 11-year-old girl in New York City as she confronts—and stares down—the neighborhood kids that would intimidate a lesser foe.

According to the Remezcla article, the band wanted the video to proclaim that being who you are, no matter what society tells you, is powerful. “Really, there is a lot of bullying and lots of discrimination—both racial and social—so the message was a good one: To encourage people to be who they are and to be happy with themselves without being exactly what society tells you to be,” lead singer Liliana “Li” Saumet told Remezcla in an interview.

There are a lot of reasons to love this video, and the badass little girl, Sarai Gonzalez, who dominates her block. These are my top three:

1. Sarai is ordinary, just like us.

Yes, she’s amazing. But she’s also regular girl, with no superpowers or crazy skills. She steals a basketball from some boys on the playground, but she can hardly dribble. She dances down the street, but she’s not next in line for “So You Think You Can Dance.” She could be any of us everyday nerd girls. But she is entirely, confidently herself, and she offers not even a hint of apology. For that, she’s a hero.

2. Sarai isn’t afraid of anybody.

Especially not boys. Muscular teenage guys playing basketball? Not impressed. Judgy white girls with perfectly curled hair? Whatevs. Guys break dancing in the streets? Nuh-uh. Sarai looks them all in the eye, unphased, and shows them what she’s made of. She also shows us that if we embrace ourselves, we too can radiate her power.

3. There’s nothing sexy about the video.

It feels strange to make this point, because it should be obvious that a music video about an 11-year-old girl wouldn’t include sexiness, but unfortunately in our world that’s not the case. This video truly showcases a girl, in all her awkward girlhood glory—pigtails askew, bike streamers flying, dad carrying her backpack. Sarai is a force in her own right, and she’s not stylized for anyone’s gaze. How refreshing!

What do you love about “Soy Yo”? Let us know in the Comments!