I’m A Latina and Sick of Being Stereotyped Into Exotic.
Isn’t it time to understand these stereotypes can be hurtful?
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In America, every ethnic group gets a *privilege* and right to having its own trope thrown at them.
And for us Latinas, it’s of course the Spicy Latina trope.
I’m sure you’ve come across it in Hollywood, in Netflix shows and even in jokes going around whenever a Hispanic is involved.
What Sofia Vergara teaches us about the Hot Latina trope and why it’s hurtful to all Hispanic girls
Gloria Pritchett in Modern Family, played by the most famous Spicy Latina, Colombian-American actress Sofia Vergara, is the perfect example of this.
She is the feisty, fun-loving Colombian wife of Jay and the mother of Manny has the thickest Spanish accent. Vergara portrayed Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on “Modern Family”. She was a “trophy wife” often seen in provocative clothing and high heeled shoes and often had trouble pronouncing English words and spoke with a heavy accent.
“Caliente, sexy, spicy…these words get so tiresome”. Latinas continue to be bound by stereotypical roles in Hollywood.
Pretty close to the typical Sassy Black Woman trope, faced by Black women across America, Spicy Latina is a seductress, charming girl with a bold accent.
According to Hollywood, a spicy Latina must be loud, bombastic, and seductive.
The trope of portraying Latin women as exotic and hot-blooded — passionate in both love and in war — arose before the advent of cinema.
Some examples date back to the 1920s and 1930s with “Dolores del Río playing the exotic and passionate lover of the 1920s, and Carmen Miranda playing sexy and bombshell characters in the 1930s and 1940s.
The other stereotype is the virginal one.
Jane the Virgin is the perfect example of this trope. The leading character is a devout, Catholic woman who discovers that she was accidentally artificially inseminated (as if it could get more cliche).
I know you’re laughing at this point, they may as well have named the lead Maria. But this Golden Globe winner show went on to be a success which continued through 5 seasons.
I’m Latinx and I’m Fed Up With Being Called “Exotic”
I’m a Puerto Rican girl from Miami, Florida and I’m 21 years old.
I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood in Florida and my first-ever relationship was with a white boy from school.
When we used to kiss in his room, I still remember profoundly that he had a poster of Jennifer Lopez on his wall. He’d ask me why I didn’t look like that or suggest I wear more form-fitting clothes to show off my “curves.”
Now I cringe at the mere thought of it, but at the time, when I was young, self-doubting and not loving myself, I’d ask myself the same questions: Why don’t I look like J. Lo, the epitome of “Latin” beauty? I’d look at my aunts, mother, and sister, and wonder where we fit in.
The answer is there is way more to Latina beauty than J. Lo.
Obviously she’s drop dead gorgeous even at 50, but she’s only one presentation among many other in Latinx community.
Just because my culture is foreign to you, doesn’t mean it’s okay for you to make me feel that way- alienated.
I’ve dated so many white men who called me. Some went on to even ask me to speak Spanish during intercourse because it would make them high.
As you can see from our representation in entertainment industry, you either have to be super dirty, down and ready or you’re a devout virgin.
Our individuality and our sexual expression are limited to these highly rigid brackets.
Our curves or our tan skin are fetishized.
It didn’t help that society always puts forward this sexualized Latinx stereotype of a woman with accentuated curves in tight clothes in movies and TV shows.
I’ve had curves and big, long, curly hair since I was 11 years old.
I grew up in a beach town, so our bodies were on full display — there was no hiding my curves.
With white people, a big misconception is that I want to talk to you in Spanish, dance with you, or that my culture is up for grabs.
I’m slowly but surely learning to speak up when I feel objectified.
I no longer feel bad for putting my boundaries or saying “I don’t like to be called that.”
I’ve become more comfortable navigating my sexuality and body with my cultural identity.
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