Added: Jackqueline Kujawski - Date: 29.12.2021 22:56 - Views: 31130 - Clicks: 8731
I feel as though I must reaffirm this to myself in order to truly believe it is my identity. Because everything I see and have always seen about what it means to be Latina bears no resemblance to the way I look and the personality I present. Seriously though, this stereotype and the clumping of all Latinas into one massive bowl of sameness doused with way too much extra spicy hot sauce is a real problem. It objectifies us and it makes our multidimensional awesomeness invisible to society and to ourselves. But do we know how it came to be what it is today? Can we point out its characteristics?
To better understand why this stereotype is so fucked up we must first unpack its history and the ways it has manifested itself in our everyday lives. So how exactly did the spicy Latina stereotype form? To answer this question, we have to go back to during the Mexican-American War. I know it seems far-fetched to go this far back, but hear me out because there is a connection here.
The Mexican-American War was a struggle against further American expansion into Mexican territory and although political divisions within Mexico led to an American victory, the consequences of this war extend much further than the loss of land.
The most powerful weapons utilized in war are manipulation and racist ideology and this war was no different. These weapons, Manifest Destiny in particular, helped justify invasion and violence. Although to the American people invasion seemed best for all, it was really only best for them.
As the dominant group, Americans had the power and the resources to influence public perceptions of the Mexican people. Journalist and content creators painted Mexicans as a lazy, corrupt, and disappearing people. So what did this control of public perception lead to? What it always le to, erasure and major oppression. The blurring of Mexican identity and experiences allowed room for the formation of stereotypes, like the spicy Latina, that continue to group all Latin American people together to this day.
In the past, the portrayal of Latinx people in media has been offensive at best. This is something Latin American countries are not oblivious to. In fact, Mexico called for an embargo of US films in because of the messed up image these films painted of Mexican culture.
In , this portrayal changed slightly. To be honest, the new image still had major issues, it was just serving a different agenda. In President Franklin Roosevelt announced his foreign policy plan. Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Sure, except for not really. Talk about alternative motives. So, yes they did help them out with filmmaking and propaganda that promoted tourism.
The problem was that this new image replaced negative stereotypes with more although friendlier stereotypes. This new image was still not true to the diversity and unique cultures of Latin American countries. One of the most popular icons that emerged from this policy was the Brazilian dancer, Carmen Miranda. This Brazilian Bombshell was the spicy Latina stereotype personified with her exotic Latin accent and emblematic fruit hat. She was so much the symbol of Latin culture that the United Fruit Company created Chiquita Banana, a cartoon character whose resemblance to Carmen Miranda was no coincidence, to represent their company.
A simple Google image search will conjure up images of olive skinned, raven haired, red lipped, curvaceous women. My eyes quickly shift to a colorful image of a pulp fiction novel titled Spicy Adventures: She Devil featuring a scantily clad, olive skinned, raven haired, red lipped, curvaceous woman. Most other images are of women with skin-tight clothes, light skin, and straight or wavy hair. According to this search, Latinas are synonymous with sex and spicy food. A spicy Latina must be loud, bombastic, and seductive insert sexy Latin accent here.
She must also be hot-blooded, quick-tempered, and passionate. In fact, think of any Latina character in the media and chances are if she is not portraying a feisty maid, she is portraying a spicy Latina. Although objects of desire for many, the spicy Latina may have too much personality to handle. So much so that she is often viewed as domineering or emasculating.
This positions the man as a bullfighter who is applauded if he succeeds in taming and conquering the bull. Of course, the main appeal of the spicy Latina is her sexuality. A spicy Latina is extremely sexy. She is lustful, promiscuous, and tempting. She is also very clearly heterosexual. These dangerous and irresistible vixens use their physical assets to lure and catch their mates. Spicy Latinas are sex. Once they have trapped you, they will fulfill all of your sexual desires because spicy Latinas are willing to do anything to make you happy. After all, spicy Latinas exist only for your pleasure and entertainment needs.
So why is this image so fucked up? I mean, there are worse things to be associated with than sexy, beautiful, and passionate — right? Being called a spicy Latina is like being called a delicious spicy chicken burger. I have certain expectations when it comes to my spicy chicken burgers and I will be highly disappointed if those expectations are not met. I am not juicy, I am not a hot tamale, and I am definitely not spicy. This over generalization of Latinidad makes it hard for Latina women to see themselves as anything but what others expect. It is a form of oppression that aims to limit potential through the internalization of an image created by a society that does not understand the varying cultures of Latin Americans.
They become less human and more like prizes to be won and showcased. Although there has been some improvement Ugly Betty and Jane the Virgin , there is still a huge issue with typecasting in Hollywood. When the only roles Latina actresses have available to them are the spicy Latina or sassy maid, then that is all the public sees and all the public expects. These are the role models available for Latina girls and if their role models are never the main characters, never the doctors, never the teachers, and never worth more than their sex appeal, then young Latinas will rarely ever aim for those goals.
Two of the most important reasons why the spicy Latina stereotype is so fucked up have to do with race and sexuality. There are different races even within Latin America shocking, I know. What if you are a Latina who does not identify as heterosexual? What if you identify as lesbian, or bisexual, or asexual? Sorry, you do not fit into the spicy Latina box. As mentioned earlier, one of the most prominent characteristics of the spicy Latina stereotype is her sexuality or more specifically, her heterosexuality. This is coupled with reproductive pressure and the belief that all Latina women are or will someday be mothers because they are too sexually promiscuous not to be.
As a bisexual identifying Latina woman, I resent this. It took me so long to finally accept my sexuality because everything I saw about what it meant to be Latina told me I should be attracted to men only, told me I should dress for men only, told me my ambitions in life should ultimately lead to motherhood. The spicy Latina stereotype is fucked up for so many reasons, but the saddest part is that everyone else thinks they have the authority to decide if you are Latina enough for them. You can follow her on Twitter TheLazyVegan1. Used by hundreds of universities, non-profits, and businesses.
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