Friday, October 23, 2009

Hips Don't Lie...Or Do They? - The Latina "Spitfire"

As a kid growing up one of my favorite games to play was called broken telephone. The rules in a nutshell are as follows: You whisper a word into somebody’s ear, then they whisper the first word that comes to mind and pass it on to the person sitting next to them, and this goes on until there are no more people left in the chain. At the end you get to see how different the beginning and ending words are. It is basically just a word association game that might as well be called “Name That Stereotype.” Most people are unaware of this, but there is an adult version of this game that we are all guilty of playing, and it goes by the name Google. A little while ago I decided to play this updated version of the game and typed “Latinas” into the box to see what words my computer came up with next.

The results were not that surprising. The first thing that comes up when you search “Latinas” is a link that reads “Sizzlin Latinas: Sexy Latinas, Spanish Girls, Hot, Models…” (When you search this you will understand why this is the adult version of broken telephone.) The links go on and on using adjectives such as “Fiery” and “Hot” and when you type in Latina to Google images you get a visual representation of how people view Latinas in general.

<-- First Image that comes up in Google

There is a certain exotic look that people associate with Latinas such as the perfectly tan skin, curves, and long, dark, hair. However, what people do not realize is that Latinas come from a very diverse background when it comes down to it. Still they are viewed as sex objects, going as far as having entire sites dedicated to JLo’s butt.

In the 2008 movie “The Women,” Eva Mendes plays the sexy “spritzer girl” who is having an affair with an Anglo-man and has no qualms about it. The part plays up the common Latina stereotype in Hollywood (and real life) of the exotic other woman. Mendes (of Cuban-American background) wears tight fitting clothes, strolls around in lingerie, and has the saucy attitude to boot, and that’s just in the two minute trailer!

We as a society may think of Latinas as looking one certain way, but we are devastatingly mistaken.
To make this as clear as possible, here is a demonstration of four ways the broken telephone could go branching off from the same word “Latina.”

I could post hundreds more pictures, but I think the rules of the game are pretty apparent now. As you can see, Latinas come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors and thus the idea of the "Latina Look" should be thrown out the window.

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