Alejandra Ramos body shaming
Photo: Instagram/@alwaysalejandra
News and Entertainment

Latina TV Chef Claps Back After Body Shaming Comments

Alejandra Ramos is a food writer and TV chef who created the award-winning lifestyle blog “Always Order Dessert” and after a segment on the Today show she received negative comments not for her food but her body and attire. She had filmed a cooking segment last week wearing an orange dress with a low neck line and Ramos shared that some viewers attacked her deeming it inappropriate. This body shaming of a Latina body is one example of often racist attackers who sexualize curves in clothing that in and of itself is not inappropriate.

“You are not working in Spanish television where women’s fashion is more revealing than American.” and “Suggest you wear more appropriate attire next time you appear on a U.S. channel.”

Those were among the critical comments she received that she highlighted in a piece she wrote for TODAY in response to the comments body shaming her. This is unfortunately nothing new with Latinas in various industries getting similar feedback. In 2010 Debrahlee Lorenzana was fired from Citibank and she claimed it was because of the backlash for her clothing though it was not because it was appropriate but because of her curves. This criticism is rarely about the clothing but about the body, specifically Latina curves, according to Ramos.

“The real issue was that, as a vibrant, curvy, Latina woman, I was thriving and being celebrated in a space that rarely makes room for people who look like me. And I was doing it not playing by rules designed for someone else, but rather on my own, authentic terms,” she wrote in response to the bodyshaming comments.”

Ramos goes even deeper than this recent incident, going back to when she was a little girl who got called out by a teacher who told her “stop sticking out your butt” in ballet class when she was just standing there. She was four years old. The native New Yorker also recalls her Puerto Rican roots and the curves she adopted from the women in her family: “Just like my mom’s and my grandmothers’, it’s a trait inherited from generations of Puerto Rican, Taína, African and Spanish women who also stood with a similar curve and width and fullness.”

She details the various ways she encountered negative comments about her body from a young age. She was told by a female crossing guard that she’d be “attacked’ because of her curves when she was 11 and was told she had a “dangerous body” by a Catholic nun.

“While body-shaming is certainly not unique to people of color or marginalized backgrounds, we live in a society that devalues bodies that are darker, bigger, curvier or otherwise ‘different’ than the dominant culture. Black, brown and Asian bodies are often objectified and fetishized. Styles, outfits and body shapes that are praised and celebrated on white bodies are judged differently on people of color,” she wrote, adding ” I hope many of them are girls like I once was, and that seeing me on TV makes them realize that no matter what anyone says to them, they are good and valued and worthy of anything they dream of.”