If you grew up as a young Latina immigrant in the U.S. or are a U.S.-born Latina, then you’ve probably heard at one time or another that you are not “Latina enough.” We’re all honestly tired of hearing that but some Latina actresses are here to tell haters to back off.
Most recently, Fifth Harmony’s Lauren Jauregui stood up on her Twitter account to those who were saying that she is not a “real” Latina because she wasn’t born in a Latin American country. Many other Latinas in Hollywood have faced the same kind of negative thinking, especially from those who think that you need to speak Spanish in order to call yourself a Latina. But identifying as a Latinx person is about more than one particular thing (like language or where you were born), as these 9 Latinas who clapped back to haters can tell you.
The Jane the Virgin star spoke out against anyone who tells another person that they are not enough for any reason, such as those who think that all Latinxs must speak Spanish.
The Orange is the New Black star told VICE that she often didn’t hear from Latino markets until “we’re trending or something”. She goes on to say: “If I’m not American enough and I’m not Latina enough, then what am I? I’m just nothing.”
In an interview with Contact Music, the actress talks about the tug-of-war between the two cultures, saying that “I love my culture and I’m very proud of my culture. But sometimes I feel like I’m not Hispanic enough. That’s unfortunate because I want to learn so much about where my family is from and my roots and to know Spanish. But when you’ve lived your entire life in American schools, you don’t get that.”
Ironically, JLo — who won our hearts for her portrayal as Selena Quintanilla in the late singer’s 1997 biopic — faced a similar controversy as the late singer because she didn’t speak good Spanish. “Another controversy came up in the Latin press about the fact that I didn’t speak very good Spanish — which Selena didn’t either,” Lopez told Latina magazine.
The Cuban-American singer from Fifth Harmony recently clapped back at anyone who thinks that women like her and Bella Thorne are not a “real” Latina. In a response on Twitter she stated, “I feel Latina because I was born in a Latin family. I speak the language, I cook the food.” She added, “I have been part of the Latino community in Miami since I was born; I have always had them around me. Anyone could tell you that.”
The singer admitted to Glamour that she grew up thinking she was white because she didn’t “look Hispanic” but eventually embracing Latina culture helped her to embrace her “curvy figure.”
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In an interview with Latina magazine, the actress and activist said that being Latina is about “having pride in your heritage.” She said: “Although I am not a fluent Spanish speaker and I can’t make every dish without a recipe, I am 100 percent Boricua and I am proud of that.”
The Mexican-American actress has admitted to not being accepted by other Latinos because of language difficulties. “It’s very difficult to live in our community if you don’t speak Spanish — everyone will judge you,” she told EFE.
The actress and founder of The Honest Company has also had difficulty with the fact that she doesn’t speak Spanish, according to Latina. “No one gives Cameron Diaz a hard time for not speaking Spanish. Her dad’s Cuban, and I was telling her I feel so bad because everyone is so nasty to me for not speaking Spanish.”