¡Mira! Today I have to rant: una pequeña pataleta. Let’s talk straight, what exactly is a Latina supposed to look like? What is she supposed to be like? Who defines what a Latina’s standards are? Maybe it’s all those college application checkboxes that have gotten to me: Hispanic? White? I’ve been dwelling on this for a little while and every time I think about it, ¡me entra una rabia! Let me tell you why.
I’m probably one of the proudest members of the Latina culture. I love hearing about women who are striving for greatness and accomplishing such amazing things, and they just so happen to be Latinas as well! I love local brands or Latina-owned brands. I am in love with all the cuisine. I try to learn all the slang and all that good stuff because at the end of the day it’s like we’re all family. But just as other types of women have been generalized about and stereotyped in the past, Latinas have it just as hard.
“¡Dios Mio, ésta Lola is just here stating the obvious!”
¡Pues no, fíjate! This is just another way that we’re being judged by society. Why are we being judged for not being “Latina enough?”, as if there were some sort of barometer that determines our race and a checklist of things we need to be 100% Latina.
I’ve stumbled upon so many people who have asked me about my race (yes, I was once even asked if I was Middle Eastern go figure!) and when I respond with “Soy Latina” I go through a list of reactions, and responses. So if you are saying any of these, stop. And if you keep hearing the following, educate:
“You’re a Latina? Why are you White?”
There is nothing that pisses me off more than this question. Latinos are a mix of different ethnicities and cultures, so there is no “right” color spectrum under which we have to be born under to fall under the “acceptable” Hispanic palette.
“How is your English so good?”
As Latinos, our dialects vary and our exposure to the English language (or Spanish language) varies as well. Some of us have the opportunity of learning a second language at an early age, while others stick to their native tongue.
“How did you get to the United States?”
Ah, traveling… Where ignorant people meet the wrath of every Latino. Welcome to the 21st century. We travel… sometimes by air (GASP!) In the case of Puerto Rico, we are a U.S Territory, and we have airplanes… We don’t need to travel by canoe, and we don’t live in Teepees.
“Are all Latinas super thick?”
Um, rude. Body types do not correlate to ethnicity, I repeat, BODY TYPES DO NOT CORRELATE TO ETHNICITY. That is all.
All in all, Latinas come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and there is no reason to judge due to generalizations. Not all Latinas are Afro-Latinas, some of us quietly envy that shade of “suntan I was born with,” and we’re not all from the same regions. We have different ways of speaking, and our curves are very different ass well. Just because you met ONE Latina, doesn’t mean that we’re all like her. Other than embracing just one group of Latinas, we need to learn to embrace all of our variations, colors, and accents.