As a Latina, the last thing you want is to date someone that’s only interested in you because you’re Latina. Like, OK, yes, we are amazing, but fetishizing people for their ethnicity is extremely problematic. No Latina wants to hear herself described as “spicy” or any other adjective typically used for food products. And while many of us may still totally love Sofia Vergara, it’s annoying to know that non-latinos might only want to date us in hopes of having a “fiery, curvaceous” woman in their lives. So here’s the deal, there’s zero way that you can pigeon-hole us all and white dudes writing guides about how to score with a Latin girl are usually full of bogus BS. (Seriously, if I read one more crappy blog post about how you need to be “dominating” because of machista culture, I’m going to puke…and then send it in a bag to them). However, there are some things that many of us do enjoy from time to time, some of which might even impress us ever-so-slightly (assuming you have your shit together in every other area and you’re not a creep). Odds are, if you’re Latina, you might actually agree with some of the points below.
Watch ‘One Day At A Time’ With Us
The remake, of course. Bonus points if you recognize the excellence of Rita Moreno. It will prepare you for the moment when you are introduced to our fam. Speaking of which…
Get To Know Our Big Ass Families
Latinxs as a whole tend to be pretty family-oriented. We frequently have big families, and that can be intimidating since we’re also warm and affectionate as heck. Expect to kiss 50 people on the cheek come Noche Buena. If you want to impress us for real, try to actually remember a few of their names. Be respectful and show a genuine interest in getting to know everyone individually.
Hire Mariachis For Our Birthdays
Breakfast in bed is cool and all, and so is jewelry, but if you really want to get us an unforgettable gift, try hiring some mariachis. If you don’t get why they’re so awesome, then definitely hire some. Between the amazing outfits and their flair for entertaining, you’ll become a believer before the night is over.
Make An Effort To Learn Our Language(s)
First let me say that not all Latinos speak Spanish. Some Latinos speak Spanish, some only speak English, some speak Portuguese. It varies. Don’t make any assumptions. Ask us what languages we speak, and if we’re fluent in something other than English, see if you can’t take some Duolingo lessons on your phone once in a while. Cause chances are we have a relative or friend who doesn’t speak English and we’ll be super impressed if you make the effort to connect with them as well. Didn’t you know multilingualism is hot?
Take Us To See A Frida Kahlo Exhibition
I have yet to meet a Latina that doesn’t love or at least kind of like Frida Kahlo. Mention her name and feel it out, but there’s a good chance we would love to see some of Kahlo’s work in person. If you can make that happen, you are definitely winning some brownie points.
Don’t Assume We’re All The Same
Calling a Peruvian ‘Mexican’ is like calling someone from Topeka, Kansas ‘a New Yorker.’ Except it’s even more ridiculous. Latin America is freaking huge and the countries and people within it are incredibly diverse. Yes, many of us share a language and a history of colonialism and a penchant for dishes made with corn, beans, and rice. But so much about us is different. Our slang words are different. Our cuisine is different. Our dance styles are different. Don’t be lazy. Figure it out.
Respect Our Cuisine
Speaking of not assuming, remember that every nation in Latin America (and often different areas within those Latin American countries) has very different kinds of cuisine. Order a tostada in a Cuban restaurant and then try getting the same thing at a Mexican joint. Or see if you don’t notice the difference between congri and gallo pinto. Completely different.
Never, Ever Tell Us We (Or Our Family Members) Are Being “Too Loud”
Nope. Nah. Nu-uh. Listen, I know that we can all get very passionate with our speech when we’re all together. And maybe to outsiders (especially ones who don’t speak our language), it might even sound like we’re arguing. But maybe learn the language and you’ll see we’re not actually that loud. OK, well maybe sometimes I have to yell when my tia and tio and parents get together in order to be heard but ANYWAYS, keep it to yourself.