Shame on Latina Magazine!

by Latina Fatale on 08/15/2011 · 19 comments

in Activism, Feminism

Apparently Latina Magazine thinks it’s okay that Latina women frequently have to play the part of a maid in movies and television. They obviously think that’s it’s so wonderful that they even featured their favorite Latina maids on the website, in response to the hit movie “The Help” that recently came out.

It’s already bad enough that women of color, Latinas included, are relegated to stereotypical roles such as a maid. Now we have a magazine that is supposed to be targeting the Latina population acting like it’s a great thing that one actress played a maid role over 300 times?

How many lead roles have Latinas played? How often do hit movies feature Latinas in strong roles, as opposed to roles such as maids, gangsters, and other stereotypical roles? I can bet that Latinas play maid roles more often than not, because other roles are not offered to them. It’s always gotten under my skin that practically every time I see a Latina on television she is a maid, prostitute, waitress or other stereotypical role. I’d much rather open up the Latina Magazine website and see an article about Latinas who have managed to shatter the stereotypical roles.

If you are as offended as I, please speak out and let Latina Magazine know that this is unacceptable!

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Lourdes Acevedo August 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

YES, I am offended! How backward of that magazine to celebrate stereotypes, and keeping Latinas in low paying jobs in real life.

I often think many us, even us Latinas, are achieving so much on the back of our sisters, the domestics. I am guilty- I have a nanny, and she is from Argentina. She is a part of the family, but there is something that tastes very bad in my mouth as I say this. We need to be aware of essentializing Latinas in culture, and in our own lives. I have never asked her if she dreams of doing anything different than being a nanny. Today I will.

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Latina Fatale August 19, 2011 at 3:21 am

Interesting thoughts Lourdes. I think that domestic workers are very important. There are many women who choose to go into those nanny positions. But there are also many other women who don’t have any other options, unfortunately. I think that it’s important that we recognize and appreciate the working class women who basically make this world go round. But the whole aspect of most of the roles for latinas being based on maid roles and other stereotypical roles just bugs the hell out of me.

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STaylor in Austin August 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Thank you for being one of the few outraged voices who have spoken out about this ( I was linked to you from Racialicious).

I posted my complaint on the Latina article this morning

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Latina Fatale August 19, 2011 at 4:46 am

Thanks for speaking out, and thanks for stopping by-)

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latinegro August 19, 2011 at 3:33 am

Thank you for this. Thank you so much by this that I joined your cause and wrote a blog about this. The lack of reaction to this is infuriating. You can find what I wrote here: http://bit.ly/roBsvI

This is unacceptable, but I am not surprised by Latina Magazine at all. I am not sure they have every really represented Latina Women correctly.

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Latina Fatale August 19, 2011 at 4:48 am

Thanks for stopping by and joining the cause.

You are correct about the magazine. I don’t pay much attention to the magazine, but that “help” post just sent me over the edge. I am now going to start keeping my eye on what they are doing online over there!

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Chantilly Patiño (@biculturalmom) August 19, 2011 at 7:02 am

Amiga, you are awesome! Thanks for speaking out about this and letting us know! I am disgusted that this would be a subject of one of their features, and while I’m not a fan of Latina Magazine for their sometimes shallow portrayal of Latinas, this is a new low. You’re absolutely right, Latina Magazine should be uplifting Latinas and acknowledging those break-out roles, not normalizing stereotypes and standing by them as if they were the mark of Latina strength. The fact that Latinas have “a long history of playing ‘the help’ in movies and on television” (Latina Magazine) should not be a cause for celebration, it should be a cause for concern and a call to action!

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Latina Fatale August 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Amen, sister!! Stay tuned for our follow up to this! Do you want to know what is sad? Far too many people in the online community thought we were nuts for doing this! Wait for Anarela’s follow up! -Melanie

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Juliana K'abal Xok August 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Can you imagine a magazine directed towards African-Americans positively showcasing roles in which black actors and actresses play domestic servants in today’s film industry?

No, because it would not happen!

Hispanics and Native Americans are not accorded the same respect and equal rights African-Americans are in the US. When black people do take those roles, the films show how poorly treated they were (think of Oprah Winfrey’s character in The Color Purple). I’m disgusted Latina magazine would validate ANY cultural idea of Hispanics as third class citizens… their entire editorial staff must be suffering from a severe case of Stockholm Syndrome to print such junk.

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Juliana K'abal Xok August 19, 2011 at 5:16 pm

I would also like to point out that in casually watching some of the novellas my mother is addicted to, indigenous-looking people are always “the help”. Being part Native American, I find that incredibly racist. Latina Magazine probably sees no issue with that whatsoever.

Conveniently, Latina Mag forgot to mention Catalina Sandino Moreno, who plays Sylvia, the illegal immigrant motel maid in “Fast Food Nation” – which is probably the most realistic portrayal of the exploitation Hispanics face working in this country.

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Deya August 29, 2011 at 3:26 am

I completely agree! Thank you so much for speaking out. Shame on the magazine for doing that–it should use its visibility to promote and celebrate the successes of the modern Latina!

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Javan September 14, 2011 at 4:32 am

When I was doing a script for my school, a classmate was puzzled on what did I make a Latina President of Puerto Rico. (I was doing a alternate universe story where as Puerto Rico was an independent country).

Like why is it a problem o create a 3d character in movies and shows? Is it to make a focus on white actors and their roles?

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Tifani January 14, 2012 at 5:25 pm

I totally agree with you on this. My friends and I were disgusted by the article. The thing is, it’s not the first time they post an article with that much ignorance. We took it to yelp and put bad reviews on their site. Feel free to do the same.

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Not Available February 20, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I know this is an old article but I’m always shocked at how little things like this will getting everyone all wound up yet NO one comments how Latina Magazine in itself is inherently racist. Latinos in the US are just as racist as any other group and I’ve been disgusted by this magazine for years. The entire latin media only portrays latinos as being thin, long haired, light skinned europeans yet NO ONE complains about this. No… apparently Jennifer Lopez playing a maid is more important. Again, latin media is pathetic, from this magazine to Univision, to Telemundo, tu ‘TV y Novelas” magazine to People en Espanol who refuses to have anyone of darker skin on their magazine.

Apparently Peruvians, Hondurans, Dominicans, Cubans and Panamanians don’t exist to the rest of the Latin world huh? Or shorter women with real curves… You know why this doesn’t matter to the readers of Latina Magazine? Because they’re the same hypocrites in every office that group together as the ‘spanish clique’ speaking broken spanglish and spouting racist nonsense about everyone else at the company.

You can’t complain about Hollywood not giving Latina proper roles while ignoring the fact that 100% of the mainstream Latin media is not only sexist towards women , but demeaning and racist as well. Every Latina in Hollywood except for one or two are nothing but token Latina used for spice. This isn’t a new topic and anyone who pays attention to film has known this for years. The problem is that Latinas like this fact ONLY when it’s convenient to them.

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Ana Valencia March 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm

My Daughter, Veronica is Obssessed with Latina magazine, even calling it her Bible. Well I gathered them all up and tossed them in the Garbage where they belong. One reason is because she brings this Trash to school and reads them while she is supposed to be paying attention to her teachers. I have received calls from her teachers saying that they had to confiscate Veronicas’ magazines because she wouldn’t put them away when I asked her to. One teacher asked me what I would like done with the magazine. I told her to tear them up and throw them away. Veronica also lost her Selena Gomez Cosmo mag, because I rolled it up into a “log” and Burned it.

These magazine are Garbage.

Sincerely,

Ana Valencia

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Omair Mahmood January 28, 2013 at 2:01 am

I’m surprised you are outraged when working women are discussed in a ‘specific’ tone, but what would you have to say to women who are made to expose when they compete for a so-called “beauty” contest?

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