Latina Women in Mass Media (Under representation (There is an over…
Latina Women in Mass Media
There is an over representation of Latina women in roles which have created and enforced stereotypes which negatively impact Latina woman in society and an underrepresentation of Latina women in roles as professional and self sufficient strong women
The Latina is rarely seen as an educated, independent, strong powerful women at the top of her chosen field. Even actresses who are that way in reality tend to play roles which exemplify the stereotype of Latina women.
The stereotype of Latina women is unfair. Latina women are treated different and denied certain opportunities due to the fact that people discriminate against them due to the stereotypical Latina they see on screen.
The problem with Latina stereotypes is that they generalize Latina identity and doesn't allow for mush room for individualism and the authentic self. This makes it difficult for Latina women to see themselves as something other than what is expected of them.
It is important that Latina women see themselves as something other than the "spicy" Latina or as a maid. Latina characters need to be more dynamic and deeper than their stereotype. They need to be women with dreams and stories nor just objects or struggle.
Latina's are portrayed in the mass media as being loud, having an ill attitude, being defensive, aggressive, angry, hot headed, and engaging in criminal behavior.
Sofia Vergara in
, Gabrielle in
and Eva Mendes in every role of hers are perfect examples of your ill tempered stereotypical Latina woman.
Although Latinas are seen as objects for desire they may be considered "too much to handle due to their ill temper. This sets the man to be the bull fighter and the women as the bull. The bullfighter being applauded in conquering and taming the bull.
Latina's are often portrayed being in toxic and abusive relationships with Latino men who are also portrayed as hot headed and aggressive.
The "Chola" role
Mi Vida Loca
introduces the "chola culture". The film is about a clique of five chola "gangbangers" in Echo Park, Las Angeles. This film was criticized for its outrageous stereotypical plot line, full of pregnant, volatile "homegirls" and "baby daddies" being shot.
The mass media representation of the Chicana "chola" created the internalization within young Latina girls that this is what they should or are even capable of acheiving.
This then led to the appropriating of "chola culture" into a fashion which has been seen on catwalks. This appropriation like all cultural appropriation is extremely offensive because certain people (most commonly people with more privilege) want to borrow the "cool" of disenfranchised people but don't have to face any of the discrimination or marginalization that accompanies it.
In the media it is usually the quick temper of Latina women which gets them in trouble with the law . This stereotype aftects Latina women in society and the way they are treated by other people.
Latina women are portrayed in the media as sexualized objects.
Latinas are more likely than women of other ethnicities to be shown nude or partially nude.
The hyper sexualized image of women in the media enforces the stereotype that Latina women are "spicy" or "exotic" which are adjectives which are commonly used to describe food or animals not a human being.
The dehumanization of Latina women in the mass medias has lead to high statistics of sexual violence against Latina women
One in six females older than the age of 13 are victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. By the year 2050 the number of females of Hispanic origin who have experienced some form of sexual violence could reach 10.8 million
Latinas are hyper sexualized in the media and this affects young Latinas who have body image issues due to the pressure to look like the Latinas they see in the media
This hinders individualism amongst Latina women.
Sofia Vergara is a perfect example. The scope of roles she plays has become very narrow. She is often seen as playing the role of a loud, "feisty", and "sexy" Latina women with a thick accent. Although she cannot help her accent the attention brought to it by the mass media had enforced the stereotype that all Latina women have a thick accent or broken English.
In her role in the show "Modern Family" she plays the role of Gloria . In the show she is married to a white man named Jay who is much older than her. She is always wearing tight fitting clothing and is admired for her body shape and beauty .
While other characters are mush more dynamic Gloria is only a loving wife and mother. This role enforces the stereotypes that Latina's are only capable of being sexy, mothers, wives , and "arm-candy" to a much more successful man on which they depend.
When asked about how she felt about playing roles which enforce stereotypes of Latina women her response was , " what's wrong with being a stereotype?".
She backed up her comment by saying that she was simply acting the same way her mother and grandmother did. While this may be true it leaves little space for progress in the way which women are seen in the mass media. The danger in her portrayal of stereotypes is that young Latina woman see this images and internalize that this is what it means to be a Latina women.
Latinas have dealt with overly sexualized stereotypes, being stereotyped as promiscuous or lusty women who "stimulate male attention and provoke sexual aggression"
because of these stereotypes, and combined with economic vulnerability, women of color have been more susceptible to sexual harassment and assault than white women
According to a survey of immigrant Latinas, at least 46% said they suffered some level of sexual abuse by authorities, family members, or strangers before reaching the United States
Over representation in maid or housekeeping roles
Latina women in the mass media are commonly portrayed as maids or housekeepers. Latinas are never portrayed in professional roles.
Between 1996 and 2014 69% of maids in television and film were Latina women.
Lupe Ontiveros estimates that she has played a maid between 150 and 300 times. In an interview she expressed the over representation of Latina women in the role of a maid. She says, "It's their continued perspective of who we are . They don't know that we make up every part of this country ". She shares that although she no longer has an accent she is till asked to have one when playing the role of a maid.
Given that Latino/x/a/'s people make up 12% of the nations population in the media Latin/o/a/x characters seem to be concentrated in low status occupations such as service workers, unskilled laborers and criminals.
Housekeeping is considered a low-skill and low paying profession.It is work designed to attract the most vulnerable member of society.This includes women, single mothers , and women of color-which is often reflected in the casting of maids.
Maid in Manhattan
is a perfect example. In the film Jennifer Lopez plays the role of a single mother who works as a maid in a hotel. While the film tries to show potential social mobility for a single mother it is poorly presented. The film shows that the only avenue for the upward mobility of a Latina women is in perusing a rich white man.
Thesis: Latina women in the mass media are underrepresented as figures of power or dynamic characters and overrepresented as objectified and sexualized objects or maids which enforces stereotypes and discrimination of Latina women in the U.S.