Popular Culture Essay

Submitted By perezl34
Words: 952
Pages: 4

Latin American women and the evolution of TV

To think about a woman in general is already partially sexualized by the media, but now think about a Latin American woman and how the media has affected the mental image you have now. How can it be that in 2014 there’s still shows that exploit Latino women for their bodies, both in Latin and American films? Truthfully it seems like no one else knows who else to replace these roles with, and someone has to play the roles of the hyper sexualized women we see on TV. It makes you question whether stereotypes have stop becoming just stereotypes and have become a reality through peoples’ television screens. So then maybe the evolution of television hasn’t really happened yet.
Everyone can associate a beautifully tan, voluptuous, and bad tempered woman as being Latino, and yet still having a very desirable personality according to the perception the media has created. The idea that the typical Latino women role in television shows and movies emphasizes on their curves and thick accents to create these characters can be unjust. This stereotype being carried out by the media creates barriers for aspiring Latino actresses who want to stray away from that image to become more than just eye candy. Current day TV has tunnel vision when it comes to diversity and which roles are played by who by relying on Latino women to play common stereotypical roles. In the hit show Modern Family, Sofia Vergara, plays a woman named Gloria which allows plenty of room for her to play along her Colombian roots. In the show Gloria is often dressed in the most provocative clothes compared to the rest of the cast, which can seem a bit racy since she is the only Latino main character. Besides the fact that she is often the loudest and is known for the way she pronounces her husband’s name, Jay, her son on the other hand plays the role of having to explain or correct his mother when she mistakenly says something wrong. In the series Gloria, Sofia Vergara, emphasizes on her accent and downplays her ability to speak English to fit the stereotype of a Latino woman, as to humor the audience with it. In season 2 episode 22 Gloria and Jay have yet another disagreement about one of the many things she misinterprets, the common quote “It’s a dog eat dog world” gets completely twisted when Gloria says, “Who wants to live in a world where dogs eat each other? Doggy Dog world is a beautiful world filled with little puppies.” And throughout the episode the rest of the family reminisces on all the things she has misapprehended over time.
However these actresses like Sofia are often objectified in most roles to play the promiscuous and hypersexual characters as an accommodation. Although there has been the handful of fortunate Latino women actresses such as Sofia Vergara and Jennifer Lopez to make it beyond these roles, it seems near impossible to overcome these standards in the media. So what about all other aspiring Latino actresses hoping to be more than a shapely body on TV? And primarily, when do the interpretations of Latino women break free from the typical foreigner in America who just also happens to be the shapeliest on the TV screen? Author Valerie Menard of “Luscious Latinas” discusses the pros and cons of these stereotypes that have been built around Latino women in television. As well as demonstrating the effect these roles have on Latin American women, she also elaborates on how they are viewed from different points of view. She addresses the fact that almost every Latino actress has been or will play the common roles Latino women fit into – “the luscious Latina, maids or illegal