My Latina Manifesto

16 Feb

When you hear the word “Latina” what is the first image that comes to mind? For most people, a picture of Jennifer Lopez or Sofia Vergara pops up in their head. To me, this is very unfortunate because regardless of how beautiful or sexy or successful these women may be, they have made quite a reputation for themselves and not because of their talent. Rumor has it that both of these ladies slept their way up to the top and being a Latina myself,  I am upset that they represent us in the media. No, I am not mad about the fact that we are known for having a curvy body, but there are so many more things that can be said about Latinas that do not have anything to do with the way they look.

Latina women generally grow up with parents and families who have very strict expectations of them. The conversations usually go like this  ”Hija, your goal in life should be to marry a rich man and have lots of children.” Or, “Hija, you have to go to school, get a good job, then marry a rich man and have lots of children.” Unfortunately for traditional Latin parents, their daughter’s plans don’t always coincide with what they want. The struggle to study what they want, or date and marry who they want is always a tough one. How do you know what the right thing to do is when your family is telling you one thing and what is making you happy is another?

I know from first hand what this feels like and trust me, being torn like that is probably the most painful thing I’ve ever had to experience. That decision to be happy only made me more confident of a woman and made me realize that I do not need to be dependent of anyone anymore. This brings me to my next point. Being a Latina, especially of Mexican descent, I have heard time and time again that a woman’s job is to be a housewife and a housewife only. My mom tells me that if I can’t cook that I will never get married and that if I don’t clean, a man will never want to be with me.  Do I actually believe that? Not at all.

The thing is, I am really sick and tired of these stereotypes. It is bad enough that society is obsessed with the sexuality of a Latina, but then they have to go and say that we don’t the right to go to school and have a career? GET THE F*** OUT OF HERE, que mierda. I think that it is now 2012, and that this housewife image of us should no longer exist. I think that we can do anything because naturally, we are confident and driven. Those qualities are what makes us sexy, more so than our curves. We are Latinas and we don’t have to sleep our way to the top.



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