Sofia Vergara has been ticking me off a bit these days.
It's probably because of how she portrays the "latina" women. For starters "latina" is all about perspective. All women that live on this part of the world are "latinas" because in one way or another we're from Latin America. Meaning roughly Central and South America.
Just to be nice, if you consider yourself "latina" and don't even know Spanish because you were raised in the States it's okay. Remember that at the beginning of my post I said it was about perspective and there is a fine line there somewhere. To be honest, there are a great number of "latinas" that have been honored for their distinguished work and probably didn't even speak Spanish either. Some of them were part of the National Women's History like Linda Chavez-Thompson, Dolores Huerta, Jovita Idar, Sonia Manzano, Ellen Ochoa, and so many others.
I think "latina" women should be from Latin America, but that's only my perspective.
Coming back to Sofia......
Sofia is in her forty something actress and model (which is gorgeous by the way) and as my grandmother and her peers would say "esta bien conservada". Which roughly means she's looking great despite her age.
Each time I would listen to this common phrase of my elders I would think about meat. It's kind of a coincidence that she was showcased like a nice piece of lean butcher's meat. We could even say "prime" kind of meat.
Nevertheless, women from this part of the world could be merciless with younger women and if you were in show business you were kind of considered "not wife material".
When Jennifer López was dumped for a more demure Jennifer Garner my mom was pretty quick to say that JLo was "you know what". Really Mom?
Every now and then she pisses me off, but it's fine because she's a pretty hard worker. When she gets to me is when she tries to pull of the Latina thing. For Pete's sake she doesn't even know decent Spanish, she's more Nuyorican then Latina or even Puerto Rican. Communicating in any language has to be a bit more than just voicing a couple of words with a thick accent. I just bet her kids don't know anything but a few words they've picked up in Dora.
Sorry Jenny but I really can't see you as a "latina", having a Puerto Rican abuela or even marrying a Puerto Rican once, doesn't make the cut.
Coming back to our topic of discussion, women were suppose to be quiet, covered up and as gentle as a summer breeze.
They weren't suppose to be loud, only women who didn't know there place were like that. Loud women were considered as "mujeres de la vida alegre". To translate this idiomatic phrase proves to be hard because it's suppose to be women of a happy life, but not really.
It's more like there business is more about pleasure than hard work, if you know what I mean.
I'm not sure I really want to put it out there in black and white.
Divorce wasn't an option for any of my cousins or myself and when one of my youngest cousins got a divorce it was an embarrassment (which is very wrong by the way). My "mamita" would say, "las mujeres decentes no se divorcian", because "las divorciadas" were seen as easy ladies. It was worst then the having the scarlet letter on your chest.
Moving on let's talk about the sex goddess thing that she has going on.
Sex was a tabu for more time then it was suppose to. Nobody talked about sex and whatever you learned you would do like me (when I was in college I borrowed a book from the library) or from friends, and if things were really bad then on your wedding night.
Certainly things have moved on and no longer are so archaric, but there is still a generation of women out there that have all this engraved in our souls so accepting change isn't easy. We are not sex goddess and that georgeous body of hers has probably more to do with learning to tame her curvs with exercise and diets.
We are a bit more curvier than usual, it comes maybe with the "latina" thing. However, if you are a plain Jane those curves are going to go on "loco" mode after a few pregnancies and all the tasting and cooking of very spicy meals. Which are pretty "sabrosas" or good by the way.
For all of us that don't have the time for exercise or diets we're just a lot of nicely rounded ladies.
Finally, I can't finish without acknowledging her continuous air head type of behavior. She definitely puts us down each time she does that. All of us have to overcome a society where "machismo" is our daily bread and butter.
It's not easy trying to make in a world where men are worth so much more than us, we're smart, are demographic is growing professionally and at so many other levels, and I just can't help myself mentioning our very own Justice Sotomayor.
I may even feel a bit more prouder because she's from a small town very close to my own. It feels great to have her on that bench.
Bottom line, it doesn't really do us any good having all that bad publicity. Men can get the wrong idea and it's really enough with what we have to deal with right now. With immigration so high at least for women from Puerto Rico, which are leaving the Island in huge numbers it's terrible.
The thing is that there not in show business but, some our engineers, teachers, nurses, accountants, women in the military, etc. etc. etc., and they have to cope with all those awful stereotypes.
My heart goes out for all of those who are coming accross the border looking for jobs in service and elsewhere because they are aliens in the United States.
How many are maybe taken advantage of because men think they are some sort of twisted version of Sofia Vergara.
So you see my dear friends, "latina" women are just like any other gal just with some more curves then others and I'm not even sure that's a good thing. None the less, next time you catch a glimpse of Modern Family just don't think of us when you see her, she's only playing a character that was made up by someone that thought it was really funny and maybe it is in a way because they've got some Emmy's to prove it.
Please, next time you think about a latina don't conjure Sofia's image, but look around and find yourself a better example it's as easy as a Google search.
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