In TV, film, and other forms of media, Latina women of varying ages are frequently portrayed as:
- Showing more cleavage than others
- Wearing tight clothing
- Fiery or ill-tempered
- Curvy and voluptuous
- Sexual and sensual
- Thin-waisted with big hips, breasts, and butts
These common attributes support the hyper-sexualization of Latinas on the screen.
Adrian Lee is the only Latina on the show; she is portrayed as the “exotic” and “spicy” character, contrasting the white girl characters who are more modest in their sexuality, clothing, and temper.
Gloria Delgado-Pritchett’s character devolves into a mix of sexual and feisty – Latina tropes.
It can be empowering to see strong Latina characters receive great success and representation in predominantly white media. However, there should be more representation outside of these sexualized roles that Latinas often play on screen.
The hyper-sexualization of Latinas contributes to:
- Erasure of culture, beliefs, and traditions
- Perpetuation of white ideologies and colonialism
- Implicit and explicit racism
- Cultural appropriation
- Increase in sexual harassment and assault
- Negative self-body image and low self-esteem
- Fetishization of Latinas
The lack of accurate Latina representation can lead to younger girls solely idolizing Latina celebrities who are appreciated and admired for their bodies, causing Latinas to attach their self-worth directly to their ability to embody sex.