11 Frequently Asked Questions I Hate To Hear As A Latina
Politics and Activism

11 Frequently Asked Questions I Hate To Hear As A Latina

These stereotypes are damaging to Latinos and incredibly frustrating, and it needs to stop.

1715
Mari Ortiz

I'm proud to be a Latina. The culture is rich, diverse and beautiful much like any other culture. What I experience every day is not what other people experience, and it leads to many misconceptions and stereotypes that are frustrating. The following ones are the ones that are the most infuriating to me and many others, coming from personal experiences me and other Latinas have had.


1. "You are too white to be Latina."

This crime is one committed by both Latino and non-Latinos alike. I've heard it so many times, and it is absolutely frustrating. It's a very exclusionary statement that can come from anyone. I'm still Latina no matter my skin color. On the other side of the coin...

2. "You are too dark to be Latina."

So now that we know both sides, let me let you guys in on a little secret. Latinos and Hispanics, come from an extremely mixed background and ancestry, meaning some people will end up looking white, and others will end up looking black. That isn't anyone's fault nor is that a bad thing. If you are Latino, you are Latino.

3. "You are too smart to be Latina."

Cue the seething anger. I hate hearing this because it assumes that many Latinas cannot get up off their feet and get an education. That is simply not true; an accent or background does not determine your intelligence. Many Latinas are actually affected by this stereotype and stigma resulting in an education bias. I was once taken out of classes for my last name and my knowledge of Spanish in elementary schools.

4. "Are you Mexican?"

Okay, even for Latinas that are Mexican, this can be annoying. There are similar parts of Latino culture, but for the most part, each nation has unique traditions and customs. Even certain nations have cultural differences among their regions. Don't ever ask this question.

5. "Are you American? Do you fully understand English?"

Yes, every single Puerto Rican you have ever met is American (just in case you didn't know). Many other Latinos are also Americans or have lived most of their life in America. They can also understand English, even if their accent is heavy for you.

6. "Latinas are very..."

Loud, easy, beautiful and every other compliment or condescending comment. Not every Latina fits into your cookie cutter fantasy of the perfect woman of that type. These comments can not only be racist but also sexist, and if that's too extreme, it can be called a generalization. I have seen comments of these types, but it's usually veiled in the typical "no offense" or "I don't mean to be racist" type of defenses.

7. "So um, how is it going at [insert Latino nation]?"

To be honest, I'm not really sure sometimes, and other times I'll be asked about another nation other than Puerto Rico, and I'll be utterly dumbfounded as to why they asked.

It goes back to the diversity among Latinos. I can't tell you a lot of facts about Mexico other than the fact that if you were to drop me there, I could speak to people and that's about it. I also can't provide an accurate representation of my own island without having a personal bias because not everyone on the island has the same experiences or backgrounds as your family.

8. "You have a strong personality, are you Latin/Hispanic?"

This is sometimes framed differently, but this is the easiest way to say it. I am typically reserved and non-confrontational for the most part, but I do show a strong side. When I do, people either chalk this to being a female or being Latina. Portrayals of Hispanic and Latin women in media almost always have some sort of fire or oversexualization attached to them and their strong personalities, which leads to a common stereotype.

9. "Can you dance?"

Easy answer: I most certainly cannot. Can other Latinas dance? Yes, yes they do.

They can also dance in many different styles and not the types in the typical crossover hits that show up in the United States. Also, I do try to dance, but I usually fail to keep up with my two left feet, which is why I hate dancing in public.

10. "So like, illegal immigrants are a problem."

Honestly, don't ask me, I have my own political views on the situation. I can straight up tell you that I have rarely ever met an immigrant in my life, so I can't accurately represent them in conversation. I'm not illegal, and I would like to assume immigrants have the best intentions.

11. "Why would I need to learn Spanish?"

I hear this a lot at school, granted in stronger terms. On the same token, why would I need to learn English? The only real way to function in the United States is to learn some form of English. What if you were randomly dropped into a Hispanic nation; what do you do then? Luckily, someone will know English somewhere, but if you wanted to truly enjoy an experience there, learning Spanish is a must.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Times The Body Positivity Movement Promoted Unhealthy Practices In The Name Of Acceptance

There's a difference between wanting to love your body and promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

As a thick and curvy girl, I think the body positivity movement is amazing in the way that it advocates for women with different body types to feel confident and be free of self-hatred and doubt. My body type has never been considered the "norm" in any sense. Now, there are plus-size models that I can look up to. It definitely encourages me to try to not be so harsh on myself. Growing up, I didn't have that and I struggled for a long time. Young, adolescent girls that once hated their reflection can now see the beauty inside and out, and that shows that we've made phenomenal progress.

However, I do solemnly believe there's a line between encouraging people to love themselves no matter what the scale says, and flat out promoting an unhealthy lifestyle.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Everything You Need To Know About COVID-19 Outcomes, Because It Has To End Eventually

You've heard a lot of possible outcomes thrown around, let's break them down.

If you log into any social media app, you will be overwhelmed with self-appointed experts, preaching the correct way to end this coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from the comfort of their La-Z-Boy chair. Aside from those dramatic children on TikTok, it's all anyone can talk about. There's an obvious reason for this — the pandemic has taken our world and flopped it on its head, bringing confusion, angst, and an obnoxious amount of sourdough bread into our lives.

All this to say, it's easy to get lost amidst the storm of arguments online. Instead, it's best to break down what's actually going on so we can have an educated perspective as we look to work together to move past our current predicament.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Raven Baxter Was Our Favorite Teen Fashion Icon And We're Still Recreating Her Best Looks, Here

We take a look at Disney's most fashion-forward show to recreate some iconic looks.

Disney Plus

I grew up in the early 2000s. And, like any child at the time, I was hooked on Disney Channel shows. My favorite was and is "That's So Raven."

Raven is a teenage psychic navigating life in hopes of not revealing her powers. Only her family and close friends know she has them. Her powers oftentimes get her in trouble, which is where the comedy comes in. But, they also teach her and her friends sentimental life lessons.

Keep Reading... Show less

Sobriety is so underrated, even when it comes to healthcare. The instant gratification of a substance or drink isn't exactly as gratifying as some people may think. For those of you who've never been hungover, consider yourself lucky — a hangover is biologically horrifying. A hangover is not instant gratification, so who are we kidding when people say "it just feels good." Being healthy actually feels good and won't hurt you or your bank account in the morning. The best way to be healthy is to choose sobriety.

Keep Reading... Show less

Ah, yes. The juice cleanse. Yet another popular diet trend that promises to magically solve all of your health, nutrition, and weight issues.

When you take a close look, juice cleanses aren't as magical as they are made out to be, and in fact, they might do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Unauthorized Plastic Surgery Is Totally Unethical, And Happening WAY More Often Than We Know ‬

Plastic surgery for cosmetic enhancements has you looking more botched than beautiful and it’s painful to see.

Coming from someone who could afford numerous cosmetic enhancing procedures I would never in a million years cut up my face or my body. I'm pretty emphatic and when I watch these brainwashed victims with bandages and chronic inflammation (swollen lips) I literally feel their pain.

Keep Reading... Show less

I've never been big on casual wear or athleisure. Most people who know me have never seen me in sweats. But, I do have those two or three pairs of sweats I can't resist climbing into the second I get home, the newest addition of which is the extra cozy Odyssey crewneck sweatshirt I got in an XL size to feel as close to being wrapped in a blanket at all times as possible.

In the past several months, I've started to expand my horizons, considering the ways in which I can bring my small wardrobe of comfortable bedroom clothing into the public. I've experimented with topping leggings and a sports bra with a denim jacket to the park, and an oversized sweatshirt worn as a dress, cinched at the waist with a belt when I'm out wearing leggings.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments