When it comes to the Hispanic/ Latino population, the majority of people assume that most men and women are brown, olive-skinned, have thick curly hair and brown eyes. While I am sure lots of people who are part of the Latino community have those features, I am here to tell you that not all of us do. In fact, some of us have straight or wavy brown hair, lots of us even have blond hair and blue eyes and are extremely pale.
Have you ever stopped and looked at why it is that the world looks at Latino culture and assumes that we all look the same? I can not tell you how many times I have had someone look at me in shock when I tell them that I am Hispanic. They size me up and say "Oh no way, you look so white" or "Hmm I would have guessed middle eastern." When I start speaking Spanish it really sets in how wrong they were, yet they still continue to make comments about how surprised they are that I was a Latina. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with being compared to other ethnicities, everyone needs to understand that your perceived look as to what a "true latin" looks like is 100% skewed and racist.
When looking at the population of Central and South America, the majority of people are mixed. You could have West African, East Asian, European, Indigenous, Middle Eastern or mixed features in any one person. When you look back at the media industries in the US, the projected image of Latinos is washed out under the ideas mentioned before. Even when looking at how the media projects any specific nationality, they seem to stick to the "traditional" view of how a certain ethnicity looks like, that its no wonder why so many people are confused when anyone claims to be part of a certain community. Though there are companies like, 23 and me or ansestry.com who are starting to promote DNA awareness, many people are still blindly unaware of how diverse the Latino community is. This is only a small start for people to come to a better understanding of how certain ethnicities are not branded into a particular look.
So, yes, the next time you come across a blonde haired woman or a curly haired deep-skinned man speaking Spanish, do not start off the conversation with "But you don't look Latino" because you will look extremely uneducated.