In the 1990’s there was what the media dubbed the Latin explosion, referencing pop artists such as Ricky Martin, J-Lo and Marc Anthony who were successfully doing cross over albums. I remember my teenage self thinking finally, we (Latinos) have arrived. But as it happens with most trends, the idea of the Latin explosion was fleeting.
It wasn’t until recently that I started noticing more Spanish language programming on Netflix, and then learned about the conscious efforts of said company to appeal to and coerce more Latino viewership that I thought to myself, ok Latinos must be trending once again.
But now that we are popular again, are these bigger entities political, commercial and the media, that are trying to coerce us into backing their ideas, purchasing their products, or following their brands, going to do us justice or will they just perpetuate stereotypes that the the mainstream culture is comfortable with? Will we finally get a chance to be real people living in the US with universal problems or will we still be portrayed as two-dimensional caricatures?
In the past, the representation of Latino women in the media has been extremely stereotypical at best. We have been portrayed as the sex pot, the maid, the gangster or as immigrants that cannot speak English, or speaks English with an accent. And while I admit that all stereotypes are founded in some truth, and that we all know one of these archetypes in our own circles, what is missing is everyone else in between. Real, complex, complicated, people that straddle and navigate both worlds with ease and distress.
All I’m saying is that if the powers that be want to appeal to the Latin market and get the Latina experience right, they should check in with real Latinos from all walks of life. They may learn that we have more similarities than differences and that the part about being Latino can just be descriptive and not necessarily all defining.
What are some stereotypes of the Latina woman or mom that you’ve encountered in the media?
Do you see yourself accurately represented?
What would you like to see in the portrayal of Latina women and moms in the media?
Would love to hear from you!
The Mamacita confessions
In the Latina motherhood system the seven deadly sins are considered especially heinous. In Southern California, the dedicated podcasters who confess these scandalous stories are members of an elite squad known as the Mamá Cita Podcast.
These are their stories.
But all joking aside, at my son’s school they ask the kids “are you making good choices?” so that they will take a moment before acting. In some of the very dumb situations I have put myself in, I wish I would have had this type of question ingrained in me. I have been a very cautious and conscientious person, but even then, I have definitely committed all of the seven deadly sins, to various degrees of course. I acknowledge that it is only out of sheer luck that I am alive today to share the stories of my questionable decisions with my children.
What are some things you’ve done that you hope your kids will never do?
Do you have actual regrets about these actions?
Will you be open and share your questionable decisions with your kids in the hopes that they will do better?
Would love to hear from you!
single mama drama
Being a mom is hard. It’s amazing and beautiful, yes... But also exhausting and challenging! Especially when you’re a single mom.
Balancing work and motherhood is not easy, but I am grateful for all the challenges that have made me stronger than I ever thought possible. Just two days ago, another badass mamacita who I admire, shared some beautiful words with me. She said “children are resilient and adaptable.” Her words touched my heart. I must confess that I often suffer from “mom guilt.” I get overwhelmed and don’t know how I’m going to handle it all, but she reminded me that our kids will be ok. We just have to keep doing what we love and trust that things will work themselves out. They always do.
Here’s to all the single mamacitas out there! Keep going! You got this 💪🏻
omg! religious upbringing
I am not religious. I believe that all religions are true. If a religion brings you happiness, comfort, community and a set of guidelines that align with your lifestyle or helps you to live your best life, then awesome. Practice and preach!
I am spiritual. And by that I mean that I believe in the soul and grew up reading Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukov and lately Eckhart Tolle.
Culturally I am Catholic. I didn’t grow up in the church. I did not go through all of the rites. I wasn’t even baptized till I was 7 and then when I was, it happened twice. I’m pretty sure my mother suffered a moment of guilt and thought to herself, “Oh what the hell?”
My parents couldn’t decide who the god parents should be so they chose two sets. A set my mother liked and a set my father liked. Each set of god parents did not know about each other. My parents lied in the church during a holy rite and then asked me to lie about it for my entire life. I’m pretty sure this is all a sin and that my two baptisms are nullified because of it.
I have not baptized my kids. I know what scripture says about the unbaptized going to purgatory but I cannot believe it.
I say I’m culturally Catholic because I know my prayers in English and in Spanish, thank you, anytime I’ve been scared I pray, and the mention of God happens every day. Si Dios quiere. Que Dios te bendiga. Ay Dios mío! I mean if we are not supposed to take God’s name in vain, in Spanish we are screwed because it’s built into how we express ourselves.
My kids are growing up without a formal religion. Without the guilt and hang ups of being a Catholic. Recognizing and respecting all the faiths that we encounter. And hopefully someday, they will read all of the books so that they know all of the stories. As literature the holy books of the world are pretty cool.
My big generalization is that Latin mamas, then and now, have felt a great cultural pressure to participate in some kind of religious practice.
Tell me, do you feel or have you felt pressured and guilt tripped into practicing a religion?
Do you see your religious practice as a way to teach your Latin culture and less really about the actual religion? How are you teaching your kids about religion? Are you, or will you give your kids the autonomy to choose?
Would love to hear from you!
Wendy writes blog posts that turn into conversations for the Mamá Cita Podcast.