Self-Love Especialmente For Latinas: Why It’s Necessary & Overdue

I grew up, like most Latina girls, idolizing the women I saw on screen. I recall like it was yesterday watching “Maria La Del Barrio” or “La Usurpadora” and every beauty pageant available.

Fast forward to now and you won’t catch me watching any of those things. Although I loved them growing up, I understand things I didn’t before.

I remember how these actresses and models were glorified for their beauty, their hair, their height, etc. I also remember wanting to be like them more than anything else. This brought much discontent, self-hatred and insecurities my way.
I thought that being more beautiful would be the ticket to success and feeling loved. Needless to say I have evolved tons but the sad part is that must of us still haven’t done the Spanish tv limpia.

The images we see around us affect us in unimaginable ways. They make us question our worth, uniqueness and everything we are. Not in a way that challenges us for growth, but in a way that dismisses our unique attributes, especially those that aren’t “beauty” related.

Now imagine that message being fed into your baby Latina brain every single day. No wonder we seem to have forgotten our greatness and lack so much Self-Love.

Just the same way we have been heavily influenced by these dysfunctional messages, we could make it our mission to break the pattern and offer our young Latinas better role models and examples of what it is to exercise true Latina Self-Love.

We are so underrepresented…everywhere.

It is getting pretty tiring to feel left out and not embraced as Latinas in the US media, but what hurts the most is that we are told we are not good enough by our own people, on our own channels and we are being told this mentira in our own native language and this is a topic I will cover in another post. In the mean time…

Here’s what our little Latinas are being told by mainstream media:

  • A 2016 report finds that Latinx make up around 17.4 % of the U.S. population.
  • Out of 11,000 speaking characters surveyed in film and TV, only 5.8% were Hispanic or Latinx (Latimer, 2016).
  • Of this 5.8%, only 38% of the characters were female, who were often portrayed as overly sexualized (Latimer, 2016).

So it is no sorpresa that research also indicates that Latina women exhibit the lowest confidence levels of any intersected race and gender demographic (Lips, 2003).

Mami, if you ain’t hot (or can rock a maid uniform), you get no camera time mi amor. Ay que sorry. Because as you know, and according to mainstream media, we are very good at a few things; being maids and being muy caliente! {insert reaction emoji here}

And so you know it isn’t just me chismeando you can explore deeper by reading “this article” by Remezcla. It summarizes a report that explores the representation of Latinx in Hollywood and the type of roles we do actually get as Latinx and Hispanics in the beloved and inaccessible white male dominated La La Land.

As Latinas, We Need Más Self-Love!

We need to understand that we have different needs as hispanic females and as women of color and that is OK! We need not to try to blend in. We’ve done that long enough. There isn’t any need to monitor our Latinidad as we navigate life, that keeps sinking us deeper into oppression and create more lack of representation.

Running away from who we are as culture is self-oppression at it’s best, and it is a vivid example of lack of Self-Love and Self-Acceptance. Yes, I said it. We lack Love and Acceptance as a culture and so we carry that same lack into our own notions of Self.

We need to make Self-Love and Self-Acceptance a priority in our lives, both individually and as a community. It is not selfish to love who you are and where you come from. Here’s a Latina Magazine article that explains just that.

By finally acknowledging our exquisiteness without apology or shame we are destined to thrive and finally understand our true worth.

We lack resources that are made by our own people and that accurately represent us and the struggles we face. Spanish media keeps failing us by perpetuating an oppressive trend that promotes exclusiveness rather than inclusiveness.

If you search for Self-Love tips online, you will find a lot of articles that will give you tips and ideas on how to accomplish this. However, if you want to hear from other Latinas who can share tips from a real Latina perspective you will have much harder time finding good articles.

We need to agarrar el toro por los cuernos and create, support, rinse and repeat! We must stand as Latinas, for Latinas and offer support to other Latinas who are already bringing awareness to and for our Latinx community.

Although we are underrepresented and we have a long way to go, I believe this is the best time to take matters into our hands by speaking up and breaking la maldicion del colonizador and loving who we are as Latinas.

No más trying to be more blanquita, o morenita, feel less because we are not as curvy as a Latina should be (mentiras!), or any of that caca.

It’s time embark on your Self-Love journey and say NO MÁS! We are Latinas. We are unique. We are as exquisite as my mama’s sancocho con arroz y aguacate. Know that!

Besos,

Ana

 

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