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December 16, 2012 – 3:09 pm | 17 Comments

Childhood memories are vivid, almost indescribable in their detail, and impossible to forget. A Christmas memory I have is that of a black velvet dress  a family friend gave to me for my seventh Christmas.
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Professionalism, Stereotype and a Red Dress

Submitted by on February 12, 2012 – 9:17 am3 Comments
marisol gonzalez super bowl dress

screenshot from Black Sports Online

Hot Latina Stereotypes

marisol gonzalez mexican sports journalistSo, Latina hotness, cultural norms, professional dress and Hispanic stereotype are all out there right now, inspired by one very tight red dress at the Super Bowl Media Day.

Inside the mini-dress was Mexican sports reporter, Marisol Gonzalez, a former Miss Universe contestant turned journalist. (Pictured, left)

The sports blogs went crazy, trying very quickly to identify the woman on the sidelines and/or posting her photos with headlines such as:

  • Mexican Reporter Marisol Gonzalez Red Freakum Dress Takes Over SB Media Day
  • Marisol Gonzalez: See the Red Dress Hottie That’s the Talk of Super Bowl Media Day

And this comment from The Big Lead:

“…her presence is nothing short of delectable. Based on Rich Ohrnberger’s sombrero, I’m going to take a risk and guess this woman is not an NFL beat reporter.”

But, alas, she is..she is a professional working journalist, and as such should she, or shouldn’t she be dressed like a Bud Girl?

As women we’re not supposed to get down on each other but Marisol Gonzalez’s attire — and that of other Hispanic media female journalists — has inspired comments about it being OK that she dresses like that because well, Latinas dress sexier and that’s OK.

No.it.is.not.

As a former journalist, I am saying that unprofessional in unprofessional, regardless of whether your name has an accent in it.

Representing a profession, a culture

This moment is all the more striking because not too long ago Lila Luciano left “Escándalo TV” for NBC News — and she left behind los aretones and deep-cut bustlines, transforming into a much plainer but more polished version of herself.

The Latin hotness factor is expected on Spanish TV, and las hot ones can, indeed, do interviews. But, what does it mean for us as women, and as a culture, when it carries over into mainstream media and the only thing the guys are asking is: Who is the Freaky Mami?

As the Marisol issue exploded, Mariela Dabbah is the CEO of Latinos in College, wrote this on Fox News Latino:

“Why do I care? For two reasons: First, because the journalism profession requires people who take their job seriously. Until the industry stops sanctioning looks over substance there will be limited opportunities for the thousands of brilliant female journalists who work hard to get in front of a camera. And second, because this lack of professional attitude (and attire) impacts all of us. Playing to the sexy Latina stereotype contributes to smart Latinas not being taken as seriously as they should be.”

On the Huffington Post, the story on the Red Dress — titled Latina Journalists Navigate Sexuality and Professionalism — offered this:

“Others, however, say that the marriage of female sexuality and journalism is part of Latina culture, and that the combination can be empowering.”

and this:

“But many who have seen both sides of the industry defend Latina newscasters, saying that both cultural differences and programming distinctions can contribute to more provocative clothing choices which are commonly misunderstood by non-Latino audiences.

¿Que?

Angelica Perez-Litwin, a psychologist and publisher of New Latina, answered with this comment on the Huffington Post…and I say right on:

“How Latina journalists dress at work is absolutely NOT an issue of “culture” or “choice” (in the part of the journalist). This has everything to do with the top executives at these media companies demanding and expecting these women to dress sexy.

Why? Two reasons: ratings and male chauvinism. They know that looking sexier will increase ratings. Unfortunately, these practices only continue to reinforce the overly sexualized stereotypes of Latina women on television. The solution? We need more Latina women executives and CEO’s heading television networks and print magazines, both in Spanish and English.”

But, I would add: Shouldn’t las mujeres say “Ya no mas!”

Interviewed on the Huffington Post, Maria Celeste of “Al Rojo Vivo” on Telemundo, defended the style of dress.

“I don’t make a judgment on the way a person dresses, I make a judgement based on the information, the delivery and the reporting that they’re doing,” Celeste said. “There’s not a right way or a wrong way to dress.”

I Only Saw her Bustline

Yeah, well, Gonzalez isn’t the first to get mocked and drooled over. There was Inez Sainz from TV Azteca last year. Remember?

Plus, here’s a top comment on a YouTube video where Gonzalez talks about becoming a sports journalist. The top comment on the video:

ni escuche la entrevista solo le vi su escote”

Translation: “I didn’t even listen to the interview. I only saw her bustline.”

We, as professional Latinas, deserve more.

(click the headline link if you can’t see the video)

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