web analytics
Black Velvet
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.
The …

Read the full story »
casa + cultura

The sabor of Latino living.

dichos + del alma

Inspiration and reflection.

el buzz

News and pop culture.

foto + video

See us. See yourself.

the habla habla

Our stories.

Home » the habla habla

Your Typical Latina

Submitted by on August 3, 2009 – 8:23 am3 Comments

CarlaAt last week’s Latism fiesta our lovely editor, Carrie, was in a conversation with @Jennifervides about the many faces of being Latina.  Many folks, Latino and not, have preconceived notions of what being Latino looks like.  I once brought a friend of mine home from college and when she met all of my Latino friends exclaimed, “They don’t look Latino.  They look white!”  Personally, I know first hand what’s it’s like to tell someone I’m Cuban but have them tell me, “No, tienes mas que eso porquepareces muy chinita.”

Being Filipino and Cubana but identifying as solely Cuban, I’ve lived my whole life with people furrowing their brow at my looks.  I’ve come to realize that people don’t want to know about my rich culture and the beauty of where I’m from.  Technically speaking when someone asks, “Where are you from?” they want to know exactly which parts of the world have contributed to make you look like you.  It’s natural human curiosity but it can get damn frustrating when you’re not always interested in sharing a complex family history.

Society has evolved in such a way that we don’t have a cookie cutter response, and therefore, no cookie cutter look.  To say cross cultural marriages are increasing in popularity is almost a falsehood because it’s practically the norm.  The editors here at El Tiki Tiki are a testament to that, all married to lovely Americano husbands and raising beautiful melting pot children.  Carrie previously talked about her own curiosity about how her daughter would self-identify and I think about that a lot with my own daughters.  While their mami is an ambiguous looking chinita and their father a dark haired gringo with a splash of Portugal in him, my daughters are an interesting mix of the two of us.

In appearance my girls are as different as night and day – one dark haired, chocolate eyed toddler and my fair blue eyed, blonde-ish brunette.  I imagine people will one day ask if they are really sisters much in the same way my husband’s mom was asked if she was the Anglo babysitter.  My curiousity moves from them onto their own offspring wondering what beautiful mix of cultures they will represent.  Hopefully as today’s multicultural Latino children grow up and marry into their own multicultural families, the idea of a “typical” Latino look will be replaced with the idea that Latinos come in all shapes and sizes.

Where do you think people got their preconceived imgae of Latinos and what does it look like?  How do we disspell the myth?

Mi gente, my intention was to share with you a mug of my girls but my computer esta comiendo de lo que pica el pollo and refuses to cooperate.  I’m working on it and hopefully will have some eye candy later this afternoon.

Share, por favor!


  • I have been curious to know how some people consider latina women “of color.” My friend Laura, a Cuban of Spanish and French ancestry, is whiter than I am. What color is it she is of exactly?

  • Ms. Latina says:

    What a great article! I face this everyday not because of how I look but in how I speak Spanish. I was born in Puerto Rico but most of my friends are from Santo Domingo, because of this I carry a Dominican accent when I speak Spanish!

    My sons on the otherhand are mixed race and have faced many sterotypes because of it. It amazes me since we live in New York, a huge melting pot of various ethnicities, yet the question always comes, just as you stated: “Where are you from?” thn the statement, “No, tienes mas que eso…” as if their answers weren’t enough.

    In the end, I believe one day it won’t matter. Society is evolving, or, at least, that is my dream.

  • RichardAlois says:

    well I guess you can find some patterns of how Latinas look like? Same as Caucasian or Blacks.
    RichardAlois´s last [fabulousness] ..Chocolatina

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.

CommentLuv badge