10 Myths About Latinas That Just Won’t Die

This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.

Hollywood would have you believe that we all have curves like Sofia Vergara, perfectly caramel-colored skin like Eva Mendes, and dance like Shakira, and alas, I’m here to tell you it’s not true. Here, 10 myths that just won’t die.

1. We’re all teen moms. Some of us had mothers who wouldn’t even let us date until we were almost out of high school (love you, momma!). Real talk: Latina teens do have a higher rate of teen pregnancy than white teens, but they’ve also had a dramatic decrease in teen births. In fact, the Hispanic teen birth rate has declined by 39 percent since 2007.

2. We all dance salsa. Some Latinas do! Some Latinas prefer ballet. Some wish they had any kind of rhythm at all (and yet others don’t care).

3.We’re all hypersexual and seductive. A recent study found that Latinas are indeed the most likely to appear nude or semi-nude in movies — probably because society really likes to fetishize Latinas as sexy, “spicy,” sassy, and promiscuous — and there is no shortage of sexy, sensual Latina characters on TV (Sofia Vergara as Gloria on Modern Family, Naya Rivera as Santana in Glee, Eva Mendes in The Women), but the reality is, not all Latinas embody this stereotype or care what you think about them being sexy.

4. We’re all super conservative and pro-life. It’s true that generally speaking, Latinos tend to be more conservative than the general population, but a recent Pew report shows that 40 percent of Latinos think abortion should be legal in most or all cases, and 90 percent of married Latinas who also identify as Catholic have used birth control banned by the Vatican, the National Latina Institute of Reproductive Health says.

5. We’re all recent immigrants. Obviously, immigration has become a hot-button topic in recent months, and it’s an important one, but it’s worth pointing out that the U.S. hasalways had a large population of U.S.-born Latinos whose families have been around for decades. People seem to forget that. 

6. We’re all curvy. This is an annoying one, because, seriously, it is hard enough to live up to the media’s never-ending unrealistic expectations of what’s sexy as a woman in the U.S. without having to be reminded every day that I will never look like Salma Hayek or Rosalyn Sanchez.

7. We’re all coming over the border to have “anchor” babies. In 2010, some conservative politicians called for a repeal of the 14th Amendment, which grants automatic citizenship to anyone born on U.S. soil, saying that it was attracting undocumented immigrants to the U.S. to have babies. However, a 2010 Pew report finds that the primary reason many immigrants come to the U.S. is for job security or to escape poverty, with having a baby being a third factor.

8. We all grew up poor. First, I want to stress that there is nothing wrong with growing up without a lot of money. But every time you turn on a movie or a TV show, you see Latina characters who are struggling to make it out of the hood or whose only dream is to get out of poverty. A 2011 study did find that the poverty rate for Hispanic immigrants ishigher than the national average, but a 2013 study found that second-generation Latinos (U.S.-born to immigrant parents) are doing better than their parents in all socioeconomic factors, which suggests that things are potentially changing.

9. We all speak Spanish in bed. I don’t even want to elaborate on this one, but let’s just say I have found myself in this situation before with guys who want you to speak Spanish in the middle of, well, you know, and it’s pretty much just as awkward as you’re thinking, for a couple of reasons: One, not all Latinas speak Spanish, and two, even if they do, ew. No one likes to feel like they’re just there to fulfill some sort of weird masturbatory fantasy you have about banging a Latina.

10. We all want a ton of children or big families. Some do. Some are on the fence about children. And some of us know that we shouldn’t be allowed within 10 feet of a baby.

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