Culture

The 20 Most Fierce Latina Characters on Screen

Fictional characters can be much more than just entertainment. They can influence our lives and the ones around us by showing us all the sides of the human spectrum. They have the capacity to normalize and celebrate all those qualities, imperfections and desires that we thought we didn’t share with others… basically, they have the power to make us feel less alone and less anxious about all the things we thought we were doing wrong in life. That’s  why we decided to make a list of all the bad ass Latina characters that we thought are great role models!

1. Callie Torres.

Credit: Grey’s Anatomy. ABC

And what best way to start than with kick-ass Dr. Callie Torres, who became some sort pioneer on primetime TV. Not only was she the first bisexual regular characters on a massively successful show but she was a Latina, a mom, married to a woman and not afraid of showing her curves while dancing in her underwear for the world to see. She definitely thought us to be proud of who we are no matter what.

2. Selena Quintanilla.

Credit: Selena. Warner Bros.

And who could forget queen Selena? She became the Latina embodiment of the American Dream. Not only was she one of the 1st Latina women to dominate the charts but also became one of the 1st female multi-media artists by branching out and launching her own clothing line, fragrance, and stores. She was a true representant of the Latino identity in a time and place where the Latino culture was still being undervalued. 

3. Mamá Imelda.

Credit: Coco. Disney/Pixar

The matriarch, Mamá Imelda is that strong woman in the family that everyone listens to and respects above all others. She’s the one that took care of her family by starting her own business and teaching everyone the craft. She represents all the wise women in Latino families that give her blood, sweat, and tears for the well being of her loved ones. And yes, she might be tough at times but we all know that everything she does is out of love.

4. Penelope Alvarez.

Credit: One Day At A Time. Netflix

“One Day At A Time“ is undeniably the most relevant Latino TV show at the moment. The Netflix reboot doesn’t shy away from problems the Latino community is facing today. Characters like Penelope Alvarez are showing us real people with real issues, like the ones of a single mother of 2, breadwinner, veteran, student and daughter who is suffering from PTSD, depression, and anxiety. This show is definitely kicking stigmas in the ass.

5. Jane Villanueva.

Credit: Jane the Virgin. The CW

Putting the telenovela drama aside, Jane is breaking stereotypes left and right. She’s representing the virgin character in a whole new way. She’s showing us that even though she’s a virgin by choice (and a little pressure from her abuela), she’s also a sexual woman. That virginity doesn’t necessarily make her naive as she is an independent, aware, ambitious woman that will work as hard as can be to achieve her goals.

6. Marina Vidal.

Credit: A Fantastic Woman. Sonny Pictures

Marina Vidal is a transgender woman and main character of the Acadamy Award winning movie, A Fantastic Woman. That in itself makes her badass as she’s helping the transgendered community earn visibility in mainstream media. As the story plays out, Marina teaches us the hardships transgender people go through in the pursuit of a normal life and the violence they face in today’s political climate.

7. Frida Kahlo.

Credit: Frida. Miramax

Frida, as we all know, was a woman that refused to stay “in the box“. During her time she showed the world that being a woman didn’t mean she could only become a wife and a mother but whatever she dreamed of. She proved that women can be stronger than men. She was fierce, she was talented, she was political… she was a glimpse of the modern day woman. And ultimately she was a legend!

8. Gloria Mendoza.

Credit: Orange is the New Black. Netflix

Lichfield’s Top Chef, Gloria Mendoza, is the easily irritated motherly figure that’s always helping her mates in the Spanish Harlem. After being imprisoned and living with an abusive husband she decided to become the strong woman she always expected to be when she was free. Now after a few years in prison, she wants to remain neutral in hopes that she gets out and back with her kids.

9. Elena Alvarez.

Credit: One Day At A Time. Netflix

Elena, just like her mom and her abuela has a lot to offer. She represents the newer generation, she’s always fighting for a cause and tries to be respectful of everyone’s pronouns. She showed us the fears of coming out in a Latino family and the pain of being rejected by a parent. Even though at times she’s just an insecure teenager, most of the time she seems to be pretty comfortable in her our skin… which is never easy!

10. Santana Lopez.

Credit: Glee. Fox

Santana, the meanest cheerleader at McKinley High was not always the victimizer. It was during season 3 when she gets publicly outed by another student. The season tries to show the struggle of a teen girl who lost control of her own coming out process, in a time where LGBTQ representation was smaller than it is today and the male counterparts were getting more on-screen time. This mainstream teen drama was coming through for all those girls following the show.

11. Betty Suarez.

Credit: Ugly Betty. ABC

Betty Suarez is probably one of the most lovable heroines on the screen. She’s kind-hearted, career-driven, awkwardly confident and most importantly unapologetically herself. Throughout 4 seasons she diversified the image of Latinxs on TV and thought us a thing or two about looks. She was also the first character on primetime television to have to deal with immigration issues as his father Ignacio was undocumented. For these and many other reasons she rocks!

12. Lydia Alvarez.

Credit: One Day At A Time. Netflix

The last one of the familia Alvarez but definitely not the least is Lydia. Her sacrifice was the reason why her whole family got a chance of a better life. Lydia is the definition of the sultry Latina. She’s vibrant, beautiful, funny, poise… everything we aspire to be when we’re older. As she steals every single scene with dramatic gesturing and great punchlines she’s letting us know that age is just as important as we let it be.

13. Dolores Huerta.

Credit: Cesar Chavez. Pantelion Films

Dolores is forever part of American history. Not only did she changed the life of agricultural laborers alongside Chavez, but she also fought against racism and sexism during the 1960s. 30 years later, she managed to successfully increase the number of female elected representatives in office at all levels. Dolores’ legacy only shows how much she has impacted the lives of Latino Americans, women and union workers. At almost 88 she still fights for civil rights and has no plans to retire.

14. Ana García.

Credit: Real Women Have Curves. HBO

Back in 2002 when the Latino community was well underrepresented in American television we met Ana, an ambitious teenager from a working-class Mexican-American family, whose mother has very strong opinions about her looks and aspirations. After a constant struggle with her unsupportive family, she finally frees herself from their traditional values and the societal standards that are weighing her down in order to achieve her goals.

15. Helen Chavez.

Credit: Cesar Chavez. Pantelion Films

Just like Dolores, Helen fought alongside her husband (César Chavez) for the rights of agricultural laborers. Her role in the fight was usually backstage taking care of her family and also doing office work like bookkeeping for the organization. Aside from being a mother, a wife, and administrative assistant, she also worked in the fields picking grapes for $2.00 a day. Helen proved that every role is important, even if that meant playing a more traditional one on the movement.

16. Gail.

Credit: Sin City. Miramax

Gail is much more than just kickass outfits. She is a loyal leader that will do whatever it takes to protect the group. She’s tough and merciful when needed be. Gails is unapologetic and she always gets what she wants… she takes no prisoners! She’s also the kind of woman that will make you regret it if you attack her. She’s basically the kickass heroine we all needed when growing up.

17. Carmen De La Pica Morales.

Credit: The L Word. Showtime

In 2006 was very little representation of lesbians on television. One of the best characters available back then was Carmen, the part-time DJ and PA who came into the scene after meeting Shane, who’d eventually become her fiancé. During the following 2 seasons, we would see her cope with her conflictive love life and struggle with coming out the closet in a traditional Latino family.

18. Minerva Mirabal.

Credit: In the Time of the Butterflies. MGM

Minerva Mirabal and her sisters were the symbols of resistance against an oppressive political regime. They were violently killed by the military after a long fight to oust Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo. Not only was Minerva a revolutionary but also one of the 1st women to become a lawyer during the 1940s. The sister’s bravery helped free the Dominican Republic from Trujillo’s dictatorship and in commemoration for their tragic death, the UN designated that day as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. 

19. Jessica Pearson.

Credit: Suits. USA Network

Jessica Pearson is the boss! She’s the managing partner at her own firm Pearson Specter Litt. Jessica is the female powerhouse we were all waiting for. She’s unapologetic, cutthroat, and fully invested in her job. She’s a career-driven woman with not even a glimpse of desire to form a family and has little to no regret about her decisions. Jessica is the much-needed alpha woman that we need to see more on screen.

20. Diana Guzman.

Credit: Girlfight. Screen Gems

Diana is a rebellious teenager that dreams to become a fighter. As she begins her path, everyone around her is telling her that the ring is not a place for a girl. Against all odds and with the help of a few people she trains hard and eventually learns to value herself by becoming a boxer. The best part is the character is not typecasted, she’s allowed to be a physically strong and tough woman but at the same time a vulnerable teen girl just in love with a guy.

Alex Trebek Says That He Will No Longer Seek Cancer Treatment If His Latest Round Is Unsuccessful

Entertainment

Alex Trebek Says That He Will No Longer Seek Cancer Treatment If His Latest Round Is Unsuccessful

Frederick M. Brown / Getty

Last year in March of 2019, the legendary “Jeopardy!” game show host Alex Trebek revealed to fans that he had been diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer.

At the time, Trebek was honest about his prognosis admitting that his chances of survival were poor but that he would fight the cancer and attempt to beat the odds. According to John Hopkins Medical Center, Stage IV pancreatic cancer has a “five-year survival rate of 1 percent.” While updates about his treatments since then have been optimistic at times, Trebek revealed last September that follow-up immunotherapy had been ineffective.

After one year of cancer treatment, Trebek has announced that his diagnosis has worsened over time.

According to a recent report by The New York Times, if Trebek’s current cancer operation fails he has made the decision to no longer seek further treatment. “After some encouraging news from doctors last year, Trebek’s prognosis has worsened. If his current course of cancer treatment fails, he plans to stop treatment.”

Explaining his decision, Trebek said that his quality of life during his treatment has been difficult. “Yesterday morning my wife came to me and said, ‘How are you feeling?’ And I said, ‘I feel like I want to die.’ It was that bad,” he told NYT. “There comes a time where you have to make a decision as to whether you want to continue with such a low quality of life, or whether you want to just ease yourself into the next level. It doesn’t bother me in the least.”

Despite his decision, Trebek says that he will stick around for “Jeopardy!” for as long as possible.

While still intending to work for the show (which he has hosted for 36 years) Trebek told NYT that he wants to ensure it continues to be of “quality.” “It’s a quality program, and I think I do a good job hosting it,” Trebek explained. “And when I start slipping, I’ll stop hosting.”

Naya Rivera’s Co-Star Lauren Potter And Others Are Paying Heartbreaking Tributes To Her

Entertainment

Naya Rivera’s Co-Star Lauren Potter And Others Are Paying Heartbreaking Tributes To Her

FOX

After days of searching, actress Naya Rivera’s body was recovered at Lake Piru in Ventura County, CA. Her life ended saving her own 4-year-old son Josey during a boating trip that went awry on July 8. But before her tragic end, Rivera was an actress and singer who won awards for her breakout role as Santana Rivera on the FOX series “Glee” and used her platform to support the LGBTQ community.

In response to her death, co-stars, fans, and admirers are celebrating her life and highlighting her work.

Check out some of the touching tributes below.

Naya’s co-star Lauren Potter paid tribute to the late actress with a throwback photo.

View this post on Instagram

Cheerios Forever

A post shared by Lauren Potter (@thelaurenpotter) on

Like her co-star Rivera, Lauren Potter became a breakout star thanks to her role on the FOX series “Glee.” Known for her part as Becky Jackson on the series, Potter paid tribute to Potter with a photo and a heartbreaking caption that read “Cheerios Forever.”

Rivera’s “Glee” co-star Chris Colfer honored her in an Instagram post writing that “being close to her was both a badge of honor and a suit of armor.”

Speaking of Rivera, Colfer wrote “How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post? How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t. Her brilliance and humor were unmatched.”

Glee turned Dreamgirls actress Amber Riley also paid tribute.

Riley, one of the only Black actresses besides Rivera in the early seasons of the show described Rivera as her favorite duet partner. “I love you. I miss you. I don’t have words right now, just lots of feelings. Rest In Peace Angel, and know that your family will never have to worry about anything,” she wrote.”

Heather Morris, Rivera’s love interest in Glee explained that she was taking some time to grieve.

Morris had been one of the people to join in the search for Rivera.

Reality star Nene Leakes promised to hold memories of Rivera “close to my heart.”

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow also contributed to the comments with a video of her and Naya singing “Landslide” while on Glee.

“Remembering beautiful @nayarivera today,” Paltrow commented. “Getting to sing in this trio with her was such a special moment. I am in utter shock and disbelief that someone so full of life and passion and talent is no longer with us. And completely heartbroken for her family.”