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.

Here Are 8 Latino Christmas Movies You Should Watch To Get Into The Festive Season

Entertainment

Here Are 8 Latino Christmas Movies You Should Watch To Get Into The Festive Season

Crown Media

This Christmas, when you’re getting comfy on the couch, ready to turn on the TV and watch a Holiday film, one thing is certain: we all know what the leads will look like. It’s safe to assume that the actors of most Christmas movies are white. 

Christmas and the whole holiday season is an important time of year for Latinos, traditionally and culturally, so it’s exciting to see Latinos on screen portraying our seasonal conflicts, rituals and family dynamics whenever the opportunity arises —which is not very often tbh.

When it comes to African American and Asian romantic leads in Hallmark holiday movies, the number is zero.

According to the numbers. By the end of 2017, Hallmark premiered a combined 86 new movies on two of its networks, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Only six of those movies had non-white romantic leads. That same year, Hallmark debuted three films with Catherine Bell (“Good Witch: Spellbound,” “Home for Christmas Day” and “Christmas in the Air”), who is half Iranian; one movie with Julie Gonzalo (“Falling for Vermont”), who’s from Argentina; and two movies with Alexa PenaVega (“Destination Wedding”), one of which also starred her husband Carlos PenaVega (“Enchanted Christmas”), both of whom are Hispanic.

While there obviously needs to be more seasonal films where Latinos take the lead, there are a number of films that Latinxs can watch to see themselves represented on screen. Keep scrolling to read all about them, here are some of our faves. 

Christmas Bounty

Starring Francia Raisa, this film is all about a bounty hunter-turned-elementary shool teacher who tries to keep her past a secret. Shenanigans follow as Raisa’s character reluctantly returns home for the holiday season. 

Nothing Like The Holidays

Credit: deswest_mac / Instagram

The dysfunctional Puerto Rican Rodriguez family reunite and fight for the first time in years in Alfredo De Villa’s Nothing Like the Holidays.  John Leguizamo, Freddy Rodriguez, Elizabeth Peña, Luis Guzmán, Jay Hernandez and Melonie Diaz appear as the Rodriguezs, gathering for Christmas in their family home in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. 

¡Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad!

Spanish-language ¡Feliz Christmas, Merry Navidad! directed by Luis Palomo, stars Tere López-Tarín, Carlos Soriano, and Angelina Cruz. The family-friendly magical-realistic holiday film tells the tale of three children who overcome differences in the interest of friendship.  The inspiration Christmas movie exposes the true meaning of Christmas, and the value of interpersonal relationships and family.

El Camino Christmas

Credit: kambizshayanfard / Instagram

Starring Jessica Alba and Emilio Rivera —better known for his role on Sons of Anarchy—this comedy will make you LOL. The story of a man who’s in search for his father and then gets stuck in a liquor store on Christmas eve, has at least a little bit of diversity in it, so why not give it a go?

This Christmas 

Laz Alonso and Lupe Ontiveros star in the African American holiday comedy-drama This Christmas, a film about the Whitfield family. The estranged family gathers under the same roof for the first time in seven years, and the attempt to rekindle broken relationships.

A Very Harold And Kumar Christmas 

This is one of the most diverse Christmas movies out there. It includes a few Latinx stars in it —Danny Trejo and the Colombian-American actress Paula Garces. The movie is about Kumar and Harold’s holiday adventures and, let’s just say there’s lots of cannabis involved. 

Esta Navidad

The 1959 film is somewhat of a cult classic. Directed by Rene Cardoso, the Mexican film is about the Devil’s evil plan to kill Santa Claus. The surreal film is set in Santa’s cloud castle as well as in Mexico City. It’s not a traditional film, but definitely worth seeing. 

Holiday in Handcuffs

Mario Lopez and Melissa Joan Hart star in Holiday in Handcuffs, a holiday film about a miserable and lonely waitress and aspiring painter who kidnaps a customer from her job, so that she can introduce him to her family as her boyfriend. Mario Lopez plays the kidnapped fake boyfriend —and I mean, if I had the chance to kidnap Mario Lopez, you best believe I would.

The Past Decade Has Definitely Been A Reboot Era: Here Are The Decade’s Best—And Worst—Reboots

Entertainment

The Past Decade Has Definitely Been A Reboot Era: Here Are The Decade’s Best—And Worst—Reboots

Sony Pictures Releasing

With 2019 narrowly coming to an end, we’re getting ready to say goodbye to a decade. The 2010s have been a nostalgic ride. From the return of 80s “mom jeans” and Seinfeld-esque fashion trends to the revival of 90s music, fashion, beauty, and cinema. Whether we were discussing the return of crop tops, or boy bands, the decade looked back on the 90s with a vengeance —and Hollywood led the nostalgia train. 

Some of these reboots were hits, some were most definitely misses.

90s remakes and reboots dominated the box office in the past 10 years —and there are only more to come (e.g. Jumanji, Cats, Sonic, Mulan, Top Gun… the list goes on). So, as we bid the 2010s goodbye, join us in looking back at the best and worst remakes and reboots from the bast decade. 

Maleficent 2014 and 2019

Instagram @maleficentxcrystal

Although the Angelina Jolie-led fairytale about the “Sleeping Beauty” villain didn’t impress critics, who gave the film only a 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, audiences loved it. Reviewers praised the film’s visuals and special effects as well as its overall storyline.

Spider-Man far from home

Instagram @spidermanmovie

Not a 5 year period goes by without a studio picking up another Spider-Man remake project. And 90s children are happy to watch each and every one of them. On this occasion we went back to Peter Parker’s teenage years and even though it wasn’t the best remake of the spidey franchise, he went as far as to make an appearance alongside Thor, Iron Man and Black Panther in Avengers.

Aladdin

Instagram @disneyaladdin

I for one can confirm that the live-action remake was a masterful attempt at adapting the 90s children’s classic. From the diverse casting to the musical adaptations, special effects and Will Smith’s epic genie; 2019 Aladdin was a total hit. 

Jurassic World

Instagram @jurassicworld

The 2015 film, successfully rebooted the early 1990s franchise. The reboot of 1993’s Jurassic Park cemented Chris Pratt as a bonafide movie star —and there’s already a sequel in the works.

Beauty and The Beast

Instagram @beautyandthebeast

Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast pleased, even the most demanding fans. The remake, starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens was a super faithful adaptation of the 1991 classic. This remake though, set a very high bar for all the Disney live action adaptations that followed. 

Power Rangers

Instagram @powerrangersmovie

The iconic TV superheroes of the 90s got their own reboot this decade, but the film received mixed reviews. Fans of the original series responded positively, but the film came second at the box office —only after another 90s staple, Beauty and the Beast.

Men In Black: International

Instagram @meninblack

The galaxy defenders made a comeback this decade, and despite Chris Hemsworth’s endless charisma, cameos from Emma Thompson and Bill Hader, Men In Black: International still wasn’t a huge success. 

Ghostbusters

twitter @eranuestro

The reboot of this 80s cult classic angered the male masses. Apparently, women who bust ghosts are somehow unacceptable. This film sparked outrage online and the trailer on youtube, as well as it’s IMDB page got record breaking negative reviews. Effectively redoing the original movie with the genders flipped smacked of political correctness and revisionist history. Or at least, that seemed to be the argument.

Terminator Genisys

Instagram @terminator.genisys.fan

The 80s and 90s reboot was a total flop. Despite Arnold Schwarzenegger’s return to the Terminator franchise, the film still tanked. 

Blair Witch

Instagram @blairwitchmovie

The Blair Witch Project was a 90s cult favorite. The reboot featured man of the same plot points and managed to recapture the magic of the 1999 classic. However, now that everyone knows that The Blair Witch Project was definitely not a documentary, the franchise lost its edge.

Independence day resurgence

Twitter @robzchildren

Not even Jeff Goldblum was able to save this Independence day —at least not without Will Smith, that is. 

Dumb and Dumber To

Instagram @jimcarey_

Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels reprised their roles as Dumb & Dumber, 20 years later! Unfortunately, the reboot failed to impress the public, and not even the most diehard super fans were on board. Only time will tell whether or not the film develops the same cult following as the original did. 

The Karate Kid

Instagram @thekaratekidmovie

Ok so first of all, the “Karate” kid learned Kung Fu in the 2010 version, not Karate as the title —and the original 1984 film— implies. 

The Mummy

Instagram @themummy

The original franchise was a thrilling, fun adventure film with lots of references to Indiana Jones. The 2017 remake, however, was a paint-by-numbers exercise designed only to set up a new shared universe. 

Teenage Ninja Turtles

Instagram @tmnt_2014

So for all of us who grew up in the 90s watching The Ninja Turtles, the show was all about martial arts and personal growth. All the 2014 remake focused on was exaggerated CGI —I mean those muscles, really? They’re turtles after all— and epic destruction scenes.