Entertainment

9 Latinos On TV Who Awesomely Defy Stereotypes

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It’s no secret that media representation of Latinos is, to put it mildly, not great.  Very few are present in mainstream TV and movies and, more often than not, we’re cast to play stereotypes and/or minor roles. The world needs to see more realistic Latinos reflected back into their living rooms. You know, the awkward Latinos. The smart Latinos. The downright weird Latinos. So let’s take a moment to celebrate the awesomely odd Latinos we DO get to see (and hope that soon we’ll get to see many, many more):

April Ludgate

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Credit: NBC / Tumblr

April was not here to entertain you, be the sassy best friend or be reduced to just another pretty face. In fact, she’d rather you not be happy at all, because super happy people are kind of annoying. It was pretty great (and different) to have a Latina on TV who was smart, sarcastic and flawlessly flawed.

Amy Santiago

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Credit: NBC / Rebloggy

We say this with love: Amy’s a dork. Like, the dorkiest dork who ever dorked. But her dorky weirdness is just so endearing! She’s a people pleaser, an overachiever and truly, incredibly, hopelessly awkward. Just like a lot of us are, tbh.

Rosa Diaz

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Credit: NBC / Kiss My Wonder Woman

Rosa is a badass to the core, but don’t let her tough exterior fool you: she is layered and is half of the greatest current-day sitcom friendships we’ve seen in a while. Her toughness is balanced by the fact that she’s… kind of weird. Like, owns-an-ax-and-doesn’t-let-her-coworkers-know-where-she-lives level weird.

Cristela Hernandez

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Credit: ABC/ Gossip Lovers

Cristela was a combination of incredibly ambitious and kiiiind of prone to complaining, which is realistic af to most of us. Sure, she wasn’t always the nicest sister or best employee in the whole world, but she was always smart, loyal, funny as hell and HUMAN.

Carmen Peña

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Credit: PBS / YouTube

Carmen was, in a word, awkward. Especially around dudes. She was the good kid while her brother, Joe, was the troublemaker of the family. It’s a dynamic a lot of girls growing up in Latino families, especially immigrant and exile families, can really relate to. Cheers to the weird, nerdy girls!

Manny

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Credit: ABC / Tumblr

Manny is basically an old man trapped in a kid’s body. He takes his coffee black, values good old-fashioned manners and dresses like your dad at a family BBQ. He’s weird in the most awesome way, especially because he doesn’t compromise who he is to fit in. Do you, Manny.

Flaca

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Credit: Netflix / BuzzFeed

How often do we get to see emo/goth/alt Latinas on TV? Flaca, besides having impeccable taste in music, is an example of taking a character that could very easily have been reduced to a stereotype, and making her complex, complicated and someone we’ll always want to know more about it.

Betty Suarez

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Credit: ABC / HuffPost

Betty started off as a fish out of water in the fashion world, her quirkiness and awkwardness confusing many of those around her. She didn’t really fit in with the beauty standards of her peers and she knew it. Eventually, she developed a sense of confidence and independence that we couldn’t help but root for. Stay awk, Betty.

And finally this kid, who just wants to be hardcore

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Credit: Chilevisión / Pixfans

Iconic.

READ: 6 Myths Latinas Can’t Live Down Thanks to Stereotypes on TV

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The ‘Jane The Virgin’ Cast Shared Their Final Goodbyes And We’re Not Crying, You’re Crying

Entertainment

The ‘Jane The Virgin’ Cast Shared Their Final Goodbyes And We’re Not Crying, You’re Crying

Last week marked the end of an era for many diehard “Jane the Virgin” fans. For the past five years and for the exactly 100 episodes, we’ve laughed, cried, and spent a lot of time getting to know the Villanueva family. Through the original CW show, we also became enthralled in the drama telenevolas many of us Latinx kids grew up watching with our families. JTV might have not been the most realistic portrayal of our personal lives or even real life for that matter, but at the root of it, the show focused on the importance of love, friendships, and family; it taught us lessons we’ll never forget.

 But most importantly, JTV’s Jane Villanueva made sure many of us saw ourselves represented through our television screen for the past five years. 

Ultimately, Jane Villanueva was us. She made us feel seen, heard, and she helped us navigate life as Latina women worthy of love and worthy of achieving the impossible.

The last and final chapter of Jane the Virgin, which aired earlier this week on the CW, was the fairytale ending we were all waiting for since. For seasons, devoted fans followed Jane Villanueva’s journey when she stepped off that bus and was artificially inseminated with Rafael Solano’s baby. Since then, characters have been killed, characters have been kidnapped, characters have died and then come back to life, Jane has written a book and then another, we’ve encountered and defeated many villains, and well, you know how novelas go. 

But on the last episode, there were no surprises. No deaths. No bad luck. Just pure bliss.

The cast of Jane the Virgin also shared heartfelt tributes to a show that’s also forever changed their lives. 

Justin Baldoni, aka Rafael Solano, posted so many sweet behind the scenes photos of him alongside the cast. 

The day after her 35th birthday and on the day of the series finale, Gina Rodriguez shared a heartfelt tribute to the show that brought us Jane Villanueva.

“We started shooting the first season of Jane in July 2014. A few days into shooting I turned 30 on set. Yesterday I turned 35. And today is the very last episodes, 99 and 100 airing of Jane The Virgin. Five years. Five years of love, laughter, growth, pain, surprises, deaths, new births and a shit ton of memories. To my warriors who have supported me from day one, Thank you. I am able to live out my dream career because of you and I will never stop making art to bring Joy and Laughter into your home/train ride/plane ride or classroom! Art is my savior. Art is what makes me feel like I can fly,” she wrote in her caption.

If you’re like me, and have been #TeamJafael since the beginning, Justin Baldoni’s tribute will make you cry.

“For the past five years you have welcomed us into your homes, apartments, dorm rooms…but more than that—so much more than that—you have welcomed us into your hearts,” Baldoni wrote. “This show has been magic because you all are magic. And there are not enough words in all the languages of the world to adequately express how deeply grateful I am. So I will just say thank you.”

Yael Grobglas, who portrayed Petra in JTV, posted footage of the final table read of the series finale.

In the video, Gina and Justin can be seen reciting their last lines of JTV ever, unable to hold back tears. We dare you NOT to cry. 

Grobglas also shared a photo with her alongside the other fierce women characters on the show. ” I’m so happy we got to end on our own terms unlike most shows and wrap things up at our own time but I’m still incredibly overwhelmed by this chapter ending. So people are asking me how I feel.. I don’t know,” she wrote.

Our favorite fictional mama, Xiomara, shared a video of her watching the series finale. We’ll miss you, Xo! 

Jaime Camil, the best fictional father and telenovela star that there ever was, also shared a heartfelt message to JTV fans on the night of the finale.

“100 episodes, 5 years, unlimited amount of feelings, indescribable friendships, overwhelming support, gratitude, joy, love and of course, the greatest fans. Thank you for giving us the privilege to entertain you. Your kind words mean everything,” Camil wrote in an Instagram caption. We’ll miss you forever, Rogelio de la Vega. 

Despite it being the final season of “Jane the Virgin,” it’s important to not forget that we’ll now be getting a spinoff! In case you forgot, Jane the Novela–which will be narrated by Gina Rodriguez–will follow the format of a American Horror Story definition of an anthology. This means it will be telling one complete story each episode like a traditional telenovela. 

Jennie Snyder Urman told PopSugar that if the show makes it to the second season, provided that it even gets picked up to be a series in the first place, we might get lucky and see other Jane the Virgin characters appear as well.

So this isn’t a goodbye, it’s hopefully a see you later for JTV fans.

“Don’t forget to enjoy the ride because every chapter comes to a close,” Gina Rodriguez says in Chapter 99, part of the two-part series finale. “So I have enjoyed the ride, things like this, they are winning the lottery. I will always thank Jane, the character.” 

We’ll never forget the 100 chapters Jane the Virgin brought us. *cries* 

These Are The Latinas Who Made OITNB Great And Why We Love Them So Much

Entertainment

These Are The Latinas Who Made OITNB Great And Why We Love Them So Much

oitnb / Instagram

Alerta! This article contains SPOILERS on the final season of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black!

Throughout seven seasons, Orange is the New Black has shown a microcosm of the United States in all its diversity (sexual, political and ethnic). The show led by Jenji Kohan (the mastermind behind Weeds) began airing in 2013 and through seven seasons it told the stories of women from all segments of society. 

The inmates of Litchfield Prison represent some of the most vulnerable members of society.

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

Among them, there are Latinas who have no papers or who come from impoverished backgrounds. Throughout the years we got to understand the Kafkaesque mechanisms through which the industrial incarceration system works and how it profits from disgrace. The show also cast a shadow of doubt over the fairness of the court system and how it is potentially discriminatory towards minorities.

This season is all about ICE detention centers. Remember the beautiful bond between Flaca and Maritza? Well, be ready to [cry in Spanish].

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The Vancouver Province, for example, rated the season highly, even though for some viewers season six lost a lot of steam, and it claims that the strength of the season lies in the ICE storyline: “The trickiest storyline, however, belongs to a frightening and undeniably timely one that takes place in an immigrant detention center where women from Central America to the Middle East and beyond are stuck with cocky ICE agents, and without any answers or real hope of getting the better life they were initially seeking.”

Veteran actress Kate Mulgrew, who plays Soviet queen Red, told The Hollywood Reporter: “Using the kitchen as the aperture into ICE and the detention center was such a powerful device. When I walked onto that set I had to stand still and say, ‘Oh, my God. This is what we are doing.’ It’s being reflected for the first time on this show. The creative accountability is great and the creative risk is even greater. She’s got some balls, Jenji Kohan”. Alysia Reiner, who plays former warden Natalie “Fig” Figueroa, expanded in the same roundtable: “I lost it when we were shooting inside the immigration courtroom. We did three takes and I couldn’t stop crying. Our writers told us, “We went to these courtrooms. We didn’t candy-coat this, but this is not as bad as it actually is right now.”

So what happened to our favorite Latinas? Last warning, some SERIOUS SPOILERS AHEAD! 

Maritza Ramos played by Diane Guerrero

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

Right from season 1 we fell in love with Maritza, the sassy Colombian queen who ended up in prison for her elaborate scams. She is a cornerstone of the last season: her storyline meets reality, as she faces the immigration authorities. In real life, Diane Guerrero’s parents were deported when she was just a girl. Guerrero told The Hollywood Reporter: “The treatment of Maritza’s ending was a portrayal of how people treat deportations — that sentiment that you vanish is true. It’s as if you’ve never existed. Martiza is on that plane to an uncertain life”. Life is stranger than fiction, however, and Maritza’s case is not uncommon in the era of Trump (at whom the scriptwriters take a good amount of jabs). 

Gloria Mendoza played by Selenis Leyva

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

This boricua lady is fierce as it comes (she is played by a Cuban, though, but totally gets that Caribbean sass). She always puts family first, both in and outside prison. She is one of the few characters with a somewhat redemptive ending. Her story strikes true to many Puerto Ricans who are treated as foreigners in their own country. In the last season, we see how Gloria left the island initially to work in New York and provide for her children.

The mother-daughter duo: Aleida and Dyanara Diaz, played by Elizabeth Rodriguez and Dasha Polanco

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We learnt so much more about Aleida in the last season. She is a strong Latina who has had to protect herself from handsy men her whole life. She is combative and that leads her back into trouble after her release. The relationship she has with her daughter Dayanara is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

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Credit: Orange is the New Black / Netflix

Dayanara ended up all Scarface: running the prison with an iron fist. Or did she? (yes, we are giving you some spoilers, but no details here, no se espanten). Daya is the perfect example of how a twisted family can lead to an endless spiral of violence. 

Marisol “Flaca” Gonzales played by Jackie Cruz

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

A cute and sometimes naive chola who is put in prison for drug fraud. She has a sisterly bond with Maritza. She is the typical inmate who ends up behind bars for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. We leave her truly seeking redemption. The actress that plays her, Jackie Cruz, is a proud Dominican who is unafraid to speak about the biases in Hollywood. She told Elle about the roles that are available for actresses like her: “Lately, it’s been better. Well, the roles are still a little white-washed, but they’re better. It’s what a white person would think of a Latina. A white person writing for a Latina. For example, they don’t know that Dominicans don’t eat Chimichangas”. 

Blanca played by Laura Gomez

Credit: oitnb / Instagram

Her scenes in the immigration court are heartbreaking. In this microcosm, we get to see what hundreds of migrant women are going through, being separated from their children in some cases and facing deportation to a country they barely remember in others. Gomez told Digital Spy: “That was such a twist for everybody, myself included, and I could never have imagined that it was going to feel so emotional for people. The response on social media to this was devastating. Because we’re living this in real-time, it’s not like we’re telling a story in the past… It should be a story that isn’t happening”. Her story is very accurate, according to reports, particularly in how advocacy groups such as Freedom for Immigrants have been targeted by ICE and seen their advocacy efforts sabotaged. As a representative of the organization told In Style: “In 2013, ICE shut down three visitation programs that we were affiliated with, in response to a Huffington Post blog we wrote. Our personal cell phone numbers also have been blocked at various points in time from immigrant jails and prisons. And while we have continued to offer free phone calls to people in detention thanks to the generosity of our donors, we are still fighting to get our hotline restored”

Maria Ruiz played by Jessica Pimentel

Credit: thecrusher007 / Instagram

The Dominican freedom fighter! Her dad was an activist and she finds herself being angry at life for most of the show. She was pregnant when she was incarcerated and has a thorny relationship with her baby’s dad, who is taking care of little Pepa while Maria is in prison. Her crime: selling fake jeans. Yes, really. 

READ: Maritza’s Heartbreaking Storyline In ‘Orange Is The New Black’ Is A Reality So Many Undocumented People Face Every Day

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