What People Actually Mean When They Say Someone Is Exotic

“Exotic” is a beautiful-looking word (That sexy X! That cute lil’ C!) that often describes beautiful things: An exotic bird. A beach house on an exotic shore…the kind you can only reach via a small plane, a ferry, a secret password and more money than any of us makes in two years. Things that are exotic are foreign, different and often, alluringly unknowable. So. Can a person be exotic, too?

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Credit: Google

It’s a question many Latinas are confronted with when the word — a word used to describe weird birds and faraway beaches — is used to define us, too. Latinos are, and have long been, an integral part of U.S. culture and history. We’re American. America is us. And yet we continue to be very much an “other” in the eyes of our non-Latino pals, as many of us who’ve partaken in such quintessentially capital-W White activities (e.g. drinking #PSLs or talking back to a parent) will tell you.

Is it that some of us look exotic? What would that even entail? What’s the metric that features commonly branded as “Latina,” be it olive skin or full eyebrows or a curvy figure, are being measured against?

Is it the accent? Some of us have one, for sure. Maybe our L’s are a lingered on a little longer, our R’s slightly more curled and pronounced. Is that exotic? And if so, for whom?

Credit: ABC / Giphy

The idea of exoticness is, I think we can agree, meant to signal something positive, alluring, maybe even a little sexy and adventurous. There’s the thrill of being presented with something new and different, a mystery you’d like to solve. But many stereotypes based on the very best of intentions and praise can fall flat when it comes to truly understanding any group of people as just that: People.

Nothing drives this home as succinctly as the top definitions for the term on Urban Dictionary, that time-honored barometer of cultural zeitgeists:

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Then there’s the added reality that Latinas also occupy a very defined space in a particular industry: Porn. To wit:

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Credit: Google

Kind of adds an additional little spin on the term’s cultural currency on the internet, no?

To that end, I asked fellow Latinas on Twitter to weigh in on the term, if they wanted. Here’s what they had to say:

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Credit: Twitter / @katbee
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Credit: Twitter / meligrosa
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Credit: Twitter / @ameliaabreu

But what do you think of the term? Love it? Hate it? Think it’s a great word as long as it describes weird birds and faraway beaches? Tell us; we wanna know.

READ: These #LatinasAreNot Tweets Slays Stereotypes Perfectly

So, what are your thoughts on the term “exotic”? Share them below!

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The Oxford Dictionary Is Finally Changing ‘Sexist’ Definitions Of The Word ‘Woman’


The Oxford Dictionary Is Finally Changing ‘Sexist’ Definitions Of The Word ‘Woman’

Frances M. Ginter / Getty

Language has a tendency to be sexist.

Fortunately, Oxford University Press knows this and is making efforts to combat sexism and out of date language in its dictionaries. This year, their kicking off by tackling the word “woman.” According to Oxford University Press they’ve updated and changed the entry for “woman” in its dictionaries, including the Oxford English Dictionary, to promote equality and better describe women.

Oxford University Press explained in a recent statement that they’re expanding the dictionary’s coverage of women.

“We have expanded the dictionary coverage of ‘woman’ with more examples and idiomatic phrases which depict women in a positive and active manner,” the largest university press in the world explained in a statement. “We have ensured that offensive synonyms or senses are clearly labeled as such and only included where we have evidence of real-world usage.”

As part of their action, OUP added phrases such as “woman of the moment,” which had been absent from the dictionaries despite having the presence of ones like “man of the moment.”

According to CNN, “one of the definitions of ‘woman’ now refers to a ‘person’s wife, girlfriend, or female lover,’ as opposed to being tied to only a man. The definition for ‘man’ was updated to include gender-neutral terms and references to ‘sexual attractiveness or activity’ were revised for ‘man’ and ‘woman’ entries. OUP said its lexicographers regularly review entries to make sure they are accurate. This time around, the voice of the people helped create change.”

“Sometimes the team focus on topics highlighted by user feedback (such as last year’s petition about the definition of ‘woman’) and sometimes these topics are driven by current events or through projects taking place within the Oxford Languages team,” a spokesperson told CNN.

It’s not the first time OUP has updated its words. Recently, the dictionary for the English language has made changes to words related to race and gender identity. Earlier this year, OUP updated the use of “they” which is used as a pronoun by and for nonbinary people.

In 2019, OUP removed “sexist” terms for a woman after tens of thousands of people signed a Change.org petition.

In response to the petition, suggestive phrases about women were removed including “Ms September will embody the professional, intelligent yet sexy career woman,” according to CNN and phrases such as “I told you to be home when I get home, little woman.”

In a statement their definiitions, OUP wrote “Our dictionaries reflect, rather than dictate, how language is used… This is driven solely by evidence of how real people use English in their daily lives. With that in mind, lexicographers reviewed examples in its dictionary data to make sure representations of woman were positive and active.”

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Mother And Daughter Create Stock Market Workbook For Young Latino Kids

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Mother And Daughter Create Stock Market Workbook For Young Latino Kids

Thana Prasongsin / Getty Images

Financial literacy is an important part of creating a stable adult life. There are several ways to get there and one of the most abstract is stocks. Playing the stock market has become increasingly popular among Americans wanting to invest and make passing income. Thankfully, a Latina mother/daughter duo has a workbook to start teaching Latino kids early.

Linda Garcia and her daughter Elizabeth Ruiz created a stock market workbook for the little ones.

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My daughter had an idea to turn my beginners stock market course into a children’s workbook 💚 This idea was born from an intention to normalize the stock market in our communities and begin our journey towards building generational wealth. This book is a potent little tool that will empower and introduce your children to investing! I am so proud of you @la.loma_ for what I believe to be a genius idea! I want to also acknowledge my students in the very first course I taught who asked for children’s resources. Elizabeth was in this class and sought out a solution to a need in our community that has not been met until today! Follow @growwithcolor 🌈 You can order your copy now on my daughter’s small business store or on Amazon. Link in bio!

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The mother/daughter team came together to create an easy-to-understand workbook to breakdown the stock market to children. The workbook is a perfect release in the time of Covid. It is giving young Latinos a chance to start thinking about finances and how to protect themselves from economic woes in the future.

Ruiz and Garcia want the workbook to start a trend of generational wealth.

In an interview with WFAA, Garcia admits that she had to learn how to better handle her money as an adult. She explained that she spent her money with little foresight and it was a coworker of hers that convinced her to take her paycheck more seriously.

“I feel like it was divine, almost as if he was an angel,” Garcia told WFAA. “He would come to my desk every single day, and he would show me his portfolio, he would show me his gains, and he would ask me, ‘Have you started investing?’ I was terrified.”

Ruiz and Garcia understand that this kind of early exposure to finances can help shape habits.

“Learning about the stock market is truly like learning a new language,” Ruiz told Brit+Co.

A lot of people in our community have watched parents struggle with finances and, in turn, we know very little. Ruiz and Garcia want to make sure that this workbook creates more than just enough change for one generation. Instead, the mother/daughter duo want to create a last change that is passed down from generation to generation.

It is time to end the scarcity mentality we hold around money to create lasting change.

“As long as we are American Citizens or Dreamers with an ITIN, we can open a brokerage account to begin buying and selling shares,” Garcia told Brit+Co. “And when it comes to building generational wealth, it’s far from handing over what you built in your lifetime. The real purpose is to find a way for the wealth to continue to grow and thrive for generations to come.”

READ: We Asked People About Retirement Savings And The Answers Will Shock You

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