8 Book Characters Who Could Honestly Be Latino

With the casting of a black actress as Hermione Granger in the upcoming play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” there’s been a lot of talk as to whether that’s true to the canon or not.

Credit: Pottermore / Twitter

While many a faceless person on the internet was outraged by the fact that a black woman was portraying one of literature’s most beloved characters, author J.K. Rowling shut down the haters immediately:

Credit: Twitter / J.K. Rowling

This brings up an interesting thought: How many of our favorite literary characters could actually be people of color, and more specifically, Latino? Without Hollywood’s habit of whitewashing, could there be more opportunity for beloved book characters to shine as Latinos on the big screen?

Here are eight book characters who could totally be Latino (hint hint, Hollywood):

1. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

Credit: Jason Chan / JasonChanArt.com

Everyone’s favorite dystopian YA character is described as being slender with “black hair, grey eyes and olive skin.” Seriously — olive skin and black hair? Sounds like quite a few Latinas I’ve known! What’s a little upsetting is that the casting call for Everdeen asked specifically for a Caucasian actress (who is “underfed but strong”), despite the fact that an olive complexion and dark hair could open the door to many ethnicities. But, hey, it’s Hollywood after all.

2. Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars

Credit: 20th Century Fox

If just reading the name of the protagonist from John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” made you cry, hang in there. The only physical descriptions of Hazel Grace are that she has brown hair and green eyes. Who’s to say this character couldn’t be portrayed by a Latina? No hate to Shailene Woodley, who is a true queen; we’re just dreaming here!

3. Bella Swan, Twilight

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Bella is described as having brown hair, brown eyes and pale skin, which totally leaves the door open for Bella being Latina. Also, it’d give her name that much more impact! It might feel like a stretch, but look at this way: So much of mainstream pop culture automatically assumes the default human is a white gringo. (Spoiler alert: There’s some pale Latinos out there, too!)

4. Jonas, The Giver

Credit: The Weinstein Company

OK, let’s put aside the fact that in the film adaption of “The Giver,” they tried to make Jonas into some sort of One Direction understudy heartthrob even though he’s literally an 11-year-old boy, people! Regardless, he’s really only described as having brown hair. You know who else has brown hair? LOTS OF LATINOS. I mean, if you’re asking me, it’s pretty obvious Lois Lowry wrote her protagonist as a young, Latino boy, yeah?

5. Elisa, The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Credit: Green Willow Books

Elisa (full name: Lucero-Elisa de Riqueza) is the main character in Rae Carson’s series, “The Girl of Fire and Thorns.” Despite what the cover art might lead you to believe, Elisa is described as “overweight” and “brown-skinned.” So what’s a skinny white girl doing on the cover? Who can really say, beyond causing all of us thick Latinas to roll our eyes, I guess. No movie has been made of this series yet, so if it ever does head to the big screen, here’s hoping for casting that stays true to the source.

6. Elliot North, For Darkness Shows the Stars

Credit: Balzer + Bray

Ahhh yes, another book where the cover depicts the protagonist as a willowy, nearly translucent woman when in fact she’s described as having dark skin, almond-shaped eyes and dark hair. This is another book that has yet to see a film adaption, so this is another chance for casting to get it right.

7. Sam, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Credit: Summit Entertainment

Listen, I’m all about the casting of Emma Watson in anything. But Sam is a character that could’ve easily been a number of different races and backgrounds. Charlie describes her as beautiful and dark-haired, with green eyes. There’s not much else to speculate on, and yet it’s one of those things where she could’ve just as easily been a Latina. The point is: WHY NOT?!

8. Johanna Mason, The Hunger Games

Credit: Lionsgate

Only Johanna’s hair color and physical strength are described in the books. Noticing a trend here? There’s so much room for diversity in books, and the ones that are made into movies could easily include people of color. All of the characters here just happened to have dark hair, but who’s to say that if a character has, say, blonde hair she automatically has to be white? We Latinos come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Hollywood might still be stuck in the ’50s in a number of ways, but here’s hoping for a more open mindset.

READ: 7 Young Adult Authors You Need To Read Before You’re 30

Who are some book characters you think could be Latino? Let us know in the comments below!

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Harvard-Bound Latina Daughter Of Undocumented Immigrants Accepted To Four Ivy League Schools


Harvard-Bound Latina Daughter Of Undocumented Immigrants Accepted To Four Ivy League Schools

With her family crowded around her computer, Santa Ana High School senior Stephany Gutiérrez anxiously checked the status of her college applications. Like most students, Gutiérrez had her heart settled on top schools but unlike so many, she was accepted into not one but four Ivy League colleges.

In an emotional video, Gutiérrez and her family react as they check the status of her admission to find that she was accepted into Columbia University, Brown, and Dartmouth.

Gutiérrez was recently accepted into Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, and Columbia.

The daughter of undocumented immigrants and with dreams to become a pro-bono attorney, Gutiérrez was accepted into four of the five colleges she applied to. No surprise, she also got into her first choice, Harvard.

“It was difficult, my parents are still illegal immigrants here in the United States. Their support in particular has been excellent, my father and mother have always told me that education is the way to get ahead,” Gutiérrez explained in a recent interview with Univision.

In the video, Gutierrez reads off her acceptance status to each school to her extremely thrilled parents.

“I got in!” she can be heard saying of her acceptance to Columbia University and then the other Ivy League schools.

“It took like an hour or two for the news to settle in,” Gutierrez explained in an interview with CBS. “I was in disbelief. I was like, wait, actually, let me go back and read all of it, maybe I missed a part, but, yeah, it’s starting to settle in. It’s very exciting.”

Gutierrez’s mentor Gloria Montiel-Itzel, an alumna of both Santa Ana High School and Harvard, underlined in a recent interview that it takes more than good grades to get into Ivy League schools.

“I think it’s a commitment to something other than themselves,” she explained about Gutierrez and two other seniors (Oziel Flores and Cielo Echegoyen) in her class who were also recently accepted to Harvard. “And I think all three of them, in different ways, have really shown that they care more about their community, their school and making things better for others, and I think that’s something that Harvard really loves.”

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Cuban Gossip Blogger Perez Hilton Made A Living By Being Mean But Now He’s Trying To Change


Cuban Gossip Blogger Perez Hilton Made A Living By Being Mean But Now He’s Trying To Change

Recently, there has been quite the reckoning over how the media and society treat celebrities and influencers. Perez Hilton was one of the leading influencers when it came to haunting young famous women and LA ‘It Girls’ thanks to his up-to-the-minute celebrity gossip blog. 

Whether he was detailing their very public spirals out of control or drawing cartoon penises on their photos, Perez Hilton was there to capitalize on everyone else’s drama. Now the father of three says that he’s sorry for his past cruelty and is working to remake the world of celebrity gossip.

Hilton has apologized for his years of cruelty but does he deserve forgiveness?

For several years in the mid-aughts, Perez Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira Jr., was the most talked-about celebrity blogger in the world. And although his readership has taken a severe dive, his posts frequently pop up and remind the public that he was once the Queen of Mean. 

“I’ve apologized countless times,” Hilton, who lives in Los Angeles with his mother and three children, told Buzzfeed News. “A lot of what I did during that time was reprehensible and toxic. But that wasn’t everything. I wasn’t just nasty and mean and cruel and hurtful. I was also positive and supportive.”

But Hilton admits that he knew even at the time that what he was writing and what he was putting out into the universe was wrong. “Attention was my drug. A drug addict, in the moment, knows what they’re doing is wrong. Most of them wish they weren’t using, but they’re doing it anyway,” he tells Buzzfeed News.

Through all the writing and posts, Hilton has a lot to be sorry for.

One of his actions that gets him the most criticism is his obsession with outing famous men, including Lance Bass, Neil Patrick Harris, and Dustin Lance Black. “Two years before I came out, I was really bullied on the internet by bloggers, that’s when Perez Hilton just started and was just really malicious against me,” Bass said in 2007

Thanks to these cruel posts, Hilton would often face criticism from The Advocate and AfterEllen.com

Despite his efforts, his cruel reputation continues to follow him. 

Regardless of his mea culpas and attempts to reform both himself and the content on his site, his mean-spirited reputation has always followed him. That was made all the more clearer following the release of Framing Britney Spears.

The film really focused on her relationship with the press and paparazzi which was always waiting for her to slip up and get it on camera. Although Hilton wasn’t mentioned in the film, his old posts about Spears began resurfacing on Twitter. One, titled “Britney’s Breakdown,” ends with, “Take her children away!!!!!!” repeated five times in bold. 
Thanks to the explosion of social media apps and everyone having a camera at their fingertips thanks to smartphones, the celebrity gossip industry has changed a lot. Now, it’s impossible for a gossip blogger’s work to go unchecked. And now, most people even consume their by-the-minute celebrity updates on Instagram accounts like deuxmoi and The Shade Room.

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