On the surface, it’s been a great year for Laurie Hernandez.
— Logo (@LogoTV) August 29, 2016
CREDIT: LOGOTV / TWITTER
After taking home the team gold at this year’s Olympics and getting to meet Beyoncé at MTV’s Video Music Awards, 16-year-old Hernandez is now turning heads on this season of “Dancing With The Stars.” But as mainstream acceptance grows, Hernandez is getting flak for, of all things, not being Puerto Rican enough. As The Undefeated pointed out in a recent piece on Hernandez, this kind of criticism has followed Laurie since she entered the spotlight, and it’s the same kind of criticism many first generation Latinos face.
Writer Sarina Morales points out one of the main reasons for this kind of negativity: “Either you’ve integrated yourself too much or not enough.”
A photo posted by Laurie Hernandez (@lauriehernandez_) on
CREDIT: LAURIE HERNANDEZ / INSTAGRAM
Like many first generation Latinos, Laurie’s parents did their best to make sure Laurie didn’t have to struggle integrating into U.S. culture. This meant that they focused on her English skills, rather than her Spanish. This doesn’t mean they turned their backs on their Puerto Rican heritage. All it means is that they were trying do what was best for their child – and with a gold medal under her belt, Laurie is doing pretty good, all things considered. For the record, Laurie can speak Spanish, just not as fluently as someone who grew up in Puerto Rico. When asked if she gets criticized for her Spanish, Laurie confirmed, saying, “Yeah, I do.” Then adding, “It’s kind of, like, ‘fake’ Puerto Rican.” This kind of prejudice is sad, but if her track record is any indication, Hernandez will rise above and come out a champ.
Read the whole story: “LAURIE HERNANDEZ IS PUERTO RICAN, WHETHER ANYONE AGREES OR NOT.”