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20 Latinos Who Have Spoken Out About Being ‘Latino Enough’

If you’re Latino-American, you’ve probably felt, or even been called out, for not being ‘Latino enough’ or even ‘American enough.’ Growing up Latino comes with its own set of insecurities because there is no question that we aren’t as connected with our roots as our parents, or theirs, or theirs. We get to take the best from the culture we live in and the culture we grew up in and create a new one.

Hear this and let it sink in: You will never be any less Latino no matter what language you speak, or what anyone tells you. If you don’t believe me, hear it from the greats.

1. Selena Quintanilla

Latino enough
CREDIT: @onlyselenaq / Instagram

The Selena was accused of not being Latino enough because she didn’t learn Spanish growing up, but remained proud and true to her Mexican roots: “Although my Spanish is a little weak I feel that I am Mexican.”

2. J.Lo

CREDIT: @jlo / Instagram

Then, Jennifer Lopez got flack from the press to play Selena in the 1997 film. All because she “didn’t speak very good Spanish — which Selena [Quintanilla] didn’t either.”

3. Gina Rodriguez

CREDIT: @hereisgina / Instagram

Jane the Virgin star told HuffPost Live, “You want to tell me I’m not Latino enough? I am as Latina as they come. And I am not defined by anybody’s definition of Latina.” Even better, she said, “I’m going to be reprimanded by a culture that I’m supposed to support and is supposed to support me because of the way I was raised? That is too limiting. That is unfair.”

4. Camila Mendes

CREDIT: @camimendes / Instagram

Riverdale star, Camila Mendes, told People Chica, “I often hear things like, ‘You don’t look Latina enough, ‘ and that mentality is so backwards. The fact is: I am Latina, so how are you going to tell me that I don’t look Latina?”

5. Cardi B.

CREDIT: @iamcardib / Twitter

Cardi B. has been through it for being Afro-Latina. “Just like everybody else, we came over here the same fucking way. I hate when people try to take my roots from me,” she told CR Fashion Book.  “I really just want people to understand that the color that I have and features that I have are not from two white people fucking.”

6. Bella Thorne

CREDIT: @bellathorne / Instagram

Back in 2015, mitad-Cubana, Disney star Bella Thorne told HuffPost Live, “You don’t have to be brunette to be Latin. It’s just a fact: I’m naturally blonde, and Cameron Diaz is Latin, she’s Cuban and she doesn’t look Latin. People ask me all the time: How did you have a quinceañera if you’re not Latin?”

7. Demi Lovato

CREDIT: @ddlovato / Instagram

“I’m really proud of [my heritage], especially the way that the Latin community is kind of taking over and rising above politically,” she told HuffPost. “Even though I don’t speak fluent Spanish, I love singing in Spanish. I love being able to represent the curvy sassiness of a Latina woman. It’s just a part of who I am, and I couldn’t be more proud to represent that.”

8. Eva Longoria

CREDIT: @evalongoria / Instagram

Eva Longoria is one of our favorite Latinas on screen. She told O, The Oprah Magazine, “I’m proud to have a Mexican heritage, and I’ve always deeply rooted my identity in it. Then, about ten years ago, I went to Mexico … when I got there, I was perceived as American because I didn’t speak Spanish and at the time knew very little about the history of Mexico. Yet in America, I was considered Mexican because of how I looked and my last name. It was confusing. I thought, ‘If I’m not Mexican, and I’m not American, who am I?’”

9. America Ferrera

CREDIT: @americaferrera / Instagram

Apparently, that feeling is mutual America Ferrera told Contact Music, “There’s this tug-of-war between two cultures. Am I Latin? Am I American? What the hell am I? I love my culture and I’m very proud of my culture. I want to learn so much about where my family is from and my roots and to know Spanish. But when you’ve lived your entire life in American schools, you don’t get that.”

10. Rosario Dawson

CREDIT: @rosariodawson / Instagram

Dawson told Latina Magazine, “I think being Latina is about having pride in your heritage. Although I am not a fluent Spanish speaker and I can’t make every dish without a recipe, I am 100 percent Boricua and I am proud of that.”

11. Dascha Polanco

CREDIT: @sheisdash / Instagram

Orange is The New Black queen told Vivala, “When you look at Latinas who are succeeding in Hollywood, they’re super thin and you really can’t tell if she’s Latina or not.” She told Vibe, “If I’m not American enough and I’m not Latina enough, then what am I? I’m just nothing.”

12. Christina Aguilera

CREDIT: @xtina / Instagram

Christina Aguilera is half Irish and have Ecuadorean and proud of it, but has faced the “enough” cirticism countless times. She told Latina,  “I don’t speak the language fluently… I should not have to prove my ethnicity to anyone. I know who I am. All I know is no one can tell me I’m not a proud Latina woman… I dove headfirst into a Spanish-language album for that reason and I’m planning another one even though I don’t speak the language. I’m sure that doesn’t sit well with some people.”

13. Kat Von D

CREDIT: @katvondmexico / Instagram

Beauty visionary Kat Von D told People en Español, “Throughout my entire life, people have assumed that I am only white and part of me gets frustrated because I would not be who I am if it were not because I grew up in this [Mexican] culture. I always say that I am Latina, but I have a stronger connection with Mexico, where I was born. There is a visual richness in that culture that inspires me a lot and can be seen in my work.”

READ:  20 Pictures From Kat Von D’s Wedding You Probably Didn’t See

14. Lauren Jauregui

CREDIT: @laurenjauregui / Instagram

Cuban-American Fifth Harmony star clapped back at a radio piece based out of Spain that questions the legitimacy of American celebrities’ latinidad.

She tweeted, “An article based off of opinion. I feel Latina because I was born in a Latin family. I speak the language, I cook the food. I have been part of the Latino community in Miami since I was born; I have always had them around me. Anyone could tell you that.”

15. Christina Milian

CREDIT: @christinamilian / Instagram

Christina told Huffington Post, “As far as Afro-Cuban [goes], I’m finding more and more that there’s people opening their eyes to seeing that. Latinos come in all colors, all shades…. You should see my mom and her brothers and sisters. Same parents, but we just vary in color, shapes and sizes. But we’re still Latinos — that doesn’t change a damn thing. You can tell it’s in the core of our blood.”

16. La La Vasquez

CREDIT: @celebalore / Instagram

La La wrote an essay for Latina, “The character can be Puerto Rican and speak Spanish just like me. But Hollywood defines Latina as Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara. As beautiful as they are, we’re not all one race in Latin America. But I don’t go to auditions so that I can give history lessons to film executives.”

17. Becky G.

CREDIT: @iambeckyg / Instagram

In an essay for PopSugar, Becky G. wrote one of the best essays of all time. Here’s the bombshell: “The truth is, the lack of language knowledge does not lessen the Latin blood running through our veins or the stories our last names carry.”

18. Gina Torres

CREDIT: @ginatorresfanpage / Instagram

Actress Gina opened up in a Black and Latino video to tell the world that, “When I became an actress, I quickly realized that ‘the world’ liked their Latinas to look Italian. Not like me. So I wasn’t going up for Latina parts…Regardless of the fact that I spoke the language and understood the culture better, those weren’t the parts that I could take seriously. Suddenly I had to explain why I look the way I look.”

19. Jessica Alba

CREDIT: @jessicaalba / Instagram

As a third generation Mexican-American, Alba understands the complexities around living in two cultures. She told Glam Belleza Latina, “I’ve always felt closer to being a Latina than anything else, because I grew up with my dad’s family, who are Mexican American. I never really identified any other way.”

READ : 20 Facts About Jessica Alba That Might Surprise You

20. Laz Alonso

CREDIT: @lazofficial / Instagram

“You’re not one or the other,” Alonso told NBC Universo. “You’re both. And you should be proud of being both. And not be embarrassed or ashamed of it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of.”

New Study Shows More People Died Due To Hurricane Maria Than Originally Reported

Things That Matter

New Study Shows More People Died Due To Hurricane Maria Than Originally Reported

The Guardian / YouTube

According to a Harvard study published Tuesday, the death toll caused by Hurricane Maria likely exceeds 5,000. Authorities in Puerto Rico originally estimated that 64 people died after Maria hit the island on Sept. 20. The storm destroyed buildings and knocked out power to most of the U.S. territory, which is home to more than 3 million people. The Harvard study found that 4,645 more people died between Sept. 20 and Dec. 31, 2017, than in same period in 2016. Yet, researchers calculate there is a 95 percent likelihood the death toll was somewhere between about 800 and 8,500 people with 5,000 a likely figure.

The research team randomly selected 3,299 households in Puerto Rico for the study.

Those homes reported a total of 38 deaths, scientists then extrapolated the findings to the island’s total population of 3.4 million people to estimate the number of deaths. Researchers then subtracted fatalities recorded during that same period in 2016 and concluded that the mortality rate in Puerto Rico had jumped 62 percent in the three months after Hurricane Maria.

The Harvard study notes that in Puerto Rico every disaster-related death must be confirmed by the Institute of Forensic Sciences.

Currently only bodies that are brought to San Juan or were confirmed by a medical examiner traveling to the area are counted. Indirect deaths resulting from worsening of chronic conditions or from delayed medical treatments are not considered, according to the study.

One of the most out spoken people in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria was mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz.

In a series of tweets she said “There are many deaths caused by poor crisis management,” Adding in another post, “It took too long to understand the need for an appropriate response was NOT about politics but about saving lives.”

Many on social media are angry at the U.S. government’s slow response to the disaster.

Back in October, President Donald Trump told Puerto Rican officials they should be “very proud” that hundreds of people didn’t die after Hurricane Maria as they did in “a real catastrophe like Katrina.” Hurricane Katrina killed 1,833 people in 2005.


READ: Officials And Funeral Homes On Puerto Rico Are Reporting Vastly Different Death Toll Numbers After Hurricane Maria

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