Things That Matter

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.”

‘Jane The Virgin’ Star Gets Hit With More Backlash After Using The N-Word On Instagram

Entertainment

‘Jane The Virgin’ Star Gets Hit With More Backlash After Using The N-Word On Instagram

Somebody get the shovel out of Gina Rodriguez’s hands because she officially went there with anti-black sentiments and said the N-word. Cue tear and the moment she dusts off her Afro-Latina card to excuse herself from backlash.

The former star of CW’s ‘Jane The Virgin’ has been ruffling feathers in the Black Twitter community for a while. Criticism of Rodriguez and her approach to speaking about and to the Black community goes all of the way back to 2017 when the actress criticized “Black Panther” for its lack of Latino inclusion. During a 2018 press junket, the Puerto Rican actress attempted to “All Lives Matter” actress Yara Shahidi when she was asked about being a role model for black girls When the actress tried once again to. Then, this year the actress was slammed not once by twice within a matter of months after she falsely stated that Latinas are paid less than any other race in Hollywood and then cried during a radio interview and essentially accused the Black community of being too hard on her while also using her father, who she claims is Afro-Latino, as an excuse for not being anti-Black.

Now the actress is facing backlash after posting a video of herself using the N-word while singing.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez posted a video of herself singing along to “Ready or Not” by the Fugees to her Instagram stories.

“Voodoo, I could do what you do, believe me,” Rodriguez sang in the video, “N***** give me heebie-jeebies.” The video stayed up on her stories for 3 hours before it was taken down. Later the actress apologized for her use of words saying in another story that she was sorry for singing along to the lyrics, which doesn’t really address the true issue.

“Hey what’s up everybody I just wanted to reach out and apologize. I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone by singing along to the Fugees to a song that I love that I grew up on. I love Lauren Hill and I’m really sorry if I offended you,” she said.

Many have speculated that Rodriguez thought because she was singing a lyrics she could get away with using the derogatory term.

Others have accused the actress of being flip with her apology.

Nevertheless, Rodriguez’s reaction to backlash is pretty on-brand for her previous anti-Black sentiments.

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

Entertainment

Check Out These Beautiful Ofrendas Dedicated To Beloved Latino Icons

As the weather cools down and Halloween pops up on our calendars, there’s another holiday quickly approaching that deserves it’s own attention. Every October and November, people from Northern Mexico and around the world celebrate Día de los Muertos by building ofrendas to honor those who they have lost. Ofrendas are shrines set up with the photos of deceased loved ones along with personal items that they appreciated in life. Originating from the Aztecs, these shrines are meant to commemorate their dead loved ones and guide them home on the one day when their souls can journey from the spirit world to the world of the living. 

While ofrendas often honor deceased family members and friends, it’s not unusual to see alters also set up for famous people who have passed away. Fans build these shrines to celebrities in order to pay tribute to their legacy. These celebrity alters are usually as elaborate and amazing as the famous people they are meant to honor. 

Here are some of the remarkable celebrity ofrendas that prove that fame and the love of their fans are everlasting. 

1. Anything for Selenas.

Instagram / @sumnerboi

Selena is one of the most recognizable celebrities of the Latinidad so it makes sense that she’d have quite a few ofrendas built to remember her. San Antonio’s Mi Tierra Cafe & Bakery is a Mexican restaurant that keeps this shrine of Selena up all year long to celebrate the Queen of Tejano. 

2. Dedicated to the icons of Mexico.

Instagram / @eltinterodemama

This colorful ofrenda is a reminder that these shrines can be for more than one person at a time. On this alter, Mexican pop culture is represented by superstar actress Maria Felix, comedian and TV star Chespirito (Roberto Gomez Bolanos) and artist Frida Kahlo. Offerings of fruit, food and alcohol adorn this ofrenda to tempt and delight the spirits of these deceased stars. 

3. A shrine fit for a food god.

Instagram / @hunger_street

Two years ago, the food world lost a huge star with the untimely death of Anthony Bourdain. The celebrity chef was known for traveling the world and learning about local customs and cuisine in such a respectful way that it endeared him to the communities that he visited. This earned him the spot of honor on this ofrenda. 

4. Frida’s ofrenda.

Instagram / @raul_krnx

Frida Kahlo is an artist who has only become more beloved in death. Her image is used in everything from jewelry and makeup to home goods and tee shirts. This shrine pays tribute to the legendary artista with pots of food, Mexican marigolds and skeletal attendants. 

5. An alter for Poet Paz.

Instagram / @lamovidapanama

Octavio Paz was a Nobel Prize-winning poet and one of the most influential voices in Mexican literature. His words have been a source of comfort and inspiration to millions of readers over the years. He was also a diplomat and fought against fascism in Mexico and abroad. All these accomplishments deserve to be remembered and Paz is honored in this papel picado-filled ofrenda. 

6. An offering to two legends.

Instagram / @melodysev

This past decade, we’ve lost some remarkable souls but none more beloved than music artists Prince and David Bowie. The Prince of Funk and Ziggy Stardust have millions of fans across the world and they are still remembered for being innovators and entertainers. This ofrenda in honor of the two was fittingly built at the Santa Barbara Bowl an amphitheater dedicated to great music.  

7. RIP Tony Stark.

Twitter / @mkhenderson428

Sometimes fictional characters touch us so much that they become real to us. So, when a character like this passes away, it’s only natural to honor them the way we would a real person. This Day of the Dead project was dedicated to Tony Stark aka Iron Man. Gone but never forgotten. 

8. Dedicated to las mujeres.

Instagram / @ilaments

This ofrenda was built in tribute to powerful Latinas. Women like Celia Cruz, Jessica Torres, Margarita Neri, and Delores del Río are immortalized among other great women who will always have a special place in history and in the hearts of their fans.

9. An icon from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema.

Instagram / @chableresort

Besides ofrendas, grave sites are also decorated as alters for Día de los Muertos. One of the biggest actors of Mexico’s Golden Age of cinema, Pedro Infante is buried in the Yucatan. For the Day of the Dead, his grave site was adorned with Mexican marigolds and candles to guide his spirit back to the world of the living. 

10. The King has entered the building.

Instagram / @beijingemily

One of the most legendary celebrities to have ever lived is Elvis Presley and the man has become a bigger icon in death. There are still claims of Elvis sightings all over the world. Maybe, those fans are just seeing Elvis’ spirit as he returns to visit the thousands of shrines that are dedicated to him for Día de Los Muertos and year-round.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4TnFSXDWaM