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.”

Italian Mayors Are Showing J.Lo A Lot Of Love After She Mentioned Wanting To Move To The Country

Entertainment

Italian Mayors Are Showing J.Lo A Lot Of Love After She Mentioned Wanting To Move To The Country

jlo / Instagram

Jennifer Lopez has checked off more than all the bucket list life experiences “Jenny from the Block” could have even imagined, but there’s still one more she yearns for: to live abroad in a small town in Italy or in Bali and enjoy the simple things in life. The 50-year-old singer, actress, producer, and businesswoman has graced the cover of Vanity Fair alongside an in-depth interview that affirms the importance of Latinas gaining power in the U.S. and a long-held desire to leave it all behind for a “more simple and organic” life. In the wake of J.Lo’s recent Academy snub for her role in “Hustlers,” she confirms that she is very intentional about why she’s only hired female directors for all her productions to date. “It’s about breaking the mold of what people are used to,” she told Vanity Fair’s Britt Hennemuth.

It’s clear that J.Lo is committed to breaking the glass ceiling for Latinas and all women alike here in the United States, but that hasn’t stopped mayors across the Italian countryside from wooing Jenny from the Block to move to their idyllic town.

Lopez revealed that all she wants to do is “ride a bike, and buy bread, and put it in my basket, and then go home and put jelly on it.”

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

For Lopez, that kind of life may only be possible somewhere very far on the other side of the world, more removed from her celebrity. “I would love to live somewhere other than the United States, in a small town in Italy, or on the other side of the world, in Bali. Find another life where it’s a little bit more simple and organic and where I get to ride a bike, and buy bread, and put it in my basket, and then go home and put jelly on it, and just eat and paint, or sit in a rocking chair where there was a beautiful view of an olive tree or an oak tree and I could just smell. I have fantasies like that,” Lopez told the magazine.

“If you ever do move overseas don’t forget to take Arod with you,” one Twitter user implored of J.Lo. While it doesn’t seem like Americans are taking her fantasy too seriously, the rest of the world certainly is. 

Several mayors around Italy have publicly reached out to the Puerto Rican Renaissance Woman.

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

The mayor of San Quirico d’Orcia, a town in the Tuscan countryside, announced, “We are the Italy that Jennifer Lopez is looking for. We are a small but beautiful town surrounded by endless olive groves and a landscape recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage area.” Mayor Bartoli didn’t forget to mention that “we have great bakeries that produce wonderful bread.”

Cagliari’s mayor, Paolo Truzzu, tossed his beloved town into the running as well. “Dear Jennifer, come and live with us in Cagliari” to enjoy “good things to eat, a slow rhythm of life, contact with nature and a lovely climate,” he said. The residents of some of these towns have reached out to Lopez to second their mayor’s invitation. “Hey @JLo! Did you receive the invitation from Cagliari’s mayor Paolo Truzzu to come to live here? He’s available to host you. Let us know!” one Cagliari resident tweeted at J.Lo. JLo, come to live in Italy there are many beautiful villages!! come on the Amalfi Coast or in Cilento,  I recommend also San Valentino Torio the land of lovers, 20 min from  Pompei,” another Italian Twitter user informed the superstar. 

Lopez also emphasized the importance of hiring female directors.

CREDIT: @JLO / TWITTER

Vanity Fair aptly acknowledged that Lopez had mostly been directed by men, but that she has an exclusively female line-up of directors for her future projects under her own production. “It’s about breaking the mold of what people are used to,” Lopez added, saying, “There are so many great female directors; why aren’t we using them more? It’s hard to break patterns, even in yourself, so we have to make a conscious effort to change the paradigm.” The 2020 Oscars snubbed all women when they only nominated male directors during a time when there are more female directors than ever before. 

“It’s also a great time for Latina women to take the stage at the biggest all-American event,” Lopez said of her upcoming Superbowl Halftime show with Shakira, emphasizing its importance “with everything that’s going on in the country right now.” Lopez added, “I’m super-happy to represent my community, to represent women, and to represent everybody, you know? “

READ: Defamation Of Character Is One Reason The Inspiration Of ‘Hustlers’ Is Suing J.Lo’s Production Company

Lizzo Had The Most Inspiring Glow Up Of The Decade And If Her Story Doesn’t Motivate You, I Don’t Know What Will

Entertainment

Lizzo Had The Most Inspiring Glow Up Of The Decade And If Her Story Doesn’t Motivate You, I Don’t Know What Will

lizzobeeating / Instagram

We first started hearing the name Lizzo in 2018, but the singer became a household name in 2019 when she skyrocketed to fame thanks to her incredibly catchy and positive music. Lizzo’s body positivity, self-love and no BS attitude has made her a huge success—but it wasn’t always like that.

It’s not like the singer found “overnight success.” Her huge hits weren’t only one year in the making. 

For a decade, the artist had been working on her music and trying to break out in the entertainment industry. On New Year’s Eve, Lizzo remembered the start of the decade, which was much more difficult than we knew. In 2009, Lizzo was working odd jobs, living out of her car, and had just lost her father. 

The singer took a trip down memory lane posting a major TB picture on Instagram.

Lizzo looked back on the past decade and reflected on some of the troubling times she went through to get to where she is now. “2009 was the year my daddy died. 2009 was the year I lived in my car and cried myself to sleep on Thanksgiving. 2009 I was a girl in Houston, Texas, with no plan, no hope, no will to carry on,” Lizzo began.  Then she reflected on the year that brought her insane success, “2019 is the year my album and song went number 1. 2019 is the year I told my mama, ‘I can buy you a house.’ 2019 I am a woman with a 20/20 vision of the future. Anything can happen in a decade. Tomorrow is the beginning of your anything. Thanks for the ride 2019. Here we go 2020!”

Lizzo had quite an impressive year this 2019

Now the singer’s nominated for eight Grammys, has performed on countless awards show stages, headlined SNL, and was Time magazine’s Entertainer of the Year —just to name a few of her merits. Plus, she’s buying her mom a new house, how’s that for a glow up?

She even worked as a sign spinner before, and now she’s “the artist who defined 2019.”

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Don’t stop…. we need you. 2020 is yours for the taking.

A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on

Lizzo is a true inspiration and the best example to follow your dreams, because that’s exactly what she did, and look where it took her. Before Lizzo was the fabulous rapper, flautist, and singer that she is today; she was working odd jobs, like sign-spinning, to make ends meet. “Don’t stop … we need you. 2020 is yours for the taking,” she captioned a post showing her at the beginning of the decade working as a sign spinner for Liberty Taxes and then the promo for her SNL debut. 

Lizzo celebrated New Year’s Eve feeling all of the feels. 

Now that we know just how far she’s come, it’s no surprise that Lizzo was in her feels on New Year’s Eve. The singer has plenty to celebrate, but also a lot to look back on. “NYE MOODS,” she tweeted featuring a few glamorous images. 

Sometimes we forget to acknowledge all the blood, sweat, and tears, artists have shed to get to where they are now.

Other artists identified with Lizzo’s come-up throughout the decade, and shared their own. Adam Rifkin, a writer and director, replied to the rapper’s tweet: “Sometimes it takes 10 years to get that one year that will change your life.” 

Then he shared a full-moment post from Lin-Manuel Miranda.

@ifindkarma

The composer, lyricist, singer, actor, producer, and playwright, worked on his successful Broadway musical Hamilton for years before it found its place.

Lizzo’s having the best time of her life, period.

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U ready?

A post shared by Lizzo (@lizzobeeating) on

“U ready?” she asked her 7.2 million followers, after ringing in the New Year living her absolute best life —And honestly, I don’t think we are. This past year, Lizzo already served us so much great music and self-love, and we’re ready to bet there’s so much more to come.