Things That Matter

21 Times the Fashion Industry Appropriated Latino Culture

In simple terms, cultural appropriation is when someone improperly and/or thoughtlessly seizes another person’s viewpoints, manners, styles, or practices or anything that associated with that person’s culture.  Typically, people appropriate culture from minorities.

Rock and roll’s early history is a good example of cultural appropriation.   African Americans actually developed the music, but record companies and radio stations only paid attention to Caucasian artist’s recordings.  Consequently, the public believed they originated and owned the music.

For years, the fashion industry has appropriated various cultures.  For example, Marc Jacobs styled his Caucasian models in dreadlocks and Victoria Secret’s donned its models in Native American headdresses.  It does the same to the Latino culture. Unfortunately, much like the rock and roll example, most of the public doesn’t realize when it’s happening.

Here are twenty-one times various individuals or entities from the fashion industry appropriated from the Latino culture.

Gwen Stefani

Ms. Stefani is a clothes designer and fashion icon.  Oftentimes, she wears the “chola” look, which the Urban Dictionary defines as consisting of thin, “angry looking” eyebrows; dark lip liner; flannel shirts; tattoos; facial piercings; lots of gold jewelry; Nikes or Converse sneakers; baggy pants, and, hair gelled down, straight back or in a high pony tail.  Ms. Stefani attended high school in Anaheim, California with many Latinos and says that he classmates’ makeup and clothing choices “mesmerized” her.

The Beautiful Ones:We♥It@The Beautiful Ones

Kendall and Kylie Jenner

Kendall and Kylie Jenner are also clothes designers and fashion icons.  In 2017, they posed in chola outfits and makeup.  They initially told critics to “get over it, ” but later apologized.  (Note: this wasn’t the first time people accused the Jenner’s of cultural appropriation)

KendallandKylie. Digital August 28, 2017


In Givenchy’s  fall 2015 show, creative director Riccardo Tisci gelled the fine hairs on the models hairlines (a style both Latino and African American woman wear and call “baby hairs.”), put jewels     on their faces, and dressed them in Victorian clothes.  He then called them his “Chola Victorian” girls.  Furthermore, he     did not acknowledge the Latino community and did not use models of color.  

Givenchy.Digital Image.Marie Claire.March 10, 2015

Lucy Hale

In January 2017, the Pretty Liars actress posted on social media a head shot in which she wears “baby hairs.” She even commented that the style came to good use at a photo shoot. Followers noted that her hair didn’t properly reflect the style and she then deleted the post. Fashion Magazine also pointed out that when African American and Latino women sport the style, it’s labeled “hood” and “ghetto,” but when Caucasian women wear it, it’s trendy.

Twitter/Lucy Digital Image.Hale.Fashion Magazine.January 26, 2017


the popular singer appeared on the cover of the September 2018 issue of British Vogue sporting extremely thin eyebrows.  Such insulted Krysty Chavez, social media editor at Marie Claire, who wondered why Rihanna was     wearing what’s normally known as chola brows.  She actually wrote “WTF” and recalled how mothers of Mexican and Mexican-American girls feared they would wear such eyebrows.

Rihanna Eyebrows.Digital Image.Hello!.August 1, 2018

Rihanna and Karreuche Tran

The singer appears on the list again, along with her actress/model friend.  On Halloween 2017, the ladies wore opened flannel shirts, bright red lipstick, and baggy pants.  They then posted photos of themselves on social media.  Rihanna even painted a bullet hole on her chest.  The  costumes only perpetuated negative, gang-like stereotypes.

Karr.Digital Image.Hispanic Culture Blog Spot.December 6, 2017

Nina Dobrev

Twitter followers chastised the Vampire Diaries star when she dressed up in “Day of the Dead” makeup and attire. The Mexican holiday celebrates loved ones who have passed. Critics didn’t appreciate how Ms. Dobrev overlooked the holiday’s sacredness.

Nina Dobrev Halloween Costuem: PopBuzz@TV & Film

Lana Del Rey

In the short film Tropico, Ms. Del Rey portrays a Latino-American gangster. Objectors noted how the entertainment industry routinely casts Caucasian actors in Latino roles and believes it makes them look Latino by donning them in stereotypical clothes.

Lana Del Rey Tropico Tattoos:Fandom@Lana Del Rey Wiki


The company sells numerous ethnic inspired merchandises. The tagline for its Aztec purse reads: “They invented chewing gum and chocolate, but surely the Aztecs’ greatest achievement was inspiring these fresh prints.” The Aztec people were remarkable engineers and designers. In addition to creating a stunning city that had canals, causeways, and aqueducts, they made gorgeous jewelry, developed a hieroglyphic script, put together an intricate calendar, and built temples and pyramids. To say that they only invented snacks and that their utmost success inspired a handbag, demeans and insults them.

ASOS.Digital Image. Jezebel.October 5, 2012


The designers for this fashion brand claimed that the “real” L.A. girl spurred their 2014 spring/summer line, which consisted of fringed leather skirts, bra tops, large belts, backward caps, and animal prints. The Guardian remarked that it expected the models to come onto the runway to Ricky Martin’s La Vida Loca.

Flared Ruffle Detailed Dress: Pinterest@EastLA

Mercado Global

This non-profit, donor funded company forms partnerships with Guatemalan artisan women and helps them market their woven textiles to well-known American retailers and also sells its own work.  Such allows the women to preserve their craft, support their families, and earn money, which then helps them stay out of poverty.

Mercado Global.Digital Image.Mercado

Carolina K

This company markets fashions created by artists working under fair trade agreements.  Argentinian designer, Carolina Kleinman (Carolina K), infuses Latino culture into her designs.  One of her pieces, the Cholita Skirt, has bright embroidered flowers and is shaped like a dance skirt.  Indigenous people inspire Ms. Kleinman, who strives to preserve their artistry.

Isabel Marant Etoile

The French designer marketed a blouse with embroidered features that the Muxe community in Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec claims it copied from their submissions.  The designer acknowledged that the Tlahuitoltepec community provided the designs and a French court ruled that it didn’t own the rights.  It then pulled the blouse from the market.


The footwear company designed and marketed a shoe called the “Guate Weave Authentic,” which it manufactured with South American style fabric.  The style also reflected the kind skateboarders wore (the Latino Community helped shape the skateboarding industry and its fashions).  Even those who sold the shoes felt the company was culturally appropriating Latino style.


Urban Outfitters

The prominent retailer once offered a Mochila Bag (Mochila means bag) that sold well. Women of the Colombian Wayuu tribe use dyed cotton to hand weave Mochila Bags. Yet, the company gives the women little credit and hardly any profit.

Women’s Blue Ecote Mochila Woven Bucket Bag:Lyst@Urban Outfitters

The Mochila Project

The project recognizes that the Mochila bags are vital to the Wayuu people’s lifestyle and economy.  Mothers also pass down the weaving skills to their daughters, so it additionally represents tradition.  

Nabusimake02.Digital Image.The Mochila

Jennifer Lawrence/Christian Dior

Escaramuza charra, Mexico’s rodeo-like sport, inspired Dior’s most recent designs. Critics, however, wondered why it used Ms. Lawrence, instead of a Latino woman, to model the collection.


Two sisters in Utah established this company after a trip to Mexico.  They loved the textiles and the people.  They were eager to establish a working relationship that benefitted all of them.  They women note on their website that they admire the Latino culture and people and want to raise funds to help support them.  Users of social media nonetheless criticized their use of Caucasian models and accused them of cultural appropriation, which the sisters feel is unfair and wrong.


TOMS: in 2015, this shoe company offered a line of sandals inspired by ancient indigenous Mexican tribes. Centuries ago, such tribes designed and handmade sandals known as huaraches. While the company previously marketed its alpargatas (a classic Argentinian jute shoe) with a “buy one, give one” offer that that provided an impoverished child with a pair of shoes each time a consumer purchased one for themselves.  Mexicans, nonetheless objected to the update of the traditional design and viewed it as cultural appropriation. TOMS ad didn’t help matters. It read: “Huraches are no longer Mexican.”

TOMS.Digital Image.Yucatan Times.June 17, 2015

Hoop Earrings

many Latino girls maintain that hoop earrings, especially oversized ones, represent defiance, grit, and character and do not like when Caucasian girls wear them. In 2017, three Pitzer College students painted a mural on which they wrote “White Girl, Take Off Your Hoops, Stop Calling Yourself Mami and Start Respecting Our Existence”. The girls wanted to bring attention to a double standard. Historically, when Latino women and other women of color wear hoop earrings and other Latino-associated fashions, others see them as ghetto and don’t take them seriously. Yet, when Caucasian women don the fashions, others call them fashion forward and consider them innovative.


The Lesson

If you study these examples, you’ll note a steady pattern. Most of the time (emphasis on “most of the time”), people unknowingly appropriate Latino Culture.  They have no desire to hurt anyone and, most of the time (once again, emphasis on “most of the time”), wish to support it.

Reconsider the rock and roll example.  Many critics accused Elvis Presley, the “King” of rock and roll, of culturally appropriating African American music.  Many African Americans, though, insisted that he genuinely supported them and claimed his popular recordings provided opportunities they would not have had otherwise.

Today, however, technology and social media provide tremendous access to knowledge.  Anyone, should they wish, can learn all they want about an individual’s culture and customs, talk directly to those within the culture, and learn about cultural appropriation error (this is Cultural Appreciation).  Offenders can’t legitimately claim complete oblivion. So, good intentions, oversights, and good wishes only go so far.  Repeated offenses, overtly ignorant statements, and repeated offenses simply can’t be excused.

In all the examples, Latinos weren’t really against others wearing their fashions.  They simply didn’t like others overlooking their heritage, disregarding their traditions, and refusing to acknowledge their ancestry and contributions. They also objected to the double standard, which repeatedly proved, that when the dominate class, Caucasians, mostly, wore their fashions, critics called them pioneering and fresh, yet when they wore the same items, the same people viewed them negatively.

There may be occasions where you disagree with a Latino individual’s claim of cultural appropriation. You may want to say that they’re overreacting or behaving too sensitively. But, when you take time to appreciate from where their pain comes, their history, and investigate these examples, you’ll understand.  Perhaps you’ll even inspire change.

The Debut Trailer For ‘Hustlers’ Opens With J.Lo Showing Constance Wu How To Pole Dance And It’s Already The Sexiest Scene I’ve Seen In A Movie In A Long Time


The Debut Trailer For ‘Hustlers’ Opens With J.Lo Showing Constance Wu How To Pole Dance And It’s Already The Sexiest Scene I’ve Seen In A Movie In A Long Time

STX Entertainment / YouTube

How badly do you want to see Jennifer Lopez, Constance Wu, Lizzo, and Cardi B dancing, stripping, and racking up pyramids of cash from unsuspecting dudes? A lot? Perfect: keep scrolling.

The sickening trailer for the badass film ‘Hustlers’ is finally here.

The trailer dropped Tuesday night at midnight and fans of strippers, fierce women, and especially Cardi B, we’re all totally here for it.

The film follows the story of a group of women who have formed their own extended family. They’re all strippers in the NYC area but then they decide to go bigger and start drugging and robbing ultra-wealthy Wall Street types.

The movie is actually inspired by a true story from a now-viral magazine story.

Credit: @TheCut / Twitter

The article, titled “The Hustlers at Scores” by Jessica Pressler, chronicles the real-life, modern Robin Hood story of a ring of strippers who ripped off wealthy clients.

The film is centered on two badass women, Destiny (Constance Wu) and Ramona (Jennifer Lopez).

Destiny is struggling to make ends meet and is helping to take care of her abuelita so she turns to stripping. This is how she meets Ramona who takes her under her wing and teaches Destiny everything she knows.

I mean Jennifer Lopez, on a pole, showing Constance Wu the moves. I. Am. Here. For. This!

Together with their extended family, these women decide to rob from the rich to help care for their loved ones.

Credit: @hustlersmovie / Giphy

Based off true events, J.Lo’s, Constance Wu’s, Cardi B’s, and Lizzo’s characters step up their hustle to include drugging men and robbing them of thousands of dollars.

In one scene, J Lo’s character explains it away as simply taking money from bad Wall Street guys who stole money from everyone during the financial crisis.

Things start to get real cray cray real quick.

Credit: @hustlersmovie / Twitter

The women end up drugging many of their clients to complete their heists…so you can see how things could quickly take a turn for the unexpected.

The plotline is amazing but many fans are here to support this gorgeous, talented, diverse cast of incredible women!

The casting director for this movie 100% deserves some serious stanning.

In addition to Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu in badass lead roles but fans will also see Cardi B, Keke Palmer, Lizzo, and Usher on the big screen. Like what did we do deserve this masterpiece?!

Some in the Bardi-gang took to Twitter to say they’re kinda disappointed by the trailer.

They wanted more Cardi.

But whoever is running the Hustlers’ Twitter account was quick to calm their nerves.

According to the ‘Hustlers’ Twitter feed, “Cardi B is this movie.” Apparently, they didn’t wanna give it all away so soon. So Cardi B fans better get ready for her big screen acting debut.

Overall, ‘Hustlers’ looks like it just may be one of the fiercest movies of 2019.

See you at the movies!

Click below to check out the full trailer!

READ: Cardi B’s ‘Press’ Is Being Praised As A Look Into The Judicial System And Its Reliance On Old White Men

#IceBae Has Blown Up The Internet. Meet The Latina Border Patrol Agent Behind The Viral Hashtag That Has Latino Twitter Freaking Out

Things That Matter

#IceBae Has Blown Up The Internet. Meet The Latina Border Patrol Agent Behind The Viral Hashtag That Has Latino Twitter Freaking Out

A Latina Border Patrol agent has gone viral as #IceBae and from the looks of her new account on Twitter she seems to be enjoying the new found fame.

The agent, who identified herself as Kiara Cervantes, was photographed providing security for Mike Pence during his visit to a migrant detention center in Texas. From that photograph came #IceBae with thirsty fans calling her out for her beauty. But it also attracted many people who were appalled that a Latina would participate in the mass imprisonment of largely Latino men, women, and children.

All this started when a Latina Border Patrol guard was photographed providing security for Mike Pence at a migrant detention center.

Credit: @theprovince / Twitter

So, who is the Latina officer in the photograph? The female officer has since been identified as Kiara Cervantes.  Many of the original comments were focused on her good looks, which kicked off the pretty bizarre hashtag #IceBae

Since the photo went viral, Kiara has started up her own Twitter account and has already racked up nearly 37.5k followers in less than 2 days.

It looks like Cervantes enjoyed the new found attention and decided to create a Twitter account to capitalize on all the fame. She posted a video (which has since been deleted) introducing herself as the #IceBae.

Apprently, Ice Bae has all sorts of ‘supporters’ that she had to thank on Twitter.

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

Because of the response to the original photo and that #IceBae was trending on Twitter with thousands of thirsty comments, Cervantes decided to create a Twitter account. One of her first tweets was to thank everyone for all the ‘support’ and to tell her ‘supporters’ how much she loves them.

She’s also taken to Twitter to share some selfies of her in uniform with her new found supporters.

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

Because when you work at a detention center that houses migrants in overcrowded cages and is at the center of an international scandal, of course selfies should be on your list of to-dos.

At least a few people on Twitter tried to help her out with some caption ideas for her new photo…

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

I mean that is pretty clever if it wasn’t so depressing.

And this person who kept her caption suggestion poignant yet simple.

Credit: @kiarace24 / Twitter

What would you caption her photo with?

Seriously, the people are not here for it.

Credit: @rates_by_me / Twitter

Apart from all of #IceBae’s supporters, her detractors are definitely speaking out on social media. Many pointed out how by sexualizing Cervantes they were also sexualizing the dehumanization of the very people being held in the detention centers.

Rapper Fat Nick, called her out as ‘literal scum’, that her family would be ashamed of.

Credit: @_FatNick / Twitter

Cervantes fired back Sunday at rapper Fat Nick who tweeted that her family will disown her and “shame on any Hispanic working for ice of anything of that nature.”

“I think that’s really rude and naive of you to say,” she tweeted. “You have no idea who my parents are and no idea what goes into my job on a daily basis… before speaking on something you know nothing about…. DONT. Regardless I’m blessed and thankful for the career I have.”

Another Twitter user pointed out what pretty much most of the Latino community is thinking.

Credit: @hcapd / Twitter

One Twitter user, among thousands of others, called #IceBae what many are thinking: a guard at a concentration camp. For people to be idolizing a person who is supporting a system of injustice, racism, and bigotry, has many people across social media very upset, particularly those in the Latino community who feel #IceBae has turned her back on them.

READ: Sickening Screenshots Show Border Patrol Agents Laughing About Migrant Deaths

Paid Promoted Stories