TV: Modern Family – Season 2, episode 6 “Halloween“
DISCUSSION: Morgan Radin & Tiffany Jorge
Sofia Vergara vs. Gloria Pritchett
First, this episode was funny and the things that my classmates discuss in class were true about how the producer said that Sofia Vergara was the only one who can play Gloria because her story is like Gloria and her accent is essential for the show to make her the star of the show by her accent and attitude when she screams when she is angry at people. Like how Jay’s son, Mitchell is in real life gay, which is easier for him to be himself in the show but with his partner in the show who isn’t gay in real life but acts too much in the show. This my classmates discuss that Gloria and Mitchell have been played perfectly by Sofia and Jesse because they don’t lie to themselves instead they do it without shame.
In the class we discuss how Sofia is a person who is beautiful, has her accent and she sometimes feel angry about the way her family doesn’t understand her accent and how she can be tough like when she punched Mitchell right in the face without been afraid. Claire in the other hand, is a person who the producer makes the viewers see that she just say what she thinks when there is a time when she cannot take it anymore and just leaves without doing any fighting or yelling; however Gloria is seen that she yells at the family when they are making fun of her accent and that shows for me in a negative way that all latinas yell instead of talking normally without losing composure.
Also for the part of the mother part is true that Manny is very dependent like any latina’s mother are but there are times when Gloria shows her motherly side to Manny by trusting him that he can take care of himself. It might show neglection but sometimes kids or teenagers need to have a sense of responsability, so they can feel they can be trusted by the tasks their parents gave them. Gloria is just like again like the spitfire of Mexico who yell when she got upset over anything that offended her.
I completely agree that only Sofia Vergara could ever play Gloria’s role. The role perfectly captures her personality, style, family life, etc. so it makes sense that the role was created just for her. When we were coming up with ideas of what other actresses could fit the role, but I personally don’t think anybody could play the role quite like Sofia does.
Yes!!!! Modern Family is like Sofia’s reality show without all her business life. She gets to act like herself in camera which makes it much easier for her to act and it is more realistic. I feel like the acting is more genuine because Sofia can related to Gloria. Although other Latinas could have taken the role, it is hard to compete with Sofia because of the fact that Gloria’s role was meant for her. But I think that Eva Langoria plays a similar role in Desperate House Wives. Do you think that Eva Langoria could play Gloria’s role, when it comes to her personality, loud, feisty, short-tempered?
From the videos we watched in class, Modern Family specifically made the role of Gloria for Sofia Vergara for a reason, because they knew she would be perfect for it. However, as I was watching the episodes in class, Eva Longoria kept popping up in my head because I feel Gloria’s character was very similar to the one that Eva Longoria played in Desperate Housewives. Thinking about it, I do think that Eva Longoria could play Gloria, but not after being in Desperate Housewives. I think she could have been another candidate if she had not done Desperate Housewives.
I think that Eva Longoria can definitely play Gloria. Her role in Desperate Housewives is very similar in the sense they are both Latina, hot, loud, wives, with an accent. The only thing that makes Gloria a better candidate is that the role was created for her, as mentioned before. Playing Gloria’s personality and treating Manny as her son may not come as natural to Eva as it does to Sofia.
I don’t think that Eva Longoria would have been able to play this role which shows how all Latinas do not embody the same characteristics as Sophia does. If we look at Eva’s character within her own show, she may embody some Latina stereotypes especially with her feistiness but besides this I can’t see her doing this character in “Modern Family” because it would seem out of character. This shows how much this role really compliments Sophia and how it couldn’t be assigned to just anyone. Someone can’t just be chosen because they look the part for something, they must prove that they have the character for their role. Sophia is clearly who is supposed to be doing this show.
I think Sofia does a great job of playing Gloria and that is because her real life greatly resembles the life of Gloria in Modern Family. I can’t think of any other actress to play her on the show either but I do want to point out that though her life is very similar to the life she plays on TV, she is still her own person with her own views and Gloria’s statements or actions do not necessarily represent or reflect Sofia’s beliefs.
Yes I completely agree with you! I also could definitely see Eva Longoria playing Gloria since they share many of the same characteristics. However since she does not have an accent it would be more of a forced effort from her to act as Gloria. Sofia can naturally do this which is why she is so perfect in the comedy show.
I had no idea that the role of Gloria was specialized for her Vergara. It was based on her life. This I believe was done to add authenticity to Gloria’s character. Its not like Gloria is an exact parallel of Vergara but she didn’t even audition for the role. As the directors searched for a person to fit the character, they believed Vergara fit the Latina stereotypes. She had the strong accent and flair. This made have done a disservice to Latinos, but on a small scale. It almost makes it okay to poke fun at English Language Learners (ELL). Although the show does do a good job at acknowledging the different array of stereotypes, it doesn’t necessarily combat them. It is used in satirical fashion. It also perpetuates conservative views on accents, that ELL should assimilate to American society and lose their accent. I also think it was interesting that the show has such a little Hispanic audience, and I can see why. There is little exposure to the Hispanic community and I’m not sure how Hispanics will necessarily react to it. For me being a Latina I never seen the show before this class nor did I know Vergara was in it. Yet when I watched I thought it was funny and in good taste because they exaggerated all stereotypes. What I wish I some more of was her having a more independent role. In my opinion a lot of Latinas do fit her mold yet not so much the part of them being dependent on men. At least not so much in today’s society where most women regardless of ethnic background are making it on their own.
Conversely in Vergaras’s interview the news reporter referred to her as “Red, hot, flair, Latina who thought she would be a dentist.” That took me off guard the fact that they almost made it seem like she couldn’t be a dentist if she wanted to. Well they didn’t necessarily say she wasn’t capable but that she basically turned out to be something that required little education. In her interview she did seem somewhat loud, funny, sexy, with a notable accent, she also had a kid from previous marriage. It was funny how they mentioned that there was more to her “she’s also a cover girl… and Businesswoman.” I feel like the cover girl part still puts emphasis on her looks. This slightly hinders the views people have on Latina women. Vergara even said that she feels like a “tranny” on the show with all the over-effeminate accessories they give her. Its interesting to think whether if she would she still be using her body to support herself if she had a daughter versus a son.
During the episode the differences between her and Claire were obvious. Aside from the fact that they are similar in age everything about them was different. Their Halloween costume was different, their anger moments, and the types of things they would “Freak” out about. Also the level of importance given to each one was also notable. It seems as if Claire is viewed as the “control group” for women on the show even though she is supposed to be the token Caucasian wife. It’ll be exciting to see how the rest of the season plays out.
This is what the producer wants because it is funny how the actress Sofia is very similar to Gloria in the Modern Family and it suits her very well to play the part. Also they want her accent to be like her symbol in the show like being the latina girl who goes crazy when people make fun of her. It is a sitcom, and they have to make Gloria burst her way of speaking and how Jay’s son comparison with his lover that he acts normal but he is gay in real life and his partner acts too gay but in real life, he isn’t gay. They want to show how funny is the show, which is gaining a lot of attention in lifetime.
I agree that it’s important to note that this show exaggerates all stereotypes, not just Latina ones. Claire falls into the stereotype of the neurotic suburban mom, the teenage daughter exaggerates the bratty adolescent, etc. Like Jane Austen, the show pokes fun at the follies of society by exaggerating and satirizing them. I think it’s pretty empowering that Sofia Vergara can take the stereotypes and run with them and laugh at them.
I thought it was interesting to learn that Sofia feels like a tranny when she getting ready for play Gloria. You would think that she would like to get all dressed up, but she is aware of the exaggeration put on her character. I feel like she admitted this in the interview so that people would know that Gloria is an exaggeration of Sofia. And so that people wouldn’t judge her so much playing a stereotypical character.
I thought it was interesting when we discussed the differences between Gloria and Clare’s tempers. While Gloria was more likely to yell, Claire would get upset and walk out of the room. I didn’t put it together until it was brought up that these moments really tell a lot about each character. Gloria’s yelling definitely makes her seem like a stereotypical “fireball”, always expressive and loud. I think it’d be interesting to see how Gloria grows as a character now that she is pregnant. This new side of her that we haven’t seen before could take the stereotypical image we have of Gloria and completely turn it on it’s head, which would be nice to see.
About Vergara and self-parody:
The clips shown in class of Sofia Vergara on Saturday Night Live are very interesting to think about. The sketches use exaggerated versions of almost every stereotype of a latina that we know of, but the fact that Vergara should ordinarily be part of the creative process in the SNL sketch she guest stars in seems to bring a new light to these portrayals. Since she should be in charge of herself in these sketches, I feel like the exaggerated nature of her portrayal is a kind of self-parody, and that in itself questions the ridiculousness of such stereotypes.
And this is very much in the style of SNL sketches. For example, when Daniel Radcliffe guest hosted, they had a sketch that made fun of Harry Potter and how much of a loser he was. This type of self-deprecating humor is what distinguishes SNL, and something I feel Sofia Vergara does well too.
I find it very interesting that so many people in class today brought up how the actress’ similarity to her character brought a sense of validity and authenticity to her role. This is especially in light of how many of us said that JLo need not be Mexican to portray Selena well. I wonder what the difference is, and why we have responded in such different ways? Why is it that we seem to demand authenticity from one role and accept difference in heritage in another? Shouldn’t the actress’ acting ability be the most important factor in her portrayal of a role (as I believe was the point often mentioned during our discussion of Selena)?
Even today during our discussion, many of us used Sofia and Gloria interchangeably, as if they are one and the same. I find this blurring of the lines between actor and character very problematic, no matter how similar Sofia and Gloria are claimed to be.
In your question regarding authenticity and the portrayal of the role, I don’t think we view (or at least I myself) view Jennifer Lopezs portrayal of Selena any less authentic then I see Sofia’s portrayal with Gloria. Both women did a good job of representing their hispanic heritage and the characters they are trying to play and that is based on their acting abilities and their hispanic heritage (regardless of the fact that JLo is Puerto Rican and not Mexican). I think the media and even us as people will find any piece of information we can to misconstrue perceptions. Because Sofia herself is Columbian, we are now using that as an advantage to her, but at the same time, she did not audition for the role, it was created for her, therefore her Columbian nationality became part of the role of Gloria in the script of Modern Family. I’m sure if Sofia Vergara was Puerto Rican or Mexican, Gloria’s character would therefore be one of those nationalities.
I love your comment on how SNL plays up stereotypes and pokes fun of every trend around. Sofia seems to do a fine job of playing up the stereotypes on her own, but SNL does a better job of making Latinas seem so focus on their sexy looks. The worst part about it is how they make her difficult to understand. In the commercial with Ellen, there is also a comment about how no one can understand her accent. Sofia is easy to understand when she is doing interviews but it bothers me that she plays up the accent as a character.
I enjoyed our discussion in class about Claire vs. Gloria. The comparison our classmates made about both of their “freak out” moments during the Halloween episode was very interesting. It was brought up how Claire is seen as getting upset, expressing her emotions, and walking out of the situation to keep calm and collected, whereas Sofia just explodes with her fiery temper and kicks everyone out of her house. This comparison implies that there are actual differences between how white women vs. latina women handle stress, but I believe that it is just the personality differences between the two. It is wrong to generalize these situations to the whole race of white women or latina women.
Additionally, the comparison between Sofia and Claire’s wardrobe was also very interesting. Sofia is seen as a sexy latina wearing revealing clothing and Claire is seen as having a typical “mom” wardrobe with somewhat simple style. I was wondering if these different styles in clothing reflect at all on their abilities of being a mother. Sofia wears revealing clothing and the show emphasizes that Manny basically had to raise himself, whereas Claire wears middle-aged woman clothing and is shown as being a great mother. I wonder if this is a general idea that people believe in, or if this was just a coincidental thing. If Claire wore extremely sexy clothing all the time would people think she was any less of a mother?
I like the point you make about how these comparisons imply that there are differences between how white woman vs. latina women handle stress and how it is wrong to generalize the two. There are just as many white woman who could possibly react how Sofia did and vice versa and it mainly depends on the temperament you are born with.
I do see what you guys are saying about this conflict, and avid watchers of the show would agree that Claire is more prone to a freak-out-moment that Sofia. However, in our class discussion I meant to point out what this means as far as regularly created stereotypes for these two ethnicities. It can not be solely based on their characters because the audience has certain expectations for each of the women based on what they already assume about them as individuals, which is entwined with their culture.
I agree with both of you and especially liked the conversation in class about Claire and Gloria. It is something I probably would not have noticed or considered before. To go off of what you mentioned, I don’t think that Claire would be thought of as any less of a mother because she does value very traditional characteristics of a “typical” mom and her wardrobe reflects that. If she were to dress more revealing and similar to Gloria, Claire’s kids might comment on it (since she has two daughters) and then I feel like they can dress that way too. It would most likely cause a family dispute.
I completely agree with your idea of classifying the women with the way they react in a stressful situation. It is unfair to say that Claire is more collected because she is white. If anyone watches the show- she at times is a bit more irrational and neurotic than most characters. I think that she behaved the way she did because she was hurt rather than angry. Sofia on the other hand was being attacked for something that she can’t change- I feel like eventually anyone would snap the way she did- I don’t think it has all to do with the fact that she is a Latina, just that she was being mocked for something that is part of her being. I feel that comparing the two with the amount of information presented was not enough. Maybe if we had more time we could have watched more of the show and compared the progression of the two women over time and see how they are depicted over time.
Honestly, good for Sofia Vergara. She is playing into stereotypes the correct way and making money out of it. Sure she needs to be a little over the top at times, but it seems to all be in good fun. She may be fulfilling stereotypes by doing all of this, but I feel like she is fighting them to. She is a Latina that exemplifies all of the typical traits that we have discussed in class- sexy, loud, firey, short tempered, etc, but she is able to turn around and poke fun of the negativity that comes with these traits, and laugh about it. It isn’t like she is being forced to play these parts or as if she is oblivious as to what is going on- instead she is taking power in this situation and using an “Im putting it all out there” attitude to tackle issues on how we see Latina’s.
The article that I posted on twitter is about how she realizes that she has been defined by her looks and assets– breasts. Instead of being upset by this, she uses it and molds it to benefit her and her life. She says maybe one day she will get rid of her boobs, but for now she is going to use them to get her what she needs when she needs it. A women that can take control of her body and life and have a good laugh about it, while making money- can’t say I don’t respect her!
I agree, Sofia how to cater to different audiences while still remaining the figure that she feels comfortable being. It was nice to see that the part of Gloria in Modern Family was made with her in mind. She feels comfortable with what she puts out in the media and does so in a way that reinforces her personality no matter what project she works on.
I agree that is respectable that Sofia is playing into all of the Latina stereotypes but also fighting them at the same time. It goes to show that not everybody has to feel offended by stereotypes if you can make light of them and laugh at yourself. And I agree that, if her body and her image is what made her who she is, and she knows she uses it to her full advantage then good for her!
I agree that Vergara has the right attitude when it comes to talking about her role in Modern Family. The reality is that stereotypes exist and everyone is aware of them, they are not going away, so if Vergara can put them to good use in a tasteful and humorous way, then why not? People are always going to be critical, and it is great that Vergara can just laugh it off.
Sofia is definitely using those stereotypes for her favor. These stereotypes such as feisty, loud, short-tempered is Sofia’s moneymaker along with her busty and curvy body. However, what do you think about those stereotypes and how it affects the Latin@ woman population? I understand that these stereotypes are what makes the sitcom very comical. However, I feel like her constant practice of these stereotypes are the tools that are used to marginalize and judge woman. For one, Gloria is constantly made fun of and her intelligence is judged for her pronunciation of words. Although very comical, this situation is handled completely different outside of the show. People with accent are categorized as uneducated. So her practice isn’t so comical when the rest of society is marginalized for the same practice. At the end of the day, money talks wonders, and she is using those tools to make a living, like the post above says, “can’t say I don’t respect her”. But I feel that the show is surrounded by a lot of stereotypes that, “in the real world”, is not comical and people are treated unequal because of it. What do you think?!
I completely agree. It doesn’t really set the best example for situations where ELLs are misjudged as unintelligent. Unfortunately, some people do get their social cues from watching TV. Some people cannot distinguish that just because it’s funny doesn’t make it right.
We fail as a society to realize that the way that stereotypes come across as not always acceptable. Since we look at these episodes and laugh at them, it almost causes us to not think about them how we should. I think many viewers tune into this show just to laugh and want to think of it as a sort of unwinding show to just take in and enjoy. However, because of this we don’t criticize it like we should be. I like how you explained that there is a difference in these stereotypes being seen as comical on television but how in all actuality they aren’t funny. The manner in which Sophia is thought of by the rest of the characters is also an issue in itself because they do look at her as being different than themselves. She is separated from every character on that show and although they all accept her, they still always manage to pretty much treat her like a kid. Her own son is treated with more respect than she is!
I used this article: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-03-07/entertainment/fl-sofia-vergara-latin-controversy-20120307_1_sofia-vergara-latinas-role-model
I don’t think Sofia Vergara is playing a whole stereotype for a representation of what Latina women should be. I think she is representing herself and that some Latina women can relate to her because of her characteristics or background. Sofia plays it off really well and it’s a smart business decision. She has deals with K-Mart, Cover Girl and Pepsi and in those ads, she plays off as a sexy, sensual women. But not necessarily because she’s Latina but the way she gives off that sexiness especially from the way she speaks. Although she speaks with an accent, most of the words come out to be soft and sexy and that’s what most people hear and it’s calm and soothing. If anything, she is a represented as a role model for most young girls that includes Latinas. It’s because of where she has gotten today from her career. She worked hard and took something about her and made it positive. I don’t think she represents a negative stereotype for Latina women because she doesn’t represent every single one. Every person is different and she just gives off her personality and people can take it as it is.
In the article, it says that she exaggerates her accent in the show and that’s it’s annoying. If this was coming from a Latina or Latino person, I would completely understand because they must be sick of all this representation in the media. But at the same time, most people that watch these shows aren’t Latinas or Latinos so it does make it difficult for what the media shows. I think people don’t really show stereotype to hurt or discourage an ethnicity. I just think it’s all about the business aspect. What would sell or what would people want to watch? Sofia Vergara’s character, Gloria is funny because most of the things aren’t true and this is what we mostly see represented from time to time. I also think it’s very positive because sometimes you can learn a thing or two from stereotypes and you’ll be like wow, I never knew that or that is completely true. I just think most of the time people just look at the negativity and find reasons to hurt or dismiss that idea instead of looking at the positives. Yes, Sofia plays a lot of stereotype characters but at least she plays off well and knows this is what she has to do if she wants to succeed in Hollywood. Because of this, it makes her as a positive role model for Latina women and they want to be just like her more or less. But the main thing to remember is that Sofia represents a stereotype of her own Latin culture and what she as a person represents, not as a whole.
The episode “Halloween” was very funny and it was an episode that played each character’s stereotypes very well. Jay talked to Gloria about her mispronouncing words, Haley unconsciously dressed in slutty costumes, and Cameron’s soft side and emotions were expressed. The differences of the way Claire and Gloria handle certain situations is also shown. Claire handles things more calmly at first and storms out if she gets angry, but Gloria is loud no matter what and expresses her anger in front of everyone. But the moment that stood out to me the most was at the Dunphy’s house on Halloween night when Claire wanted Gloria to play her part in the skit using her thick Latina accent and loud voice. But after the argument that Gloria and Jay got into earlier about how she frequently mispronounces words, she tried to talk very softly and sound like an American in order to prove a point. The point was proven that Gloria’s accent is the way she is and nobody should try to change that. She can’t help it if she mispronounces words and Jay shouldn’t be so quick to make judgments. I think this scene shows that even though Vergara plays a stereotypic Latina, she does it with poise, and sends insightful messages to go along with her character. As many people discussed, her role was created for her and resembles much of her own life, so as many Latina actresses try to become more Americanized, she flaunts her Latin image. People discussed how she is a role model for the Latin community and also how she isn’t, but I would agree that she is.
Their is no way that Haley was unconsciously dressing in slutty costumes. I know that this has very little connection to Latinas representation on the screen however she is assumed to be an idiot at all times: this is because she plays the stereotypical role of teenage girl. The only times in which this stereotyped woman can be smarter than anyone else is when it relates to drinking/parties, boys, or clothing options. I thought I would add in this irrelevant comment because it is the way in which I am being represented on tv. As a white, heterosexual teenager this is the image that is being created for me. It is a stereotype that in no way represents me. To those who most closely identify with Sofia Vergara, I wonder is that really the identity you want representing you?
The “Halloween” episode of Modern Family really showed the stereotypes very well. Sofia Vergara is using the stereotypes to her benefit and just reinforcing what she already has: the body, her accent, etc. Sofia Vergara’s role is very unique because she does not even have to get a script to play her role. The director could tell her to improv or add her own unique spin on parts and she could do it, no problem. This makes her character seem all that more believable. This is a show where they play off of stereotypes for their comedy. It was very interesting talking in class about the gay couple and how the one who acts less flamboyant is actually gay in real-life. This doesn’t surprise me, it only makes more sense. They make the other guy extremely flamboyant in order to compare to someone is actually gay and not flamboyant (a common stereotype for gay men).
The skits we saw in class on SNL with Sofia Vergara just show how she uses Latina stereotypes even off of Modern Family. In one of the clips, we missed where on SNL she said she could make anything sound sexy with her accent. She then proceeded to say things like: gonorrhea, Rick Santorum, etc. Although SNL is a comedy show, she pretty much improvs and uses her own lines for comedy. It is very interesting that she chooses the stereotypes of Latina women, as she does in the show. This just shows that she embraces her Latinidad and uses her stereotypes as a way to make comedy and make money.
In response to the SNL skit:
Many advertisements are using Spanish accents and playing off of them. The Kahlua commercial aired a year or so ago starred Ana de la Reguera. Ana begins the commercial saying: “In Mexico we speak Spanish mostly because it is the language that we speak, but also because it makes everything sound more…intriguing.” As comedic as it sounds, it is actually playing up the stereotype that all Latinas have an accent. When Gloria amplifies her accent it begins to make the stereotype negative. In the Covergirl commercial, Gloria plays her accent so much that it becomes difficult to understand her.
As one of the presenters for this particular episode I felt genuinely lucky when I found out it was the Halloween episode. I am a huge fan of this television show and this particular episode may be the most humorous twenty-two minute work ever created. However, when we sat down to take a more critical work of this episode it almost ruined it for me. How could I think something was so humorous when it really was so sad?
It depicted every character I loved as either stupid or insecure. Haley, Gloria, and Luke, specifically are never seen as intelligent characters, often all paired against Alex, Jay, and Manny respectively. Gloria and Haley are almost twins in the fact that they are female, hyper-sexualized, and unintelligent characters. This negative representation compared against Alex, Claire, and almost even the young Lily, seems to show women alternatively as crotchety, mean, no-it alls. These two group representations as sexualized-stupid women or bitter-too smart women is not the representation that I hope for the women of today.
I found the Halloween episode heartwarming and thought that the directors made good use of this episode to bring their point across.
After so many episodes, I believe this is the first episode where Gloria is majorly called out on her accent. In previous episodes, there usually is only a one or two liner where the other party doesn’t understand her, and she brushes it off. However, Jay didn’t let it rest this time round and so Gloria was understandably upset.
When she was speaking in “perfect” American English, I felt uncomfortable. Although her speech was more understandable, she just wasn’t herself anymore. I then wished that she would speak as she normally does, even if it means that I had to listen more closely. This was when I realized that other viewers probably felt the same. Perhaps the directors were using this episode to teach the audience to embrace Gloria’s accent by taking it away for awhile. Her accent, albeit exaggerated, is what makes her endearing. If we extrapolate this to our society, it teaches us to embrace people with different accents instead of hoping that they can all speak “perfect” American English. Accents are markers of our diversity and assimilating to the standard American English may cause us to lose part of our identity.
I thought this episode was a great example of how our perceptions of a character can change when something about them changes! When Gloria started to change her accent it was definitely different. Imagine if all of her actions were quite like Claire’s, and not the stereotypical ones we are used to? The show does a great job at exaggerating stereotypes, that when it does it in a way that it makes you realize it, for instance, she Gloria does the American accent, you feel a bit jolted!
I would like to focus more on the comparison of Gloria and Claire. It is interesting how both are so similar yet as viewers we see them as complete opposites. Gloria is meant to be the beautiful, loud, fiery trophy wife that can come off as a little scatter brained. Claire is the average American housewife who makes dinner, brings the kids to school, and keeps everyone in check. Gloria is shown in Modern Family doing the everyday things that Claire does but when she does them we find it funny. Why?
I think it is also very interesting how in this episode both Claire and Gloria become upset and the way the other characters react to each temper tantrum is very different. We talked in class how when Claire started to have her breakdown she starting listing not only what was upsetting her at the moment but also all the other things that had upset her in the past, how she kept everything bottled up until she could not take it anymore. At the end of the episode when everyone was talking about Gloria’s accent and she all of a sudden lost it kind of showed her bottling up her feelings until they erupted though during a shorter time period.
I wonder if the “ticking time bomb” that can be used to describe Gloria is more of a women’s stereotype that is simply accentuated by her Latinadad. If there had not been a Latina character would Claire be considered the loud, emotional one?
I think your comparison between Gloria and Claire is so important to talk about because they are very similar and we often don’t acknowledge that. I always find myself wondering why Claire doesn’t have a job and doesn’t do something empowering, and yet I find Gloria powerful, for no reason at all. I think the main difference is in their demeanor. Claire is made out to be the very motherly, plain mom. if they had changed Claire’s attire, I think my perception of Claire would change too.
Kiara I agree with the perception of these two mothers. They are very similar but they have different ways of caring themselves. Gloria is much more up front and in your face whereas, Claire seems much more reserved. There could be a change if the outfits were swapped between Claire and Gloria. How interesting would that be to watch?
Even though all of these characters have their own spotlight and are somewhat stereotypical, it is evident that Sophia is who stands out the most above all. I’m not sure if this is due to her loudness or possibly other factors but it all ties in with her representation. As much as she may be criticized, at the end of the day she can do whatever she pleases in order to get where she wants. I don’t think as a society, we should judge so harshly one person on how they portray Latinas. If as a society, we understood that although some Latinas may portray themselves like this but not all are like this, then we wouldn’t have as much of an issue with one person representing the face of a majority. What I’m trying to get at is that if Latinas were in television more and represented showing diversity then we wouldn’t have such high expectations of one Latina to represent more than just herself. It’s not necessarily fair to put this much pressure on Sophia because if she is happy with showing herself like that, then who are we to say it’s not appropriate.
In making this easily understood, let’s think of this as far as in portraying white people. If there was a show that had identities that were really diverse but showed a white person as being a hillbilly, this would cause controversy in a sense. It would be argued that a hillbilly is not the only representation of white people. The person who played this role would probably be judged for their willingness to portray themselves that way and society would criticize individually instead of understand on a greater level what the issue is. In this instance, the problem would be fixed if there were not only white hillbillies on televisions but whites that varied in their representations. Once we start to see more of a representation of different identities is when this will be solved. The issue isn’t necessarily with Sophia because there are Latinas as well as non-Latinas who are like how she represents herself and they own up to these stereotypes. But for those who don’t identify with this, there should be representations of them on television as well.
On television white people are probably the most represented race. As a result, minorities are the ones that are not as often represented. Since they are not often represented, we generally stereotype how they are to signify their presence within a certain setting. We see how in television this happens with Sophia, she fits the mold of what we see as a stereotypical Latina. We see her personality especially reflect this image that is implemented. What I am trying to get at is that there needs to be more Latinas represented in order for this to be improved because until then this will continue to exist.
During the discussion we talked about how the Claire and Gloria are treated completely different in this episode of Modern Family. Early in the episode we see the conflict Gloria has with her husband. They begin to argue and fight because Gloria takes offense to her husband making fun of her accent. Gloria reacts loudly and makes a scene in front of her husband. There is a great difference when we see Claire have her break down. Claire storms off to have her moment alone.
Claire’s reaction solidifies the stereotype that Latina’s are hot heads. The way these two women react is completely different from each other. The Latina blows up and reacts right on the spot whereas, the white woman handles herself much more rationally by walking out and not allowing her friends to see her upset. I feel that people who see this will think that Gloria is a hot head because she is Latina instead of thinking that she is allowed to argue and be angry in her own home.
They do play a huge part of stereotypes in the show but they amped it up so much that you don’t really think about it. I see it and it makes me laugh, I don’t really think about it being offensive because the comedy drowns it out. Gloria’s husband makes fun of her accent which is really funny. In most cases it’s true, I do the same thing with my friends as well. It can also be success by the way she says and Gloria plays it off with everything she says. I think although they show Claire walk out the room and be upset, she does have her dramatic moment as well. People think this is more calming but I think it’s the same level but it’s just not that bad because she doesn’t throw a temper. She doesn’t fight back because she’s not Latina. Are they trying to show that white women tend to be generally soft spoken? Gloria is just being herself because that’s how she was raised by, but it’s not necessary she does it to play her race card. People make fun of her that way, because she isn’t able to control her anger. She doesn’t know what else to do and I think they show that because she doesn’t have that much experience of being an American.
This scene in Modern Family was definitely very interesting. The way they compared Gloria and Claire are complete opposites. Gloria goes along with the stereotypical Latina aspects like being loud and making a scene. Claire goes somewhere by herself. Although she freaks out, it is in everyone’s nature to act like that but for her to go somewhere by herself showed the differences between her and Gloria. This scene did help the stereotypes that Latina’s are tempered, hot heads, overreact, etc. Even though the viewers should not see any stereotypes and should accept that Gloria can get angry in her own house however she pleases, they use emphasized stereotypes to make her look like that “crazy”Latina.
I thought the comparisons between Claire and Sophia were very interesting. It is almost as if they are comparing white women vs latin women. In the episode we saw in class, Claire’s reaction to an upsetting situation was to state why she was upset and calmly walk away while Gloria’s reaction was to yell loudly, and react in a hot-temperd manner.
This is one of the most basic stereotypes we have discussed throughout the semester. This portrayal of hot-tempered Latin women dates back decades and seems to depict what many believe Latin women are actually like.
Furthermore, if we take a look at the respective costumes the women were wearing, Claire dons a wedding dress that covers her from head to toe while Sophia is wearing a witch’s costume that reveals much more skin and outlines her svelte silhouette.
Latin women are almost always portrayed in a more sexualized and vamped manor simply because they are Latin. This has led mainstream America to have a preconceived notion that all Latinas like to wear tight, suggestive and seductive clothing.
Shows like Modern Family and Desperate Housewives add to the creation of such degrading stigmas that ultimately trap Latinas in these awful stereotypes.
I certainly agree that they categorize each race. You can definitely see the differences in Claire and Gloria. Although I do feel Gloria in this episode is a little bit more smirky with her comments and not necessarily loud. Claire on the other hand, was very loud and aggressive towards the end of the episode. It was as if there was a juxtaposition between her and Gloria. She also plays the stereotype card a lot. You guys have this and then we celebrate this a certain way. So can we keep Halloween the same way because it’s an American tradition? That’s the main thing that plays off because it is funny but at the same time, she is kind of very strict on the way she has. And if she doesn’t get her way, she seems very whiny. I think it’s good that they can show the difference between two types of women.
November 7th, 2012
I personally am a HUGE Eva Longoria fan, and love watching Desperate Housewives. I think Eva Longoria’s character as Gabriella on the show is similar to Gloria, but doesn’t go that extra mile. They are both great actresses, but Eva lacks that extra funny spark and spunk that Sofia gives Gloria. Gloria can be considered both a very real or fake character, according to who is looking/judging her, and I think that’s why Sofia does such a great job playing her. In general, not just limiting Eva Longoria, I think it would be hard for a lot of latina actresses to play Gloria because of how funny, loud, crazy, and great she is. But that can also be because, if you watch the show like I do, you’re so used to having Sofia Vergara play her, so anyone else could never compare.
As a fan of the show, I think Modern Family does a great job depicting just that- a modern family. They have broken several “taboos” or “barriers”, including the introduction of Latin, specifically Colombian, culture into sitcoms that are both entertaining and send out moral messages, and even including a gay household. I think the show has done a great job including these ideas when entitling a show “modern family” because everyone know that perfect household with a well behaved all-American all-star boy and perfectly behaved princess daughter with grandma and grandpa down the street don’t exist. People are starting to want more realistic show, and this show does just that while also keeping their audience entertained with humor.
Addressing Gloria’s portion specifically, I think it is a great part and can be held responsible for a lot of the show’s success. I don’t understand why people think it’s offensive (I understand HOW they can, but I just don’t understand why they consider it or take her role that close to heart). Her role is meant to be funny, just like everyone else on there. Her’s just adds a little more spark, and that’s also why she’s the more memorable. People can’t help but notice her on the show, and I think it’s a great depiction of Latinos in sometimes very Americanized households. I’m personally in a relationship with a Caucasian, “all-american” boy, whose family is quiet and quaint, while here I am, with my family: obnoxious, loud, and crazy. I can definitely see parts of myself and my family in Gloria’s role, and I don’t take any offense to that and commend ABC for getting Sofia Vergara to play a role like this. I don’t think it is meant to be anywhere near offensive, and she’s great at what she does which is what makes the show so great!
December 8th, 2012
I think this article, as well as how Sofia carries herself are really positive images for her as well as for all Latinas. She does play a stereotypical Latina trophy wife in Modern Family, but it a comedic show. And I think its great that she can bring Colombian culture into a show like this with such a wide audience. She is very successful and has achieved a lot for both herself and her son, regardless of the fact its because shes a beautiful, exotic Latina.
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