DISCUSSION Alie Garry & Mariah Monroe
Our discussion about notoriety of Latinas in politics was very interesting to me because it was something that I had not thought about before. We often have celebrities reach out to us so that their appeal makes it easier for us to find commonality with politicians. Meanwhile important names such as Supreme Court justices, U.S. senators, even names of journalisms are often forgotten.
I was fascinated to hear about Judge Sotomayor, as we had been hearing about many female leads in the media who were fictional. It was nice to hear about a latina who exuded the essence of education and career. Soledad O’brien was also very similar to this, and she represented the latina who could hold a multifaceted identity of self, and encouraged others to do the same. These woman are so important because they exemplify a break in stereotypes that latina should be a certain type.
Also, In this presentation we were able to see Lilia Luciana portrayed in two differences broadcasts. It was interesting to see how ethnicity was interpreted in both by the class; some argued that she toned down her latinidad while others said she was just doing her job. I think regardless of the reason, the fact that we are seeing a strong female latina in a career in which she is on control of what her cues. She certainly has to have a certain level of education and expertise to carry out to vastly different broadcast and I thought the fact that she did both showed just how versatile and how a stereotype can be broke even when at times it seems like it is being upheld.
I am very pleased with the selection of Judge Sotomayor as well, but for different reasons. I think that her struggle in the early stages of her life, raised in a low income housing community is one of the greatest aspects of President Obama’s selection of Sotomayor. This not only proves her resilience and strength, but it also creates a positive role model for other young women in similar situations. Frequently in low income housing projects there are cultures of crime and violence. Judge Sotomayor with the help of her mother rose above this stereotype and society. Therefore the selection of this particular judge as a Latina, woman, and low income family member is a positive role model for other young women of any race.
I completely agree with you Morgan. She is certainly an incredible woman and an exceptional role model, what is discouraging is that you do not hear from her. I understand that as a Supreme Court Judge you are meant to have some level of objectivity, but it irritates me that the only time you hear about her is when someones using her name for political gain.
Judge Sotomayer is definitely a good example of working class woman. Her achievements are truly inspiring from someone who came up from nothing. So she definitely had to claw and scratch her way to the top. She is an extreme role model to the Latin community because she is the first Latin women and of her accomplishments. They have to use this as a stepping stone that if she can make it, why can’t you? And it’s great that people get to see more representation of Latin women in a positive way. It makes people feel that hard work pays off and that you can be successful. It slowly takes time and this is just the start. Because change can happen and people would be inspired to chase their goals and break the stereotypes that we see today.
It is true about how Luciana had to change her own personality in her other job of being a reporter but she is doing her job which other people cannot understand that to be successful and be treated serious is by looking like a professional. That’s how women like Luciana are been treated serious and other people will see her as a professional woman. Just like O’Brien who had to do a lot of hard work to get the place where she is now and Luciana wants to be seen as a person who can be a reporter and wants recognition of her work.
I think that Lilia Luciana is very successful because she knows how to engage an audience. Depending on who the target audience is, she can access different parts of her personality and reach out to them. I think this goes to show that Latinas are not just one type of person, and that rather than toning down her latinidad she was still being herself. How she acts does not change the fact that she is Latina. Whether she is being vibrant and expressive or serious, she is still the same person and still Latina. She is just showing different sides of herself.
I agree with you. Lilia’s report about Casey Anthony was a more serious report so she wore a more formal outfit than she did on the first clip. She would look extremely unreliable if she wore the dress she wore in the first video. A journalist outfit should be appropriate for the case that they are reporting. Obviously the Casey Anthony case is a very serious one so she is wearing a professional outfit that fits the occasion. The first clip take place in a more fun, audience-engaged environments so she wore a fun dress and showed her friendly personality so that she could come off as more approachable.
I agree that the situation dictating a lot of the changes she made, however, to play devils advocate, do you think that it was necessary for her to virtually get rid of her accent in order to get the more serious news stories?
I really enjoyed the part of the presentation about Soledad O’Brien. I haven’t heard of her or her work before and I found her CNN: Latina in America show to be very interesting. I appreciate how she’s trying to bring awareness of the diversity within the Latino community because there are many people in society that do not know how diverse it really is. Those who have not been exposed to many latinos throughout their lives, besides what they see on TV/movies, wouldn’t understand the complexity and diversity among the Latino community. People oftentimes take what they see in the media and generalize this to the entire Latino population and this can perpetuate negative stereotypes. Therefore, Soledad O’Brien’s show works to provide its viewers with a wide variety of stories and experiences of many different latinos.
Stephanie- Absolutely! I grew up in a very non-diverse community in which many people took what they saw on TV at face value not understanding the complexity of races, cultures, and people. It is reports like these that can hopefully bring awareness of the reality and eventually breakdown preconceived notions that are formed based on ethnicity.
I liked this presentation a lot because up to this point in our class, we have mostly focused on the roles of Latina characters in movies or on television. This topic of Latinas in news and in politics was really interesting especially seeing Lilia Luciana shown in two differences broadcasts. The roles of a broadcasting job despite your ethnicity are specific and formal. She did not seem to be attached to the information she was giving and reporting on which was much less enthusiastic and lively. Her appearance drastically changed from the talk show broadcast to the news reporter which also takes in to account the setting. In my opinion, even if a person is not an actress, we are always playing a certain role. As we were able to see, Lilia is a positive representation of Latinas being an independent Latina woman having a career.
I also thought our discussion about Eva Longoria and Latinas in relations to the election was very interesting. By associating a person to a product in general, we make judgements based on the person or whatever it is associated with it. In this case, Eva Longoria is being presented as a co-chair of the Obama campaign and many people may only know her as Desperate Housewives Gabrielle. Her role in the show is a wealthy mother who is very materialistic and cheats on her husband. Her fans most likely would support her however, many may think she is not even qualified or educated on these political issues. Obviously being in the media, there is criticism and debates constantly. Having a Latina and a woman like Eva is definitely a change in the history of this country.
I thought this article based on Eva Longoria and her twitter/social media conflicts was interesting.
I agree with your comment about how this class was very interesting because we’ve only been focusing on latinas in movies/tv shows. But, this topic of latinas in the news and politics displayed a real-life example of the pressures latinas face when they are in the spotlight. The contrast between the two different stations was so extreme, pretty much night and day. However, we have to keep in mind that the first clip was a very light-hearted clip with music and dancing and the second clip was a very serious topic about Casey Anthony, so obviously there would be a large contrast.
From my perspective it was a nice change looking at real life latinas rather than a portrayal of a latina character. Digging into their back stories and how they have come so far and accomplished so much was a rewarding and inspiring endeavor.
The article you posted is very interesting and shows the issues caused when you mix politics, entertainment, and media. Although all the women mentioned in the presentation are bent certain ways by the media I like to think they have some control over their betrayal and it is more genuin than what is portrayed in entertainment.
You brought up a good point that I had not previously thought about, we are looking at real latinas rather than just the portrayal of a character. That is really important, especially when most portrayals are often stereotypical. The fact that we have these women in the media making a positive difference is very influential for us.
I thought your comment about Eva Longoria was rather interesting and pertinent. In today’s world, especially reflected in this year’s elections, celebrities are becoming more vocal and prominent in the political realm, especially with the rise in use of social media such as Twitter where they can easily interact directly with their fans and retweet others’ opinions.
I find the blend of entertainment and politics rather disturbing, because it complicates the political process and clouds people’s minds sometimes. And the fact that politics and entertainment are becoming more intricately mixed might have implications for latino/as as well. It becomes a new outlet/voice for latinos to express their political views, but I wonder if there are negative consequences.
It was interesting how Luciano was in the Latino media like Telemundo and she acted like herself with some normal clothes. Later it is strange how Luciano change her appearance in the American show called “Today’s show” which my classmates were talking about how Luciano has to change her appearance because when you are a reporter for serious show, you have to wear like a suit or dress especially to a women who has to wear more clothing, so she could be treated serious instead of her other show. In the American show, she was wearing professional clothes and she was speaking as a professional. In class, we talk about how women had to work harder to be treated with respect and have equal power in their respected career paths.
It suprised me about how CNN was the only show that made Soledad’s O’Brien allowed her to investigate the discrimation of Latinos and how she wants people to see that how a Latino really is in real life instead of fake stories about them. In the interview when they were asking people in the show, one lady said it is scary of the unknown because we don’t know anything about them, which is correct. It is scary to talk to people who are stranger to you, so the only way to understand them is to communicate about them or learn about them in a correct source. It is good of what O’Brien is trying to do because it could help how people view the Latinos in the United States and even though some of them may be good things that can come out of it but there will be negative sides of the topic. But it is a risk that O’Brien is willing to take, for the sake of the next generation of Latinos who are born in America.
Sometimes I feel as if its not fair that Latina identities are almost expected to display and address concerns related to their Latinaness. This makes me think of the newsreporter that does the reports about Latinos and It makes me think if this is something done because she is Latina and its expected of her due to her identity or is this something that she wants to gain awareness about willingly. I feel as though minorities are sometimes limited in opportunities because they are expected to address concerns that are only within their own identities. It makes me think if in a sense she is being used because of her being a latina.
As a Journalist major news and politics are subjects I have been interested in and have studied for a long time. However, looking at the Latina role specifically gave me a whole new appreciation for the topic. The women that were featured in the presentation, Sotomayor, O’Brien, Luciana, and Solis are smart and powerful, and have overcome obstacles put in place by both their race and gender.
Sotomayor lived in a single parent household in the projects, she put herself through school at top Ivy League universities, and even after all of her work, accomplishments, and qualifications she faced controversy in her Supreme Court appointment. She became the first Latina and third woman on the Supreme Court and is an inspiration to us all.
What I also found most interesting about the topic of politics is how Latina stereotypes have been played up in elections. While reading campaign strategies for candidates it was brought to my attention that politicians market themselves differently to females than they do males and Hispanics differently than white or black Americans. The issues that politicians have decided are important are immigration, job creation, healthcare, and minimum wage. Even more interesting they have determined that they will address Latinas through famous Hispanic figures such as Eva Longoria, and talk about issues on a personal level because Latinas are all about family values.
Political minds have decided that the best way to win is to separate people through gender, ethnicity, and social status. It fascinates and discourages me how this semester we have been discussing how to breakdown barriers and social overgeneralization when in the world outside of academia there are whole industries that work to cultivate stereotypes for their own gain.
It is apparent in almost everything that we do, that race is going to be talked about. In all that we do on a daily basis, we have to verify our identities. I think that Race is so talked about because it isnt ignorable. Race is something seen as standing out and clearly visible to the eye. We are all different colors and shades and this is apparant just through walking around campus. Due to this, it will always be addressed in a manner that makes it relevant. We constantly see ways in which we can seperate ourselves from other people. Also, there is evidently a purpose in addressing ones identity through the campaign because there are problems that are sometimes directed towards one identity more than another. But, the ways in which these are addressed are not always the smartest methods.
I like your point Brianna, race is something that isn’t ignorable, therefore we have to talk about it. Or at least that is how it seems doesn’t it? Why must we always look for a way to separate ourselves from other people? Why do we always have to verify or identities?
It upsets me that such challenges still exists in a world that supports diversity and freedom. If we are going to acknowledge race, it should never be in a negative or discriminatory manor. Our race should never be what hold us back from a job or an opportunity.
When watching this presentation, It becomes known that to be a Latina identity is something that cannot necessarily be defined since it has its own interpretations and will always be criticized. We look at Latinas in the Media and when they are sexy then we claim it on their Latinaness but this is an issue that is relevant to all women. We just are able to see it present in Latina identities more often. But then when we see people who are Latina and look white we find that they are not expressing their Latina identities to the fullest and this gets criticized as well. I just wanted to note how these are issues that are applied to all women, however are targeted at specifically Latina identities. I think that Latina women should be able to express themselves however they desire and shouldnt have to adapt to different surroundings by changing their appearance.
We saw in this presentation how the newsreporters adapted to various environments in order to look more professional. However, it is important that we notice the notions of looking professional is to look more white which is problematic in itself. Women should be able to wear whatever they please and not be judged. We see the newsreporters have to change their appearance just to please their audiences. This makes it hard for us to judge their true character because they are constantly adapting to different situations in order to be successful.
I do not understand why we continue to criticize Latina Identities by means of their appearance. I think women regardless of their identities should be able to dress however they please. However, its also crucial that we realize they often dress how they think they should instead of how they want to. In order to be professional, a women should dress appropriately but not be restricted in doing so. As women, we should not have to constantly adapt to different environments to become accepted.
Brianna, I agree with your statement about criticizing Latina and Latino identity by appearances. We have made it clear through our many discussions that Latinos/as come in many colors, shapes, and sizes. Hopefully one day Latinas and women in general will be equal.
I found this topic to be really interesting, especially with the election happening around the time of our discussion. While listening to Pandora in my car, an advertisement came up that was in Spanish, telling Latino voters to make sure to vote on election day. One of the main talking points in the advertisement was family, something that politicians target toward Latino voters. Although Latino voters may see immigration, family, and minimum wage as important issues, there are also many other important issues that should also be addressed in Spanish speaking advertisements.
I found it interesting that Eva Longoria was chosen to speak for Obama’s campaign to address Latina voters. Although as an actress she does have the ability to be recognized by many, I think that it may have been a better choice to choose somebody who made their name in politics. Seeing someone like Judge Sotomayor, a Latina who worked her way up and became a supreme court justice, would be a much more powerful image to show.
I completely agree with you Adam, I find it very controversial that Eva Longoria was chosen for this role. Someone like Judge Sotomayor, as you said, would have held a much more significant role in this advertisement. However, it is my belief that someone like Eva, who has made her name famous through television work is unfortunately much more widely known than someone of more political significance. This brings me to wonder what it would take for our society to consider and/or respect a latina politician over a latina actress or celebrity?
I believe that perhaps one day we may become familiar with important names in politics who represent us, but only if we pay attention. Eva Longoria, while she is a talented actress, is not the best choice to be giving us a political message.
I agree with you Adam & Morgan too. It’s sad to say but the society we live in thrives on the latest news with celebrities and actresses. Their fame and acting skills seems to outweigh those who are so intelligent in politics.
In one of my classes, a survey was done to see how many people in the class knew what was going on with our U.S. troops overseas in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, not many
students (including myself to be honest) knew or had anything to say. On the other hand, they asked how many students knew what was the latest news with Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Kourtneys pregnancy. Everyone seemed to laugh and have some comment because they knew exactly what the situation was. It really put things in perspective for me because it’s not that I don’t want to be informed with politics and important news information but as a college student this media is geared towards me.
Through surveying people for my term project I have found a surprisingly large population is aware of the former Mexican mayor, Maria Santos Gorrestieta. Elected official in Mochocan, an area of turf war between drug cartels, Maria has walked away from assassination attempts more than once. She was kidnapped while bringing her daughter to school and found a week later, cause of death is said to be a blow to the back of the head. Many of the Latinas we can identify are pop stars and tv personalities, Maria Santos Gorrostieta is a heroine, fighting the tragically stereotypical Mexican drug lord.
Here is more information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/26/maria-santos-gorrostieta-dead-mexico-mayor-tortured-killed_n_2193219.html
Though many people have become aware of Maria Santos Gorrostieta, it seems they only know her because of her vicious murder. No one knows of the work that she did for her community and against the drug cartels in her country. This is a clear example of what is wrong with the values our country and world holds dear. Here’s a woman fighting for peace and against drug cartels, yet she only becomes recognized once shes kidnapped and killed. Yet, Sofia Vergara is all over magazines and television. The situation is very sad and hopefully women can one day receive the recognition they deserve without having to resort to conforming or being murdered.
A very famous host that was not mentioned in this power point is Lili Estefan. She is another Latina news reporter who appears to be white. She is blonde, very skinny, tall, and fair skinned. Along with the Raul, she is the host of “El Gordo y la Flaca.” This is a show similar to E news. They gossip about celebrity behavior. Even though she does not really look hispanic, her loud personality fits the “loud, hispanic woman who likes to gossip” stereotype.
This show airs on Univision and is obviously aimed at the hispanic community in America. She can be considered to be a leader among hispanic women because she is a successful journalist. The only problem is that her looks don’t really represent the looks of a typical hispanic woman. However this look is considered to be more “attractive” therefore she sticks with it.
Just like Sofia Vergara, I feel like Lili got her position as host due to her looks as well as connections. She is the niece of the producer of “El Gordo y la Flaca.” Before she was offered this position, she used to model. She appeared on the game show “Sabado Gigante” and suddenly became the public’s favorite due to her looks and loud personality. She used to have brown hair and dyed it blond for “El Gordo y la Flaca.”
Its about time!!!! Finally we get to see Latinas that do not follow the stereotypes to become a successful Latina in the world. Latinas usually become successful in the media due to the stereotypes that are established in society. Exotic, curvy, slim, beautiful, sexy are a few adjectives that follow their fame in the media. With this, they become lead actresses, models, music artists, and are very hypersexualized, because sex sells. To see Latinas becoming successful outside of this realm is very satisfactory for the Latina community. Women such as Sotomayor and Solis are setting an example that should be followed by Latinas. You don’t necessarily have to follow the stereotypes in order to become successful.
I feel that the misrepresentation of Latinas in these high roles such as lawyers, news reports, and judges shouldn’t be as low as it is right now. Like Diane Alverio said, the number of Latinos in this country is increasing. We are about 17% of the US population and yet the percentage of Latinos that are professionals such as lawyers and judges are less than 1%. I’m not saying that Latinas in the media should feel ashamed of how they became famous. But I feel that Latina woman believe that being hypersexualized is the only way of making it out.
As a journalism major, I found this topic especially interesting. Up until now we had been concentrating on the role of Latinas in the film industry. I had never thought of the challenges that faced Latinas in other media platforms. Our lecture about the rise of journalists like Solidad O’Brian touched on the discrimination and prejudices that face Latinas in today’s society.
While reading about Solidad’s life, I noticed that many of the challenges she faces in regards to breaking through stigmas and holding her own in a “mostly white world” can be applied to the life and challenges of Latinas in the film and music industry. Though Latinas are often portrayed in a negative and sexualized fashion, they must work together to break this mold. If Latina’s continue to accept the stereotypical roles given to them, then when will these negative personas end?
Furthermore, the lack of influential or empowering roles being offered to Latinas makes me question what exactly people are afraid of? Could it be that Americans are simply afraid of a culture they don’t understand? And if so, how can we work to break this fear?
I think its very cool how Lulia Luciano was portrayed differently in to different aspects. I was shocked to see her how different she was. You can still tell but she definitely had a lot more make up on when she worked for Telemundo. When she was on NBC, she was definitely tone down. Her look was a lot more natural. But at the same time, you have to be because you have to be professional. And people aren’t focus on you, they’re more focus on the news. I think she was very sexualized on Telemundo. Because they had to make it fun and exotic, that’s what you got from her. She had to be over sexualized because it was funny and people were more focus on her rather than the news.
She had to change her look because that was the only way she was going to attract audience. You have to look at who you’re trying to market it to. It is a business and sex sells, but they can’t do that on a news show. Especially NBC because they have to be professional, everything is taking seriously. It’s like they are trying to relate to most business men and women in America. They have to be formal. Whereas on Telemundo, she can be carefree and wear a skirt because she appeals to a Latin audience. She pokes fun and thats the main point. I think she has to change her looks based off the self on how to market herself. I think also show the different sides of her and her versatile she can be. It’s good that she can reach out to a wide range of audience and be bilingual. So she has to conform to these changes to be successful. On top of that, she again faces discrimination as a women because she is in a male dominated industry.
The world of broadcast journalism has been an interesting industry to me for a while. I watch the HBO program “The Newsroom” and after studying this topic in our class, I am beginning to realize that it is a business subject to rules and guidelines like any other. I was not surprised at all to see the transformation that Lucia Luciano underwent when she transformed from a more fun Spanish-language talk show persona to a bland, robotic news field journalist. Similarly, in “The Newsroom,” Sloane Sabbath, a young economic analyst, is forced to become “less feminine.” Both of these examples, of real life and fiction, demonstrate that women have to become sexless to become more “credible.” In many career areas a woman is forced to lose her identity just so she can be taken seriously. Another area we see this prevalently occurring in is the world of politics. Just as in journalism, a female politician has to remain completely poised, with no sign of emotion. This is presumed to be a solely female characteristic and often viewed as a flaw, despite the fact that emotion is a part of human nature.
When it comes to Soledad O’Brien, I believe it is imperative for journalists like her to give voice to minorities, to people who are not given equal opportunity in the mainstream media. I personally have never seen her “Voices from the Latino Community,” but the number of stereotype-breaking depictions on television needs to increase. For every one positive role a Latino is in, there seems to be a thousand others where he or she is a criminal, a drug dealer, or a sex-crazed lowlife. It is also important, I believe, for a member of that community to be behind the pieces or at least have a hand in their production. That often helps to make them feel less exploitative in nature, thus allowing the audience to have the sense that they are getting a less corrupted view into the lives of everyday people. For example, from one of the video previews, we are able to see that just because someone identifies as a Latino/a, does not mean they do not identify as American equally or even more so. I am familiar with a variety of Latino cultures due to the demographics of where I grew up, but there are other parts of our country where some people literally only see Latinos on screen. These are the people who need the greatest increase in access to education on the topic to increase awareness.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with using Eva as a political ally. I actually praise her for using her fame in effort to support a cause she believes in (in this case, Obama), especially since she probably filmed the commercial for free. It shows that fame can turn a person into a narcissist, or in Eva’s case, can help someone advocate their beliefs, for a wide audience to hear.
The most interesting part of this presentation was when we were comparing Lilia Luciana in her two different jobs. Each job portrays her in very different ways, but are they really playing in to the stereotypes? Some people mentioned how she left her latinidad behind when she became a news reporter or how she acted all “rowdy” in her talk show. The way I see it is that she was not thinking about her latinidad at all. She was acting how she thought fit in each scenarios. it is ridiculous how we, as a society, have to judge Latinas/os on everything they do. In the case of Luciana she was adapting to a career change and had to become more serious when becoming a reporter.
I do not believe, at all, that she did not “represent” her latinidad. Who is the public to determine that? She knows she is a Latina and I am sure she is proud of it. It is only because she is a powerful public figure, that the public has to criticize her every move. The media has taken way too much control of everything. They tell us what to think about and when to think about it. It has created a society where everyone is judgmental of each other. The fact is that Lilia Luciana changed her appearance because she changed her job and decided wearing a suit and speaking calmly and more seriously was appropriate, which it was.
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