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Pedro Pascal, Bad Bunny, and More: Latinos Having Their Moment In the Spotlight

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Cal Poly chapter.

For a long time, it has been an effort for people of color to be recognized in the media. Hollywood attempted to create inclusive spaces, yet we always watched the trophies end up in the hands of white men. Today, while there is still obviously room for improvement, great strides have been made and people of color have gained both representation and recognition. , something I noticed was lacking in the media was the recognition of Latinx stars and celebrities. After the last couple of months, I have seen triumph again and again and could not feel more pride in my own community. Let’s take a closer look at some of the achievements of our favorite celebrities that represent the Latinx community.

If you are on TikTok or social media in general, it is no secret that Chilean American actor Pedro Pascal has become quite the heart-throb, and for good reason I mean, look at him…Anyways, although Pascal has been taking on minor roles since the early 2000s, his career really took off in the past seven years through his roles in Narcos, Game of Thrones, The Mandalorian, and now his most recent and most popular show on HBO called The Last of Us. With the popularity surrounding The Last of Us, TikTok has seemed to have caught on to the greatness of this man on and off the screen. I have been around for many of TikTok’s male obsessions, from Robert Pattinson and Draco Malfoy to Harry Styles and Jake Sully from Avatar. It is nice to finally see a Latino man get the recognition he deserves, even if it is through some rather graphic fan edits. 

If you tuned in to the 65th Annual Grammy Awards on February 5th, you know that Bad Bunny came out with a bang. The Puerto Rican artist kicked off the awards night with some crazy energy and two songs from his top-charting album, Un Verano Sin Ti. He started off with a shout-out to his home, Puerto Rico, with the song “El Apagón,” then got the crowd moving with his hit song, and my personal favorite, “Después de la Playa.” We saw stars like Taylor Swift and Jack Harlow get down with Bad Bunny’s blend of Reggaeton, Merengue, and Mambo. He also brought out talented dancers from different Latin American backgrounds to liven up the party. Bad Bunny rightfully took home the award for best Música Urbana Album. While this award should still be celebrated, the Latinx community hopes that soon people of color will be able to get recognition in the main categories instead of being placed in these side ones. Especially for Bad Bunny, whose Spanish album topped the American Billboard charts for 13 non-consecutive weeks, it is disappointing to continue receiving the awards clearly created to give to people of color. However, this topic is definitely one that is being discussed and called out which is a victory in itself. We can still celebrate Bad Bunny for his accomplishments and for representing his beautiful culture at one of the biggest award shows in America.

To take a bit of a turn, I would now like to highlight an influential character who recently entered the Marvel Universe in the movie, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was released on November 11, 2022. Namor the Sub-Mariner, played by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta, came to life with a reimagined ethnic background in this movie. Namor and the people of his underwater kingdom, the Talokan, represent classic elements of Mesoamerican, specifically Aztec, peoples. Traditional jewelry, headdresses, and even elements of the Aztec language were rendered in the Talokan people, whose name was derived from Tlālōcān. Tlālōcān was an Aztec paradise ruled by the rain god Tlāloc. The producers of this movie kept consistent from the comics Namor’s fierce desire to protect his people, because of this he is an ambiguous character. To the Wakandans he is a threat, but to his people, he is their hero who once saved them from death at the hands of Spanish colonizers and who will now protect them from anyone who is dangerous to the Talokan kingdom. We see Namor’s great devotion to his people in this movie and are provided with a beautiful representation of deep-rooted Mesoamerican culture. 

While of course Latinos have been in the spotlight for years, it is empowering to see my generation placing these stars on the same level as the typically white heartthrobs. While representation has certainly gotten better, recognition is something we can always improve. I am thrilled to see the doors opening for people of color and I am excited to see what more will come our way. 

Now, back to the Pedro edits…

Savannah Aguiar

Cal Poly '26

Savannah Aguiar is a second-year English major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Aside from writing, she enjoys sunsets, photography, reading, and coffee.