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I Am Nothing like the Media Portrays Me to Be

As a Hispanic woman trying to make a career for herself in the media industry, I feel like I have a lot to prove. To whom? Everyone.  I’m a 5’2 brown skin woman with hips as wide as the ocean (figuratively speaking, of course). When people see me, they automatically make assumptions about me.  Often, people expect me to be loud, crazy and a knock-off version of Cardi B.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Cardi B – but, I can’t twerk to save my life. I’m also more into classic rock than rap. Sorry, not sorry.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a ton of fun, but my definition of fun is different from yours. I’m not someone that you would ever find clubbing because being in a crowded room with smelly individuals that are drunk doesn’t interest me. The perfect night out for me is going to a movie theater with my sister or going to Barnes and Noble with a few of my friends. Still, when people see me, they assume that I follow the classic Latina stereotype which is that we are all loud, obnoxious, and always ready to have a good time. Us, Hispanic women, are all expected to look and act similar to Sofia Vergara’s character Gloria on Modern Family. I hate to break it to everyone, but I haven’t met one Hispanic woman that comes even close to resembling Gloria.

Again, don’t get me wrong. I love Sofia Vergara. I think she is a strong embodiment of a powerful self-made woman. However, I am nothing like her character Gloria. Neither are the many other Hispanic women that I know. We don’t wear tight clothing, marry rich old men, lash out violently when things don’t go our way, or feel the need to yell every word we say. However, the media expects us to act like this because that’s all they see on their televisions.

Hispanic women are more than what we are portrayed to be in the media. Some of us are shy, persistent, frank, passionate, witty and yes, even loud. We have so many layers that it is often frustrating when people like to stick us all in a box together. We are not the same. We are all different with various personalities and experiences. So, why is it that Hollywood likes to treat us all the same and in turn, make others believe that we are all the same?  

I  wish more Hispanic women were portrayed in the media. But, until that day that an equal number of hispanic women are portrayed in the media, I am going to keep breaking stereotypes the only way that I know how too. By being myself and showing people that the media’s interpretation of us isn’t accurate. As someone that is going into the media industry, I know that one day there will be a change and no longer will Hispanic women simply be portrayed as the sexy latina lover. We will be portrayed as the many different personalities that we each have just like every other culture. But, until that day, I will be fighting the good fight from right here.

Chanila German is a student at Montclair State University and expects to complete her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a concentration in Television and Digital Media in May 2020. She's an avid reader and podcast-junkie. During her time off from school and work, she's usually somewhere with her camera taking photos.
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