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Yes, I Am Latina, & No, I Am Not Spicy

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Sonoma chapter.

Growing up in the States we hear and absorb countless stereotypes around different races and ethnicities. “She is black, of course she can dance.” “Asian women are obedient”, and last but not least, “Latinas are spicy.” As a woman who identifies as Mexican, I will tell you that yes I am Latina, but no I am not spicy.

This stereotype that sexualizes Latinx women places us under an umbrella that is filled with “fuego”, or heat. Under this umbrella the words “loud, hot-headed, and seductive, ” have all been added to paint the picture that Latinx women are not simple but that instead they are complicated women who tend to be “feisty,” because of their heritage. If you do a simple Google search of “Spicy Latina,” the majority of the images are of Latinx women dressed in provocative clothes, in sensual poses, and you will even come across a magazine cover named “Spicy Latina”. All of these images are what add to the stereotype that because someone is Latina, she must be promiscuous, and has too much personality to handle, compared to a non-Latinx woman.

So why is this stereotype used so often? It’s the chase.

To non-Latinx men there is a certain excitement that comes with meeting a Latina woman who is independent, and doesn’t fit the usual “housewife” image. This excitement is expressed as “spicy,” a word that is often used to describe a pepper, sauce, or salsa to say that we are the not “bland,” or “boring.” It is a stereotype that has sexualized all Latinx women of various backgrounds, and has opened the door to make it okay to make derogatory comments to us, and view us as objects instead of individuals with diverse backgrounds.

Independence and confidence have no race or ethnicity.

And while it may seem like most Latinx women do fit this “spicy” category, independence and confidence have no race or ethnicity. Someone from a different background can just as easily be as resilient as a Latinx woman. It is a stereotype that fails to acknowledge the independence, and beauty of other woman of color.

It is a stereotype that has minimized Latinx woman into something much smaller than we are, and it is a saying that needs to be stopped.


Gaby Medina is a third year at Sonoma State University majoring in Business Admin. She grew up by the beach in a small Hispanic community in Santa Cruz Country, CA; where she was raised in a Mexican household. She loves dogs, tacos, wine and to write articles that others can relate too. She also loves being honest about experiences she's been through in hopes will help others going through the same things. She hopes to work for one of her favorite companies one day like Twitter,  Netflix, or Anastasia Beverly Hills. 
I'm Suzie, and I'm a senior at Sonoma State University! I'm a Peer Mentor, a member of SSU's Equestrian team, cat lover, tea drinker, avid book reader. I'm an anthropology major pursuing a career in higher education and student affairs as an advocate for student programs with a focus on diversity, mental health, and sexual assault awareness. I'm excited to gain experience learning about and raising awareness of current campus issues through writing for HerCampus!