It was the first time I spend more than one week in Latin America in a very, very long time. This trip has revealed lifestyle that I should be more familiar with as an academic in the field of languages and cultures and more specifically, with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.
I have noticed a strange phenomenon in academia, Latin American and Caribbean studies classes stray away from one vital part of our culture and lifestyle: sexuality.
First let me define sexuality:
Latina’s (and latino’s) lives are characterized by appearances, by beauty, by curves and by sexuality. In Colombia there is even a saying, “there are no ugly women, just poor husbands.” Bam!
Here is a little experiment: Think of the where most beautiful women come from. I bet most of you thought Latin American or the Caribbean. Don’t get me wrong, I think all women from all over the world are beautiful, but Latinas have a high perception of beauty and sexuality that is unmatched.
My argument— Latin culture is fiery, passionate, and sexual. Here is my proof:
I have been listening and dancing to this song (La Bomba) since I can remember. It is all about sexuality and being sexy. As a six year old, I would be going along with the lyrics, putting my hand on my head and dancing sexy… it was 100% normal. More than normal it was encouraged. So Latinas from a young age are socialized to be sexy.
Bachata-I bet that was one of the sexiest dances you have ever seen. Enough said.
Crop tops, make-up, Colombian Jeans, esthetic surgeries… I could go on, but all of these ordinary to Latinas.
I brought a “friend” to a family party a few weeks ago and we talked about how beautiful all the women were. I even asked him to guess how many of them didn’t have their boobs done. He blush and nervously said he wasn’t going to look. I laughed at how something so taboo could be normal to me. Lets just say it is only a handful of us without the surgery.
So Real talk…
Lets not pretend that sexuality has nothing to do with culture because we don’t want to blush in the middle of the classroom. Yes, this actually happen. I was in my capstone course for my Latin American and Caribbean studies minor and my professor stopped the music video to Despacito, the number one song in the world, because she felt awkward. I think college students have seen and done a lot worse… This blinds us from appreciating the culture as a whole. Just like our language, our culture is romantic. It is warm, deep, sort of poetic like. And sexuality is one of the ways we express that.
Also, I highly disagree that considering Latinas as sexy, degrades us in any sense. It is when we only use this stereotypes that we run into trouble, but that is true with any race or ethnicity. So next time we want to describe a Latina, lets try these:
We are all the above(and more). Not just one.
Quote of the day: “Don’t listen to what they say. Go see.”