Las “Copias Typicas” de Gringolandia: How To Survive Being Forced to Fit the Latinx Stereotype in America
“The most important thing for everyone in Gringolandia is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody.”Frida Kahlo
Alright, so here’s the deal: my name is 7 letters long beginning with a Z and ending with a Y. I’ve got full ass lips that sometimes act as an umbrella for my chin and hair that is finally getting to my ass. I am coming to embrace my inner clean freak, seeing as I’ve always been about that freak-freak life from the beginning 😉 (JK, I waited to be deflowered at 18 and really really wish I could take my flower back, now that I have found better ways to nurture the inner flor by myself, or at least with better people, pero I digress). I’m a pretty regular girl, except…that I’m actually not. You can’t ever be regular as a Latina. Yet no matter where I go, somehow I am pushed into believing that I am the exact prototype of my “race,” that employers and boyfriends (of various backgrounds) and the whole of Caucasians have all seen and know what I have to offer. Because I’m Latina. It’s a standard now, I guess. And the standard reads a little like this:
Receta para la Mujer Latina:
- Medio taza de limpieza
- Botella completa de locuras
- Galón de sexo exótico y culo del mismo tamaño de una casa
- Cuarto de galón de tetas D-DDD
- Taza completa de esclavitud a los deseos de su marido
- Un cucharón de cocinera; (tiene que graduarse de la cocina de abuela)
- Y 48 oz de “buena mujer,” que espera hasta la matrimonio para tener hijos y salva la familia de la pobrez con sus gran logros en su trabajo y también una mujer que “nunca falta”
So, raise your hand if you meet all these (if you do f*ck you, and second, God bless because that life is a hard and lonely one mi querida). The chances are though, that you don’t meet all these and you probably don’t want to either. I mean… esclavitud? Seriously? Big pass on that, Sal. Yet somehow, someway, this secret recipe gets into the hands of all of my employers and former boyfriends, and somewhere along the line in my workplace, I get a “Hey, how does your kitchen look? I bet it’s super clean and you like to control everything in it. Bet you whip some mean tamales and throw everyone out of the kitchen. How do I know? Hahaha because I know you like I know the others.” Just imagine the freakiness of that. And the ‘what-the-fuckness’ that crosses my face, and the faces of countless others of you in this same situation who have to hold that sh*t in. Or how about going out on a date and the guy saying “Damn, I don’t know if I can take that temper again, Latina’s always on that crazy sh*t. But I like it though, high key, so I just might have to risk it,” right after you put him onto the best meal in your favorite restaurant. Yeah, enjoy that taco Richie, it’s the last thing you’ll eat with me b*tch. Oh, now you don’t like the temper?
Anyways, it is really frustrating having everyone think they know you, and can even be devastating, when you don’t meet any of the criteria and feel like you aren’t the star standard everyone seems to hold you to. Different can be really f*cking lonely. I, for one, cannot cook for sh*t. I don’t enjoy it, and I only date men who cook because if not, it’ll be Domino’s Extra Garlic Crusted pizza with red and green peppers, onions, and chicken slices (you’re welcome for that, it is as bomb as it sounds) every night. I do have a short fuse at times with my love interests, but Gaht Damn do I love. And I spoil. But I’m not the neatest person. I can sometimes leave clean laundry unfolded on my bed for like 3 days (never dirty, though, give me some credit here). I don’t decorate for sh*t either and my ASS, is none of anyone’s damn business (yes I am an active member of the Small Booties Need Love2 Association, hate on it). My point in sharing all this is to say that even though I don’t meet all of the criteria that is put on me, doesn’t make me defective. It doesn’t make me any less worthy of love, admiration, respect, courtesy, or professionalism. I am different, but that’s f*cking awesome. In fact, EVERY Latina is different. We all have our strengths and our weaknesses and our quirks, and we don’t all follow the same rule book or mode of behavior. I have met some extremely patient Latinas my age (shocker to the rule book holders, I know) as well as Latinas who don’t want to raise families but rather their careers (more power to you mama, we got enough people procreating out here so don’t you worry, we got you) and Latinas who are every sexual identity you can think of other than straight (and GUESS WHAT, we were always expected to be curvy so CHEERS to you for flipping that interpretation mama, you SMAWT and you still motherfucking SEXY with whatever you into, okay?!)
I just want it to be understood that we as Latinx folk have our own identities that can be separate from our Latinxhood, that we don’t all have this intrinsic sameness to us. Of course, we can relate to each other on many levels that we wouldn’t be able to with just anyone, but baby, we ain’t copias. We just unfortunately encounter a lot of the same sh*t: sexual harassment/abuse, racism, colorism, expectations of perfection, etc. But we also have some good things to relate to, maybe growing up with the chancleta (which isn’t good per say, pero it be mad funny after you’re grown), speaking Spanglish with each other, and sharing stories about trying to find your place because you seem to always end up in the middle of nowhere in terms of social groups. And this relatedness can cross over into many other cultural groups as well, but it doesn’t make us typical. Nothing about life experience is typical. So, bad ass woman, revel in the fact that you have a universal label that you can attach to (Latinx for me, but fill in whatever beautiful community you belong to) but also keep in mind you are a UNIQUE member of that group. It doesn’t have to define you if you don’t want it to, and that goes for all the expectations that the white patriarchy likes to throw at us. Oh, the CAUCASITY!
So, feel free to cite this as a PSA that us Latinx women are not all the same, except in the one unifying aspect that we are f*cking awesome. Next time one of your white girlfriends tries to call you a puta, because all Latinas just L-O-V-E it when they do that, show them this after you carefully put her back in her place, because you are not one of those “latinas” that’s cool with that ish. And when your white employer tries to ask you creepy ass stereotypical questions about how you run your home or treat your love interests, be sure to first immediately call HR and then attach this to an email with your restraining order. And lastly, when your boyfriend from whatever tf background immediately pulls the “temper” card, direct him to this page right here at the end of your break-up text. We are done following the “recipe” and fitting the expectations of others. The copias are fighting back, each in our own different and NON typical way. So take that, Caucasity.