1. Give tips for “Latina hair.”
Do you mean curly hair? Stick-straight? Frizzy? A ‘fro? A slight wave that ends in a tangle made of tears and regret but that at least kind of smells like violets? Latinas have all kinds of hair types that require different styling and maintenance tips. Just to be clear: We all have good hair (every single one of us), we just need more on-point advice to keep it looking that good.
2. Share makeup tips for “Latina skin.”
As with our hair, “Latina skin” can mean pretty much anything. So if you’re going to give us makeup and skincare tips, be prepared to include the pale and captivating, the freckled and gorgeous, the tan and lovely, and the dark and beautiful.
5. Use Spanglish in general.
Since 1) not every Latina speaks Spanish, much less Spanglish, 2) Spanish can be extremely regional, and 3) Spanglish tends to feel extremely casual and familial, the use of Spanglish can come across sounding extremely awkward. Just try telling most Mexicans that “chaquetas” are in for fall, or sharing a recipe for “bollos” with a Cuban. Like. I dare you.
6. Act like every Latina can dance.
I mean, yes, true: Some of us can really dance, and Latin America has some truly beautiful, fantastic dances to share with the world. But some of us can barely manage to do the Funky Chicken, much less perform a complicated salsa routine at any event that’s not a beloved cousin’s quinces.
7. Operate under the assumption that we’re “sexier” than anyone else.
Oh, we can be plenty sexy. But we’re also ambitious, smart, geeky, awkward, funny, shy, courageous, athletic, good at trivia night, kind of craving Funyuns right now, and any combination of those things. We’re multi-faceted. We’re complicated. We’re human.
8. Or, really, default to any kind of Latina stereotype.
Cultural influence is a very real thing, but a lot of us grew up in the U.S., too. That means we’re dealing with at least two sets of expectations. Some of us juggle multiple identities, some of us forge entirely new ones. It’d be cool if the things made for us would recognize that.
11. Talk about the same famous Latinos, every time.
Sure, we can love and adore Salma, Jennifer, Rosario, and Zoe… but there are a lot of other cool women making a name for themselves. Take, for example, the music, style, and influence of LA punk, writer, and activist Alice Bag, or the women behind the Tumblr campaign to “Reclaim the Latina Tag.”
12. Not recognize that getting a bikini body isn’t our biggest challenge right now.
I mean, sure, who doesn’t want to look good? But we’re dealing with a few other things, too. Speaking of “reclaiming the Latina tag”… have you done an online image search for the term “Latina” lately?
14. …while also forgetting those who came before us.
A lot of brave, gutsy women paved the way for us in terms of art, culture, education, and more. We love a good dose of nostalgia and history as much as anyone else. Why not make it feel more personal? You couldn’t have Selena G without Selena Q, Sonia Sotomayor without Dolores Huerta, Salma Hayek without María Félix. Let’s devote some ink to them, too.