Casting ad for "Hot Latina moms" encourages every stereotype, makes us very angry
A new reality show produced by Dam Legacy Entertainment is apparently looking to embrace every Latina mami stereotype in the book. Well, at least, that's what I'm getting from the ridiculously offensive guidelines in their casting call.
As seen on RealityWanted.com, the ad calls for "hot blooded, passionate attractive, Latina moms that have effectively raised successful children through real life, old-school Latin traditions." Y'know, because obviously, quiet and shy Latinas don't really count. It then goes on to read that the show is only look for "real Latina Moms who are as big and brash and full of confidence in their parenting style!" and should "stand behind their parenting style 100%, and who will stand up and show us how it's done." Translation: You must like yelling. Or at the very least, speaking very loudly.
If you're thinking the description above sounds somewhat familiar, I feel the same way. Why could that be? Oh yeah, that's because all of the adjectives in this call basically sum up to one thing: they are looking for Latina moms that are the epitome not of Sofia Vergara herself, but of her over-the-top, hot mom character on Modern Family (pictured above).
Read more ¿Qué más?: How Latina is Latina enough?
The problem? That's NOT what all Latinas are like. Heck, that's not even what Vergara is like. Many assume that she's basically playing herself on the show, but that's not the truth: She is playing a caricature of herself. Though I won't deny that Vergara as a person is not exactly known for being mild-mannered, her character on the show is not just loud--she's surround-sound speaker loud. She's also dramatic, overtly sexy, and ignorant to many American phrases and customs, all to the point that it's borderline cartoonish. We as an audience accept it because it's a sitcom and because Vergara manages to bring some depth to the role...but that doesn't make the typecasting any less obvious or detract from the fact that the character doesn't, in any way, represent all Latinas.
The issue I have with this particular casting call is that for it's a reality show…and the reality is that there IS such a thing as a mild-mannered, quieter Latina mom. I know necause I have one and because--tendency towards sarcasm notwithstanding--I take after her much more than I do any of the hot Latina stereotypes listed in the ad. So, should my mom or I have a sudden desire to join reality TV (we don't), it wouldn't matter because neither of us would qualify as "Latina enough" for this role, despite that we take as much pride in our culture as anybody else.
Personally, I can't wait for the day that casting agents get it together and realize it's about time to stop pigeonholing all of us into one loud-mouthed personality and start accounting for the wide range of people we actually are.
Image via ABC