Stereotypes Of Latina Women: Film Analysis

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Latina women, in Hollywood films, are often represented in a certain way. Typically, they are submissive in nature and are often portrayed as the nurturing figure of the home - they can be found cooking, cleaning, or teaching the children that are around them. These actions are found in the film, Raising Victor Vargas, through the characters of Judy, Melanie, and Grandma. While some movie critics may say that simply implicating these stereotypes, in this film, perpetuates this stereotype, the use of this stereotype can be read as a challenge instead. Even though they, Judy, Melanie, and Grandma, act in the same manner that this stereotype entails, they challenge this stereotype by opposing these actions in a way that differs from previous Latino…show more content…
She also breaks this stereotype by exhibiting physical dominance to an already overbearingly dominant male character. Ironically, Judy enforces these dominant traits more effectively than Victor, whose character embodies a stereotype that is inherently dominant. He portrays several traits that would cause someone to read his character as a Latin lover, a stereotype Charles Ramírez-Berg has said to exhibit, “...eroticism, exoticism, tenderness tinged with violence and danger, all adding up to the romantic promise that, sexually, things could very well get out of control (76).” In making this comment, Ramírez-Berg insists that this male-based character is meant to be the dominant figure in a heteronormative relationship by exhibiting brute force and taking control away from their female counterparts. However, this is not the case when looking at Victor and Judy’s relationship. For example, Victor tries to seduce Judy, by sitting dangerously close to her, asserting himself as the dominant figure. This action causes Victor to invade Judy’s personal space, which robs her control of the situation and her surroundings since he is very close to her, physically. However, the domination Victor thought he was implementing fails when Judy pushes him into the pool;…show more content…
Although her change in relationship status was not for selfish gain, like Judy’s was, Melanie is still seen as the dominant figure in her relationship with Harold. For example, Melanie was resistant with Harold’s advances towards her in the beginning. She would not allow him to touch her and would yell at him if he tried anything with her. She would not allow him to use her for selfish reasons because she wanted a real relationship with a man. By defending herself and calling the shots, she was asserting herself as the dominant figure. Some movie critics may believe that Melanie perpetuates this stereotype by eventually letting her guard down and allowing Harold to have sex with her. She, at the very beginning, stated that she did not want to have any relations, in that form, with Harold. While this may be true, Melanie let her guard down because she felt as though she could trust Harold. He treated Melanie like an actual person instead of using Melanie to build up his ego. However, if she did not stand up for herself and just gave herself away to Harold, she would further perpetuate the stereotype because Harold’s character exhibits the same traits that Victor’s character does. By exhibiting dominance towards Harold, she was able to make him appreciate her personality and commit himself to her, which is one of the things Victor’s grandmother wanted him to

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