U.S. Latina/o identity is a complex and panethnic construction. One of the most enduring tropes surrounding Latina women in US culture is that of tropicalism, which by erasing ethnic specificity helps construct homogenous stereotypes such as bright colours, rhythmic music, and brown skin that are represented in visual texts. Tropicalization helps position the Latina body as oversexed as well as sexually available; all that is identified with seductive clothing, curvaceous hips and breasts, long brunette hair or extravagant jewellery. The article concerns Latina images in US media and popular culture and focuses on such stars as Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek in order to explore the gendered signifiers surrounding Latinidad and Latina iconicity. The female ethnicity is depicted as other through its categorization and marginalization in relation to dominant constructions of Whiteness and femininity. The article bridges the approaches of gender studies and Latina/o studies with recent research on hybridity and transnational identities.
APARICIO, F. R. (2010). Jennifer as Selena: Rethinking Latinidad in Media and Popular Culture. In A. M. Garcia (Ed.), Contested Images: Women of Color in Popular Culture (pp. 99-105). Maryland: AltaMira Press.
ESPOSITO, J. (2012). Is Ugly Betty a Real Woman? Representations of Chicana Femininity Inscribed as a Site of (Transformative) Difference. In A. J. Aldama, Ch. Sandoval, & P. J. Garcia (Eds.), Performing the US Latina and Latino Borderlands (pp. 328-343). Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
DE GENOVA, N. & A. Y. RAMOS-ZAYAS. (2003). Latino Crossings: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and the Politics of Race and Citizenship. New York: Routledge.
GUZMÁN, I. M. & VALDIVIA, A. N. (2004). Brain, Brow, and Booty: Latina Iconicity in U.S. Popular Culture. The Communication Review, 7, 205-221.
GUZMÁN, I. M. & VALDIVIA, A. N. (2010). Disciplining the Ethnic Body: Latinidad, Hybridized Bodies, and Transnational Identity. In L. Reed & P. Saukko (Eds.), Governing the Female Body: Gender, Health, and Networks of Power (pp. 206-232). Albany: State University of New York Press.
HAASE, D. (2008). The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Folktales and Fairy Tales. Volume One: A-F. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.
KATZEW, A. (2011). Shut up! Representations of the Latino/a body in Ugly Betty and their educational implications. Latino Studies, 9(2/3), 300-320.
LOCKHART, T. (2007). Jennifer Lopez: The New Wave of Border Crossing. In M. Mendible (Ed.), From Bananas to Buttocks: The Latina Body in Popular Film and Culture (pp. 149-166). USA: University of Texas Press.
MERSKIN, D. (2011). Perpetuation of the Hot-Latina Stereotype in Desperate Housewives. In G. Dines & J. M. Humez (Eds.), Gender, Race, and Class in Media: A Critical Reader (pp. 327-334). California: SAGE Publications.
NAVA, S. (2011). Working the Affect Shift: Latina Service Workers in U.S. Film. Boca Raton, Florida: Brown Walker Press.
PARISH, J. R. (2006). Jennifer Lopez: actor and singer. New York: Infobase Publishing.
RIOS, D. I. & REYES, X. A. (2009). Jennifer Lopez and a Hollywood Latina romance Film: Mythic Motifs in Maid in Manhattan. In Galician, M.-L. & Merskin, D. L. (Eds.), Critical Thinking About Sex, Love and Romance in the Mass Media: Media Literacy Applications (pp. 94-105). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
SCHOOLER, D. (2008). Real Women have Curves. A Longitudinal Investigation of TV and the Body Image Development of Latina Adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Research, 23, 132 - 153.
VALDIVIA, A. N. (2011). The Gendered Face of Latinidad: Global Circulation of Hybridity. In Hegde, R. (ED.), Circuits of Visibility: Gender and Transnational Media Cultures (pp. 53-67). New York: New York University Press.
VALDIVIA, A. N. (2005). The Location of the Spanish in Latinidad: Examples from Contemporary U.S. Popular Culture. Letras Femeninas, 31(1), 60-78.
VARGAS, D. R. (2010). Representations of Latina/o Sexuality in Popular Culture. In Asencio, M. (Ed.), Latina/o Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies (pp. 117-136). USA: Rutgers University Press.