Representing Latino/a Character Don’ts

I’m a Afro-Latina and I haven’t seen that many of my kind in books. Or any that are represented correctly so I just wanted to touch base in some personal issues and things you need to know.

This is be based of Mexican Culture

Mexican Taboos/ Things that are frowned upon

  • Having a biracial child: Having a biracial child’s, especially one with a black person is considered bad. It’s mostly because Mexicans wish to separate themselves from African -Americans as they are a minority and back then were considered slaves and such. Many people have different opinions on this as The was world is changing however growing up I was often ridiculed or fast out by other Latino/as in my community, Although I speak fluent Spanish and have DNA test to prove it they don’t accept me base do on my skin tone. So if you live in a Mexican community and are biracial there may be some judging happening. So kinda put that in your story if your writing an afro-latina character. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows.

  • Saying you don’t like their food: Whoa, this isn’t a major offense to their cooking and culture. You can say it’s not to you’re taste or your not hungry but you must eat it first! This is disrespectful as many of their foods take awhile, take my word for it.

  • Saying “tu” to an older person, especially stranger: Kiss all that respect you gained goodbye. When speaking to an older person you must use Ann informal word unless other wise, “Tu” is saying you to a friend. “Usted” is what you should say instead. Which also means you, but is a form of respect.

  • Not giving food or offering hospitality: Evil. Spawn of Satan. Don’t try it. If you are welcomed in an Mexican home you will be treated like a guest and be given true kindness and hospitality. If you don’t do the same it’s considered a major offense, especially to an older person.

  • The Okay symbol :ok_hand:t5: you make up with your fingers: It’s considered rude and totally inappropriate. Instead verbalize .

  • Putting hands in your pocket when’s an adult speaks: This is totally frowned upon. It shows you have very little respect for the adult talking with you.

  • Spain and Mexico are not the same. Spain is more…racist. Don’t have your character saying their Spanish and then their Mexican. It don’t work like that.

  • Elderly Respect: DIf they disrespect you take it up with your parents not with them. They are older and wiser and this isn’t considered offensive. If they ask for something please give it to them, accommodate them. You never know how long they’ll Be around.

Here are some I listed, they are based of experience. Times are changing so maybe these won’t be frowned upon anymore. Although when I read this it annoys me, cause the person didn’t do their research.

Ask me questions if you have any, such as food preference, dominant religion anything pertaining to Mexicans.

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Oooh this is super handy

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Haha, thanks! I just want people to know some certain things before they write about Mexican ladies and gents

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Just bookmarked this. I have Mexican friends. Surprised they like me, despite me being black…

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It’s not everyone lol, but it’s pretty strong. I just wanted to add that in to let people know some struggles afro-latina/os have with their own races. Times are changing and hopefully people are too.

Besides your color is beautiful so be proud. :heavy_heart_exclamation:

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Thanks Kels :heart::heart:

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Wow, thanks for making this. I didn’t know some of this stuff. I do not like the okay symbol either because it just comes off tacky to me anyway. I hope I haven’T hurt anyones feelings with the whole pocket thing. I do it out of self-consciousness.

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I think that if they understand you don’t know about it they’ll let it slide. Of course, some will still take offense. The main thing is try to respect them culturally. Even if it may be an everyday thing in some countries.

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Got it, well it’s definitely good to know now.

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OMG, this is so true! I actually wrote about it in my story; a character said that she actually likes Americanized (Tex-Mex or Mexican-inspired food), and so this character who’s Mexican got really angry and told her never to say that in front of his family.

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Bumpity bump for being nice for diversity in stories o7

Also moved to writing resources, as this counts as a valuable resource!

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bump.

super useful.

Any other tips?

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This is gonna be super helpful for one of the characters I’m writing :+1::green_heart::wolf::revolving_hearts:

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I’m gonna bump this again, because… very necessary.

what a man, what a man, what a man, what a mighty good man

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It’s always nice to have diversity, so bump

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Bumpppp

I think it should be added that while there are for sure people who are straight up racist to your face, a lot of the exclusion and alienation stemming from both colorism and anti-blackness in the Latinx community is as subtle as in any other community and should be portrayed as such. Pretty light skin latinx girl who blatantly hates black women and bullies the MC is not a satisfying representation of this dynamic.

It is in my family. My Nana will act like it was okay and then offer you 500 other things to eat because she aims to please, but it would literally break her heart and she would never forget it. Just say you liked her food so I don’t have to hear about this every time I mention you.

Can we also mention that the regular occurrence of suddenly speaking Spanish to your only English speaking friends because you just forgot only exists in fiction? I forget words both ways all the time, “what’s that thing, you know, (hand movements that don’t help explain what I mean at all) dientes de ajo, pero en Engles?” but never have I ever unknowingly slipped into Spanish in the middle of a conversation by way of absentmindedness.

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  • Not all Latinos like the same food, drinks, and music. Just because your character is Mexican doesn’t mean that they automatically like tequila, spicy food, and reggaeton. I like spicy food but I’m not into tequila nor reggaeton. You can have some characters that do and some that don’t.

  • Religion Although the primary religion is Roman Catholicism, there is also a Protestant Christian community in many Latin-American countries. There are also people who are atheist and agnostic.

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I’ve got some tips for Mexican characters!

1: Our Religion
Christiany and Catholic are teh most common religions in Mexico and Mexican families. Some of us have pictures of Jesus in a wall, some of us have little shrines, and some of us just have a cross in our house.
Praying is something we do a lot. A type of prayer I do before going to sleep, or saying goodbye to someone, is “En el nombre del padre, del hijo, y del espiritu santo, amen”. Some families pray before eating. In Dia del Muerto, we pray. Not all of us have ofrendas, but we do get Pan de Muerto. Another holiday we do is Los Reyes Magos. Basically in January 6, We get a special holiday bread with baby jesus figures inside. Whoever gets the piece of bread with a baby jesus has to bring tamales on Feburary 2nd.

2: Our appearance
I know that this is a hard pill to swallow, but, not every mexican has tan/bronze skin. This is coming from a pale mexican. My family is mostly light skinned, but we are 100% mexican. We can have blue eyes, blond hair, light skin, and be 100% mexican. Mexicans are very diverse, some of us are even born with East Asian features.

3: When do we speak spanish?
We usually speak Spanish in our house, or in family gatherings, or just anywhere with people who speak spanish. We don’t go up to someone who doesn’t speak spanish and say “Hola, que honda, mi amigo!”, We talk in english to people who only speak english. But we do think in spanish sometimes, depends how and where you grew up.

4: Avoid Stereotypes.
If you want to make a Latin character, please avoid the following stereotypes.

  • The Sexual Latina trope. You don’t know how many stories or movies or just tv shows in general have the latinx character a person who does the thing to everyone they see. Not all of us are like that. Liek me for example, I am the artist who would rather watch anime and chill then hook up with some dude.
  • The Poor Mexican stereotype. God, this one really pisses me off. There are many mexicans who are very wealthy, not all of us live in a cheap dirty house and can barely afford clothes.
  • The Gang/Drug Dealer Mexican Stereotype. Many stories have gang members or drug dealers mexican, or have spanish names, and I honestly don’t understand why. There are people like that in every country and ethnicity, not just latins.

5: Give the character a personality
Thsi goes to every character of any ethnicity. For example, people think that being Asian is a personality, it’s not. All of us humans are diverse and complex, we are all different, and we each have our own personality. Being a certain ethnicity is not all we do, we like other things too.

Good Luck, Fellow episodians <3

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