They are all Latinos, right. Sure they are but what about Christina Milian, Zoe Saldana, Dania Ramirez, Rosario Dawson, Mariah Carey, Cameron Diaz, Merlin Santana (R.I.P.), Pele (greatest footballer ever or if any yanks are reading this, soccer player), Wyclef Jean (yes he's latino as well and I shall explain later.) They are also latino as well but why don't they ever get recognised as such or get given "latino" roles (there are exceptions i.e. Dania Ramirez.)
Before I get to explaining the title I have to answer this important question.
What is a Latino?
Latino = Latin American.
A Latin American is a person that comes from or is descended from a person that's from an American country (north or south) where the main language is derived from latin.
i.e. Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian.
The term "Latin American" was coined by Emperor Napoleon III of France.
I'm sure that you have noticed that in my explanation I never used the term "hispanic" or "race."
For you see a Latino can be of any race. Hispanic simply means a person that is from a country where the main language spoken is Spanish.
Hispanic and Latino are not the same.
Examples: Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz and Paz Vega are technically Hispanic (they are from Spain), but they are not latino.
Some other examples are Wyclef Jean, Pele, Adrianna Lima etc are latino but they are not hispanic because they don't come from a country that speaks spanish.
While many people (including hispanic latinos) will acknowledge that Brazilians are latino. They will not acknowledge Haitians, French Guineans, Guadeloupeans and Martiniquans (I've propably spelt that wrong) as being latino.
Back to the topic. the first lot of latinos that I've mentioned all have a "stereotypical" latino look.
This look is mainly portayed in the U.S.A. and in other spanish speaking latin american countries (mainly to get tourism and for other racist intentions.)
This look consists of:
- A tanned looking guy or girl, or a (very) light skinned black guy or girl. One thing is, they cannot be dark skinned unless they have native american ancestry in them e.g. George Lopez.
- Dark straight hair or curly hair but it can't be too nappy. There are exceptions.
- Dark eyes. There are exceptions.
- Usually must have caucasian features. Again there are exceptions.
- Usually for women. Must be curvacious.
- For the men. Tall, dark and handsome.
- Usually must speak with an accent, even if they are born in the U.S.A. again there are exceptions.
The second lot I've mentioned would not be cast or sometimes not even to be considered latino. They would get mainly the "black" guy or girl roles ( or in the case of the super hot Cameron Diaz "white" girl roles.)
In fact Antonio Banderas, Penelope Cruz and Paz Vega have played the "latino" role even though they aren't latino themselves. They just have the stereotypical look of a "latino."
We must do what we can to educate others and get rid of this foolish notion that latino is a race and hispanic latinos must except that french speaking latin americans are indeed latino and except them into the latino community.