HomeArts & Entertainment'Blue Beetle' brings Latino representation to theaters

‘Blue Beetle’ brings Latino representation to theaters

Latino representation has been absent in Hollywood for quite some time, despite Latinos making 19.1% of the total U.S. population, according to the census.gov. In the past when Latinos have been cast, the roles fell into old negative stereotypes of criminals or workers. Other roles have portrayed the traits of laziness, dirtiness and lack of intelligence. 

I have also noticed the overly sexualized idea of Latina women as seen with actors like Sofia Vergara, Salma Hayek, Jessica Alba etc. who have been put in positions that focus on their sensuality and body, which feeds into this creepy exotic fantasy.

In recent years, I have seen improvements in these characters, but Hollywood still has a long way to go. DC comics’ new release “Blue Beetle” features mainly a Latino cast. This movie did a great job at the portrayal of Mexican culture and healed my younger self who was made fun of for my family or traditions. The values of family and always having each other’s back was a prominent theme. It felt natural and raw with a focus on moving up and showing Latinos succeeding, and not only their struggle. I was able to see someone like me be successful,  and their culture be a part of them but not the only thing that defines them. It also did a great job when using Spanglish, which many movies fail to do. Certain phrases used brought an even stronger connection to Latino viewers.

The cameo of El Chapulin Colorado, an iconic figure in Mexican media, was a great reference to honor iconic superheroes who came before. This movie gave me hope to see more Latino stories that put us in a positive light. We matter. We are not just the butt of a joke.

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