The Problem With Saying Some Celebs Aren't 'Latina Enough'

@laurenjauregui/Instagram

In recent news, a number of celebrities have been criticized for identifying as Latinas because they don’t fit the typical mold of what “makes a Latina.” Whether it's their appearance, mixed heritage or their inability to speak Spanish, these celebs have been the target of several unwarranted hate comments and negative attention in the media.

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Among these celebrities are stars like Cameron Diaz, Gina Rodriguez, Bella Thorne, America Ferrera and most recently, Lauren Jauregui.

In a radio interview with HappyFM radio, a Spanish-based station, Jauregui was criticized on the station’s website, claiming that: “Many point [their fingers] at Bella Thorne or Lauren Jauregui as examples of stars who have jumped ‘on the bandwagon’ of what is trending, which is the Latin market.”

She quickly fired back with a series of tweets defending her identity as a Cuban-American.

Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez has also been the victim of this narrow-minded backlash. In an interview with the Huffington Post, Rodriguez spoke out on her upbringing and how speaking Spanish less fluently did not make her any less Latina.

“I am as Latina as they come. And I am not defined by anybody’s definition of Latina. I don’t actually sit in a definition. I walk in my world, happily and confidently."

In both Rodriguez's and Jauregui's cases, a lot of this hate has come from the Latino community itself, posing an interesting question about acceptance and how prejudice can even be spread within one group of people. 

At the root of it, this hate stems from an inability to fit into a certain stereotype, but really, Latinos can look, act and sound like just about anything. Balancing multiple languages, cultures, and customs can be difficult. More often than not these individuals who are being criticized are first or second-generation Latinos who were raised in the United States and grew up learning about their language and culture from their parents or grandparents, but that doesn't make their identities any less valid. 

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Jauregui said it best in a tweet to her fans saying: