We all know Latin women are badasses: we're strong, educated, voracious for success and no-nonsense. But television hasn't always portrayed us accurately—that is, until 2011! This was the year that Latina TV stars got to play the role of "badass" on the small screen. Here are the five biggest Latina TV badasses of 2011!
1. 121911 TV Characters We Love andrea
Andrea Navedo as "Debbie" in How To Make It In America
Rene Calderon's (Luis Guzman) girlfriend Debbie is a single mom, a full-time security guard and a part-time Rasta Monsta model. A no-nonsense broad, Debbie knows all too well what it's like to date a hustler—and at this point in her life, she's not interested in going down that path with Rene—a former ex-con who always seems to be getting himself into trouble. Still, despite Rene's troubled past, Debbie manages to see him for the reformed man that he is, while at the same time holding him to high moral standards. Debbie also has to contend with her daughter Nilda, a rebellious teenager with a penchant for getting herself into trouble. But what makes Debbie the ultimate badass isn't her no-nonsense attitude—it's love. As tough as she is, Debbie is also extremely forgiving.
2. 121911 TV Characters We Love Sarah
Sarah Shahi as "Kate Reed" in Fairly legal
Badasses do whatever the hell they want—and that's certainly the case with Sarah Shahi's firecracker character Kate Reed on the USA Network dramedy Fairly Legal. A former lawyer who quit Law because it was "too black and white," Kate is a mediator who solves other peoples' problems for a living, but can't seem to solve her own. That's what makes Kate a badass—the fact that she can be so messed up in personal life, and yet still project the image of someone who's extremely confident and fearless.
3. 121911 TV Characters We Love lana
Lana Parrilla as "Regina" and "The Evil Queen" in Once Upon A Time
In the ABC drama, Once Upon A Time, half-Puerto Rican actress Lana Parrilla plays The Evil Queen. How evil is she, you ask? Well, let's see. Out of sheer jealousy, she vanquished Snow White and Prince Charming to another reality and ripped out her own father's heart so that she could be granted a wish, even though her father was the person she loved most in the world. She also collects hearts, manipulates, tricks and hurts everyone she comes across and kills anyone that gets in her way. Badass? We think so.
4. 121911 TV Characters We Love naya
Naya Rivera as "Santana Lopez" on Glee
Half-Puerto Rican actress, Naya Rivera's Glee character Santana Lopez is absolutely fearless! Whether she's teasing a fellow classmate in public about his "weird puffy pyramid nipples," or tackling an Adele song and making it al her own—Santana is a force of nature! But nothing takes more guts than coming out as a Lesbian to your conservative grandmother and having her throw you out of her house. It takes strength to accept yourself when others are telling you there's something wrong with you—that's why Santana Lopez is one of our favorite Latina badasses of the year!
5. 121911 TV Characters We Love Lauren
Lauren Velez as "Maria Laguerta" on Dexter
After being promoted from Lt., to Captain on Showtime's hit serial killer drama Dexter this season, Lauren Velez's characte Maria Laguerta made it her mission in life to make Deb's (Jennifer Carpenter) life a living hell. As the new Lt., Deb wasn't ready for the job, and Laguerta never failed to remind her of that. In every one of the episodes in season six, Laguerta showed Deb what it truly meant to be in charge and have the weight of the world on your shoulders. But in the end, Deb learned a great deal from Laguerta.