Struggles of a Latino woman thrown with stereotypes
The essay The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria by Judith Ortiz Cofer is about the hardships that her and many other Latin women have to go through due to many stereotypes shown by the media and portrayed by society. The author starts talking about her incident in London with the drunk young man, who approached her singing “Maria” from West Side Story. Cofer was not very pleased about that; in fact, she was irritated. According to Cofer, she did not find what the young man did amusing especially when everyone was surrounding them applauding and laughing. Cofer felt like no matter where she goes, somewhere, somehow the color of her skin (a Latina) will always attract rude people that remind her of Latina stereotypes. Cofer then talks about her life of wanting to belong, where she was from and what she needed to follow in her culture. Cofer was born in the United States, New Jersey, with her family who was very Latino traditional oriented. Ever since Cofer was young, she has been told to keep the family honor going and was taught to be “a proper senorita”. During her teenage years, her life was different in every way from all the other girls she knew, because she stood out, when all she wanted was to belong but could not do it. Cofer then talked about the Career Day in high school and how she needed to attend dressed as if she was going to a job interview. Cofer did not know how nor did she have anyone in her Latino neighborhood to show her how to dress properly (by mainstream standards). She mentioned that, even the nun’s felt sorry for her and her classmates who dressed poorly because they did not have anyone realistic to mimic the “proper style”. In her essay, Cofer continues explaining “mixed cultural signals” stereotypes, such as the “Hot Tamale.” Because she was a Puerto Rican woman, Cofer was always labeled and stereotyped. Cofer said, “Latin women were always...
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