Hispanic Women in the Media




For my final I wanted to look at how the media has represented Hispanic women. For the most part we have been limited to few stereotypical roles in Hollywood. We have been seen as the exotic bombshell or the maid. We see these stereotypes on a daily basis, and Hispanic women are so much more than what we in the media. For this project I was unsure about how I wanted to execute my idea. At first I wanted to do a PowerPoint and show different examples of the stereotypes we see in film and television, but I also wanted to share other points of view. This is why I decided on doing a video. I interviewed three of my friends, and created another video, compiled of clips of different Hispanic actresses, to accompany the interview.















Perla Catro

Meagan Gutierrez

Dianna Santiago


Post 5

Sara Lewkowicz is an American photojournalist, who has created two photo essays titled “Shane and Maggie” and “Closer to Heaven”. Both of these series follow young women who are struggling in their daily lives. They tell a story of “real” women who are both in dangerous and unhealthy situations.

Maggie is 19, and has two children. In her series, we follow her throughout her relationship with Shane, 31, who at the beginning of the photographs has just been released from jail. The photographs document their tumultuous relationship for two years. At first we see the honeymoon stage of the relationship, but then it progresses into something more violent. Shane becomes frustrated because he has to support Maggie and her two children with little income. Throughout these two years, we also see Shane competing with Maggie’s son for her attention. He begins to feel that she cares more for the kids than him. We see the escalation of his frustration come to a breaking point when he becomes first verbally aggressive towards Maggie, and then physically aggressive. In “Closer to Heaven”, we follow Alex, 20, who is a heroin addict and works as an exotic dancer in Baltimore, MD. In one image we see Alex trying to find a vein in the bathroom of the club she works at. She gets high several times a night while working.  We see Alex stay sober for a year, but then she

Sara Lewkowicz’s work deals with very real issues. Through her work she is able to show the public personal moments from her subjects lives. Through these photographs the public was shown the gritty reality of domestic abuse and drug addiction. We see the fragility in these young women’s lives, and the consequences of making poor decisions. Some of the photos are disturbing, but they capture the reality that these women are living.

Sara received some backlash for “Shane and Maggie”. According to policymic.com, “The reason the Internet got mad at Sara Lewkowicz was because she had the courage to cover publicly an intimate display of violence. The Internet community, functioning individually as moral human beings, had a hard time definitively dealing with the ethical implications of viewing and capturing such a raw display of ‘family’ violence”. Sara became the witness in this situation, but did not intervene. Once things escalated between Shane and Maggie, a neighbor had to step in and call the police. Many accused her of voyeurism for publishing these photos. Others blamed her and/or Maggie instead of Shane who was the one responsible for the domestic abuse. This is why Sara’s work is important. It frees victims of domestic abuse.

Sara makes an artistic statement about these young women with her photographs. As is quoted in Author/Auteur: Feminist Literary Theory And Feminist Film, “the camera which Austrue identifies as a writer’s pen, or metaphorical penis, an as the mechanism with which directors inscribe their ideas on film” (Austrue1968). Although Sara is a photographer and not a director or writer, her camera is her pen. The photo essays reflect her personal vision of these stories. When going through the photos, they read like a story.







Post 4: Alternative Media – Adriana G

Women in the media industry have been mainly used for their bodies. They have been objectified and are the “eye candy”, or are the housewives who dutifully take care of the home, children and husband. In advertisements, women are usually wearing provocative clothing in order to appeal to the “male gaze”. In order to sell products, women must sell sex. This in turn creates self-esteem issues in women who see these ads, and want to embody the “perfect” models they see. Minority women are completely underrepresented in the media. The few roles available for them are usually catered to specific stereotypes.

A few months ago I discovered the podcast Stuff Mom Never Told You, which is part of the How Stuff Works podcast family. This podcast, hosted by Caroline Ervin and Cristen Cogner, explores gender roles, notable pioneering women, and discusses many other topics that are important to women. They discuss what it is to be a woman psychologically, biologically and social logically. They do extensive research on the topic they are discussing, and cite the research on their website for listeners to review afterwards.   This podcast is important because it is created by women and for women. This is not the case in a lot of mainstream media sources. Men are usually the ones running the show. The hosts of this podcast take the opinions and suggestions of the listeners into consideration when choosing their topics. This makes listeners, who are mainly women, feel empowered and important.

Stuff Mom Never Told You is necessary as an alternative media source because their topics focus on issues that are important for women. The issues and topics discussed are often subsided in mainstream media because they don’t fit in or appeal to some of the audience. These issues are often viewed as controversial which bring about “loaded” questions that most may not feel they can or want to answer. Some of these topics might also make audiences uncomfortable and therefore, may seem unappealing. This podcast is unlike usual media stations in that it provides listeners with alternative perspectives to these issues. It is also an outlet for those who feel they are forced to conform to societal opinions on some of these topics and is a way to feel they have opinions of value and common interest. This podcast can give them the confidence that is needed to express themselves in ways they could not have before being inspired it.

Cristen and Caroline discuss heavy topics such as the history of rape culture and the growing concern with the sex slavery trade, as well as lighter topics such as women in math, technology and science to Beyonce and Latina feminism. There is always a history of the topic discussed beforehand, so that listeners can better comprehend the theme of each podcast. It is important to note that although some topics might seem superficial, such as the podcast titled Bro-Rista Coffee Culture, I feel that the underlying message in each podcast is relevant and important for young women today. Some podcasts are also dedicated to women who are pivotal to women’s history. For instance, they had an episode titled A Controversial Woman, which was dedicated to Susan B. Anthony, who played a crucial role in the women’s suffrage movement. The website for this podcast contributes to these topics because it contains supplementary information for women. There are posts about the first female video game designer, and the first female rocket scientist. These women are an important part of female history, but don’t always get the recognition they deserve. These podcasts, along with the website, give young women the opportunity to learn about these amazing women who existed.

One of the episodes I found interesting is titled The Rise of Female Action Heroes, and it discusses the first female action lead and the evolution of the female action hero. Cristen and Caroline talk about Pam Grier, who is the first female action in Hollywood. In an interview for The Guardian discussed in this episode Grier says, “You know, I had to bump heads with a lot of men in the industry. They were not comfortable with showing a progressive black female in an action role. As a strong woman, I was seen as a threat. There was a fear that women would mimic me in real life. I remember certain people saying: ‘Oh, she’s taking our jobs, she’s castrating men’ – as far as I was concerned, I thought: ‘We don’t need to walk behind you, we should walk beside you”. Topics like these are important for women listeners. This is not something that gets talked about on a daily basis in mainstream media. These are not types of female characters we are used to seeing. Episodes such as these bring forth these amazing women that sometimes get washed out in our history.

Mary Sherman Morgan: First Female Rocket Scientist


Pam Grier:


Carol Shaw: First Known Female Game Designer :








Final Project Proposal [Adriana Gonzalez]

     For my final project I would like to focus on the representation of hispanic women in the media.  I want to talk about the few stereotypical roles that Hispanic women are able to play in movies and tv.  I plan to talk about Sofia Vergara’s character from Modern Family, and also discuss some of the backlash Eva Longoria’s show, Devious Maids, has received for the main characters roles in the show.  I’ve also begun reading for this project, The Dirty Girls Social Club by Alisa Valdes, which i would like to tie into my final project as well.  This novel shows another side to Hispanic women.  The lead characters are professional and successful women, opposing the images of hispanic women that we are used to seeing on tv shows and movies.  

     I would like to either create a video, with a compilation of scenes from shows/movies, or I would like to create a slide show featuring these scenes.  I would also like to include some interview clips from women in my life to see how they feel about the media’s portrayal of women.  I would like to ask if they have been able to find a character that more or less represents them, or that they can relate to. 



http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/26/devious-maids-criticism-_n_3506174.html [includes an interesting video along with the article]


Dirty Girls Social Club:

Other Links: