An Open Letter to Latina Magazine

Dear Latina Magazine,

I have seen your magazine for many years crossing through supermarkets across the country, in airports, and even doctors offices. I’ll be honest I’m not a huge magazine person.

Though I will admit I do occasionally buy magazines before long flights, it’s not something I invest in. I skip over yours like so many others.

So why this letter? Why to you if I don’t read your magazine.

Well after the debacle with Kylie Jenner and PopSugar, calling her a mix of your favorite Latinas. They obviously received a lot of backlash for that and pulled the article down and apologized.

My friend and fellow Latina Vanesa Pacheco wrote a great piece about Kylie Jenner, here 

Yet, after that it seems publications haven’t learned. Recently, Latina Magazine, your magazine tweeted an article calling Beyonce “an honorary Latina.” Like many Latinas and Black women, I am pretty sure my eyes rolled so far back into my head they entered the next century.

This “nomination” you give her comes on the heels of her pro-black album Lemonade, though what strikes me is that you guys do this and, then no apology. No removal of the article. Nothing.

You guys chose to bury it under a bunch of Afro-Latina posts, like that would make it better. You know that’s like putting a vicks on a broken arm,  right? Sure abuela believes it works but yeah still a goddamn broken arm.

It was like you took your publication and slapped Afro-Latinas and honestly ALL Latinas of color right in the face. Not only that you somehow have decided to appropriate a Black American woman, thus insulting black women in the process.

Are the women you claim to represent with your publication not enough?  Yes, I am a white Latina of anglo background, but I can’t stand-by and watch this. I can’t stand-by pretending I am not in the least bit offended that someone would put a By line on such a crap article.

“Down with the brown” get the hell out of here please, just take your journalism degree and wad it up, chuck it.

You are not only representing Latin@s but you’re also representing hispanic journalists like myself and you’re doing a TERRIBLE job at it.

Furthermore you cite her Cuba trip and as a first generation American-Cuban, whose grandparents took my tiny mother and aunt off the island in 1967 because of the iron grip is absolutely so wrong.

Also how can you be Latina by association? My grade school best friend was half Israeli and half Peruvian so I am now by proxy Peruvian-Israeli by your logic correct?

Also liking Selena doesn’t make you Latina… Sorry guys! That has to be the weakest argument anymore and I am so tired of it.

Like no. Just no.

Can I ask why you feel the need to appropriate someone that has no REAL ties to Latina Culture and then a day later post Afro-Latina anthems? You can’t have it both ways, you can’t have your hand shoved in two different pots.

The fact that Vibe had to call you out and the article is still online, is still beyond me.

PopSugar at least said “hey my bad” and pulled theirs down, you can’t apologize, you don’t pull it down so you’re standing by your crap “honorary series.”

I looked through the archives, and I had to bite my lip out of frustration because it’s crap. You can’t just celebrate our Latin@s? You are called Latina…

You can’t bury it under a bunch of Afro-Latina links and articles and pretend this is going away.

No more of this honorary bullshit, no more of this comparing white celebs to Latinas, no more, enough, basta ya.

This whole idea seems to be we don’t have enough beautiful Latinas who deserved to be honored, Afro-Latina, Indigenous, Mestizas, Bi-racial, Chicanas, etc don’t sit here and act like they don’t exist because my friends exist.

These women exist in my hometown of Miami, in my college town of Boston, even here in my tiny Southwest Florida town I see them so why are you putting on blinders?

Why do you claim to be “Latina” when you can’t even honor the right people?

I watch the struggles, I grew up with girls looking for representation while I, a white Latina girl had so many to pick from and so many who represented me.

Give my fellow Latinas recognition, act like we all matter. I don’t want to be represented by people who can’t even be bothered to google “Afro-Latinas” and recognize them instead.

Instead you pick a black woman, man, white man, woman who have nothing to do with our culture. Just like you can’t be black by proxy or asian or whatever, you cannot be Latin@ by proxy.

We don’t like when our culture is appropriated so let’s not do it to others, you can’t cry with arms up when you see a costume or article making us look a certain way and then later say hey Bey, you’re down with the brown.

No jodas.

No more of this crap of acting like our women and men are not good enough. No more pretending that our broad spectrum of skin tones don’t intersect so many different cultures.

No more.

-Alex

P.S. If any other Latin@s have anything to add drop me line, I’ll gladly publish letters or commentary about it.