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January 28, 2003

Color of Fame

There is a cuteness competition over at TV GUIDE ONLINE on their You Sexy Thing feature. One of the girls is eligible for underrepresented minority scholarships and is a fast rising starlet of color, while the other is a typical "all-american" of oppressor stock.



On your left, Alexis Bledel of Gilmore Girls, half Argentine-American & half-Mexican-American. She grew up speaking Spanish. I wonder if she put "Latino" under the ethnicity box when she applied to NYU? To the right, Katie Holmes of Toledo, OH, going to school up the island at Columbia.

Posted by razib at 05:45 PM




Alexis Bedel is probably half-Italian as she is from Argentina. And the Mexican-American part? If she's from El Paso, or parts thereabouts, she is all but white.

Yeah, but she put "Hispanic" on the application.

Posted by: Roger Chaillet at January 28, 2003 07:55 PM


well-argentina also has a non-negligible population of germans, welsh, syrians and jews. additionally, northern italians are rather fair. could "Bedel" be "Bedello" or something originally? looks Romance, but you never know....

if her father is fair, it doesn't matter if he mom is a bit swarthy anyhow, 1/4 native american extraction can disappear quickly in the phenotype....

Posted by: razib at January 28, 2003 08:16 PM


Actually, her last name is Bledel. I'm sure she checked the box on her application. She was born in Houston, Texas and has the non-ethnic name Kimberly Alexis (with a brother named Eric David), and yet claims she never learned a word of English until grade school.

Posted by: Lollia at January 28, 2003 08:54 PM


Minority Girls??

Are you Kidding??

In Spain and the rest of Europe there are millions of women like them.

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 29, 2003 03:44 AM


Other "minority" person:

http://www.demstore.com/scstore/Sanchez/

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 29, 2003 03:51 AM


Well, white oppressor or not, Katie Holmes is way hotter...

Posted by: jimbo at January 29, 2003 04:30 AM


Like my good ole labmate....winner of the NSF MINORITY Grad student fellowship. Blonde hair, blue eyes.....half Columbian, therefore Latino. Daddy's the VP of Japanese operations for Citibank, and he's never had to pay for a car or his rent in his life.

I wish I were as disadvantaged and discriminated against.

Posted by: David at January 29, 2003 09:57 AM


this is the point i was trying to make in the affirmative action post from a few days ago. hispanic is not a race.

people from south of the united states are american indian, black, white, or mixed. same as the united states and canada. if the federal government is so sure it has to discrimate among its citizens by race, at least DO IT BY RACE.

for instance. vicente fox, president of mexico. one spanish parent, and one irish parent. this makes him 100% white. if born in canada. oops, he was born in mexico. he's actually not white!

the best is whites with spanish names. instant genetic conversion! check out playboy this year. miss january, rebecca ramos. miss march, penelope jimenez. you can't tell me if their names were, say, jennifer smith and sarah miller, that your average playboy reader would be like "oh yes, clearly jen smith and sarah miller are not white. good job with the affirmative action this year hef. it's working for me!"

Posted by: jody at January 29, 2003 12:05 PM


david, your fault for not latching onto to your 1/4 blackness :) how many "black" biochemists would have your qualifications?

i don't really blame white latinos for taking advantage of the system, it is there for them to use. it's like farmers that HAVE to use subsidies, everyone else is, even if they have philosophical qualms of it.

Posted by: razib at January 29, 2003 01:13 PM


Yeah, I don't blame him. He's just my constant whipping boy for why minority set-asides are bullshit.

If only I didn't have some weird value system that refused to take advantage of this. (of course, I always wondered what would happen if I showed up at "minority" student events, as pale as I am--would anyone call me on it?)

Oh well. Thanks to jody for pointing out "research" I need to do on the year's Playboys. I'll, um, get right on that.

David

Posted by: David at January 29, 2003 01:30 PM


i'm reading lawrence otis graham's "our kind of people" about america's black upper class (hereditary racially mullato upper class at that from what he says). he has a paragrah like this:
"my friend sarah noticed a guy in our law school class with slightly thick lips. there was something about him that screamed 'black,' so she asked him, 'are you black?' later, we found out he was black, and he was passing...."

someone that was 'passing' obviously looks white-but graham was outraged that the person didn't identify as black. the person in question had a black father, possibly someone that was only 1/2 black like your father david.

so i don't see people challenging you too much david, blacks in america are pretty stuck on hypodescent. if you got into a dispute, i'm sure the racial insults would fly at that point-but as long as you kiss ass. remember Lit calling you a race-traitor-he obviously considered you black (he considered me black too).

[on a similar note, shelby steele, who is half-white, once laughed about how for some strange reason his children, who are 1/4 black, are confused as being white initially when they go to a black church. later everyone finds out that they're black, so it's fine]

Posted by: razib at January 29, 2003 01:47 PM


David:
"If only I didn't have some weird value system that refused to take advantage of this. (of course, I always wondered what would happen if I showed up at "minority" student events, as pale as I am--would anyone call me on it?)"

Not too late to drop the value system. Doing so might expedite your way to your career goals. Isn't it weird that we now think that for at least some careers in America being a certain minority can only help? 30-40 yrs ago this would have been unheard of.

Posted by: -R at January 29, 2003 02:40 PM


dave,

add a line in your resume talking about how you know about diversity first-hand and all that shit because of your family's multiracialism. who knows, you might even get a quota slot? you're competant enough to break out of it you do.

Posted by: razib at January 29, 2003 02:50 PM


There is no contradiction between being a "Latino" and having blue-eyes and blonde hair. It isn't supposed to represent a racial category- It's a rough linguistic/cultural label (Same with Hispanic, which is supposed to mean something a little different, but can't seem to do it with any reliability). Cultural categories are legitimate and necessarily imperfect, just like race.
Though whiter and richer Cubans, Argentinians, Spaniards, etc. can and do take advantage of the "hispanic" aid programs, these are still exceptional cases (to my knowledge); the grand majority of people who would be called "hispanic" in this country are actually from a group that vastly underperforms the traditionally white majority, and could actually benefit from government assistance.

But outside of the unjust use of government to enforce equality of outcome, what would really benefit these immigrants? Simply better language skills? Ending "white racism"? Cultural capital? Or. . .

This might bring up the interesting, and far less explored question of genetics and the Latino achievement gap. How much do Native-American genes affect relative aptitude?

Posted by: Jason M. at January 29, 2003 03:36 PM


jason,

i would tend to agree with you NOW. the number of latinos that benefit from white-skin privilege & affirmative action simulteanously is possibly trivial.

on the other hand-with intermarriage rates of 20-30% with white americans, this will become non-trivial VERY soon. i know kids who have a mestizo parent (not benefiting from white skin privilege) and an anglo parent-and look white enough to that no one comments on their minority status. i had a friend in college who's father was mexican-american. his sister looked a bit "ethnic," but he himself was white looking. it was embarrassing because one of his friends started railing against the latino tendency to "breed" too much-and realized later that my friend's last name was "Fuentes."

victor davis hanson one noted that most of his friends in the fresno area (where he farms) are latino, often older migrants. many of them have married anglos, and their kids who have anglo last names but a latino mother tend to have a harder time getting goodies ear-marked for "their community" (being raised in 80% latino communites, these kids are probably more culturally chicano than anglo-american).

Posted by: razib at January 29, 2003 03:46 PM


PS. Razib, Dave, -R,

As the quintessential non-minority, I fully recommend you all take full advantage of our crazy-ass backwards system, as long as its in place, at every chance you can. . . .just promise not to vote for it, too. (is that a contradiction?)

Posted by: Jason M. at January 29, 2003 03:50 PM


well,

jason, how exactly am i going to explain to an IT company or a client that me being south asian and really adds "diversity" to the field when around 1/4 of the worlds programmers are south asian?

:)

honestly though-in hindsight, i might have changed my name and tried to pass as latino, or claimed i was half-black or something if i really wanted to fool the system. i read that the head of the Native American Student Union at UC Berkeley was trying to get an audit done on all the "Native American" students there, claiming that half were not really Native American and just lied to get under the lowered bar....

Posted by: razib at January 29, 2003 04:02 PM


Alexis Bledel isn't as cute, because of those puffy cheekbones. Otherwise, I'd have voted for her.

I'm "hispanic" - my mother is from Colombia, but I'm racially white. I tan better than whites from northern Europe, and I have black hair and rich brown eyes, though the eyes are from my Greek father (my mom has hazel eyes). But I pass as white everywhere except a construction site, where the Mexican laborers usually address me in Spanish first.

Posted by: Anthony at January 29, 2003 05:24 PM


Yeah, well, what about former caudillo Alberto Fujimori of Peru? Isn't he "Hispanic"? And could he not benefit from affirmative action?

Yep, you betcha.

Posted by: Roger Chaillet at January 29, 2003 05:55 PM


Offtopic

I have a question to the people in U.S

How many Spaniards is there in your country?

I have asked this per months and I have not found enough information that finishes with my curiosity.

I know that there is an important Portuguese community in Massachusetts and Boston,
But...What about the Spaniards?

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 29, 2003 06:38 PM



The "hispanic" label just mean "Belonging to Hispania (the old Roman county, i.e, the Iberian Peninsula)," not other thing. The most of "hispanics" are not belonging to Hispania (Although they speak Spanish´s dialects).

Of Course, that there is not contradiction on being white and being "Latino" or "Hispanic."

The true Hispanics (the old Spaniards and the current ones) and the true Latinos or Latins (the old tribes of the Lazio in Italy and the current inhabitants of this region) are white.

The problem here is that the Big Ugly American Government has distorted the meaning of two ethnic categories: Hispanic and Latin.

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 29, 2003 06:57 PM


Another "minority" girl:

http://www.askmen.com/women/singer_100/115_jamie_lynn_sigler.html

Jamie-Lynn Sigler (the Sopranos actress):

"Jamie-Lynn Sigler was born May 15, 1981, in Long Island, to Cuban and Jewish parents (her heritage is a mix of Cuban, Jewish-American and Greek). She was enrolled in dance school at the age of three and was taking acting and singing lessons a mere four years later"

""I'm half-Cuban -- my mother was born in Cuba and came here as a teenager -- so it's got a lot of Latin influence to it. It's pretty poppish. It's kind of more on the J-Lo side of things."

-Jamie-Lynn Sigler, on her musical sound

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 29, 2003 07:34 PM


The Spaniards you are looking for in the U.S. reside in places such as Colorado and northern New Mexico. They are the descendants of the Spaniards who founded all the missions. I know this as my brother's roommate is from Santa Fe, and she is Spanish and pueblo Indian.

Posted by: Roger Chaillet at January 29, 2003 09:03 PM


yes roger is right-though in my experience they tend to play up their spanish rather than indigenous ancestry. and they tend to have contempt for the self-conscious mestizoism of the newer immigrants and their chicano children....

(just my experience)

Posted by: razib at January 29, 2003 10:41 PM


Razib:
"i would tend to agree with you NOW. the number of latinos that benefit from white-skin privilege & affirmative action simulteanously is possibly trivial."

Having lived in the Southwest for yrs and West Coast rt now, there are a lot of Latinos that can either:
1) easily pass for white
2) or atleast have enough Caucasoid features that it is absurd to think they can even suffer enough discrimination to justify AA priviledges for them, anyway.

To buttress this notion, the avg. South Asian is often much darker and can be even less Caucasoid looking as many of these Latinos yet still gets by (often better economically and without the benefits of AA).

If miscegnation continues between Latinos and non-Latinos and Blacks and non- Blacks, one may very well see the rise of more qualified, better educated multiracial/ biracial offspring occupying AA positions that would have been taken by 'more pure' but poorer Blacks/ Latinos for whom they were likely primarily intended. You're already seeing that now, but it may increase exponentially. NAACP and La Raza may be forced to re-evaluate their hypodescent paradigm regarding race- unless Sailer is right, and AA will just expand with them.

Posted by: -R at January 29, 2003 11:00 PM


My parents are Bengali Hindus from Calcutta, but I was born in NY. I've often been mistaken for Hispanic, as well as Arabic, Italian, or simply white. Even other Indians were not sure about me, unless the saw my name, or I was attending an Indian gathering. I've often thought that my experience in applying to college and grad school might have been much more pleasant had I been born into a more sought after category of brown people.

Unlike many of my Indian peers, I was born with a defective math gene, which meant my GPA was higher than most of classmates, but probably on the low end for an Indian kid. One of my high school classmates, who was Thai, and ranked about the same as me, also knew that he was screwed. His main gripe, "I can't dunk a basketball." We both wound up attending our safety schools.

One other bit about the increasing profile of Hispanics. Is it just an accident that the most high profile Hispanic personalities are about the same shade as many white people? Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Daisy Fuentes, Martin Sheen - they would be simply white anywhere outside the US. It seems that being different is okay for the diversity crowd, so long as it's not too different, in apperance or political thought.

But the outlook is not entirely grim for Indians and other Asians. Affirmative action can work for Asians, if you are female. Since many universities feel it is incumbent upon them to address the wrongs Asian women have endured due to centuries of patriarchy. Plus, you get to check off 2 boxes for diversity - one for sex, and one for ethnicity.

Posted by: KXB at January 29, 2003 11:22 PM


funny KXB-my mom was often confused for my sicilian barber's younger sister when i was a little kid in upstate new york during the summer and he tanned darkly so they were about the same complexion. for a bengali she is very fair skinned. interestingly, 5 of her 6 brothers are engineers, but she wasn't too good at math (she only got B's in it).

also, we bengalis are less well known for our mathematical skills than our literary ones. we produced tagore, the tamils have chandrasekar-the two big brown nobel laureates.

also, please see Steve Sailer's series on Mexico's caste system for more info about color in Latin America.

Posted by: razib at January 30, 2003 12:23 AM


Hey, Hey I cant see to Marc Anthony as a white, He is a Mixed person (I see enough Black ancestry on him, I suppose that he is a Quadroon), the same thing happens with JLO, She have a lot of Amerindian ancestry and Black Ancestry (Do you have seen her ass? Her ass reminds me to those of my cousin's Cuban mulatto girlfriends.

Posted by: Juan Ascaño at January 30, 2003 01:01 AM


juan, i agree about anthony, and to a lesser extent JLO. one of my friends says JLO is pretty much white from the front, but her non-whiteness (her blackness?) comes out in her ass. he's not one to mind that sort of thing...(i won't go any further on his reasons)

Posted by: razib at January 30, 2003 01:37 AM


Do you have seen her eyes??

The form of her eyes (She have a very developed epicantric fold) is very similar to those of the Amerindians, her cheekbones are also very Amerindian, she have a rounded forehead(this remain me the face of Black people), her face is quite smoothed (other Amerindian feature).

Look:

http://www.jlzone.com/cache/General_jl_pics_show_jl087.jpg_.phtml

http://www.jlzone.com/cache/General_jl_pics_show_jl108.jpg_.phtml

http://www.jlzone.com/cache/General_jl_pics_show_jl111.jpg_.phtml

Although I cannot refuse that she has a lot of white ancestry too.

With regard to Marc, you should look very well his vertical zygomatic arches (a Black feature) and his wide and low nose (other black feature).

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 30, 2003 03:14 AM


juan,

well, recent studies indicate that the population of puerto rico has far more amerindian in it than once thought. point of fact though, JLo's mother i believe is a daughter of recent immigrants from spain. so her non-whiteness probably comes from her father. in any case, i think she's hot, even if the booty is a little too phat & tight for my taste :)

Posted by: razib at January 30, 2003 03:27 AM


Juan:
Many descendents of Spaniards live in Louisiana. My grandmother was from New Orleans and her maiden name was Spanish due to her grandfather. He was the son of a Galician ship's carpenter that settled in Havana. But he left Cuba and went to New Orleans. At this point(the 1880s we believe) Miami and Atlanta were small towns and New Orleans was the only real city in the Gulf Coast. Anyway my dad's cousin is as white as snow (and a bit of a racist) thus he can't stand people thinking he is Mexican. The white Spanish-descent people in Louisiana have the same view of mestizos as other white Spanish folks.

Posted by: duende at January 30, 2003 07:37 AM


Thanx for the info Duende

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 30, 2003 02:20 PM


Razib, I don't believe the Amerindian ancestry of the Puerto Ricans it is much bigger that their Black ancestry, Most of the Tainos (the old Amerindian tribes of the island) were exterminated, and the few ones that were alive disappeared thanks to the miscegenation (although many Puerto Ricans like to say that their strange look is product of the influence of the Amerindian Taino ancestry, they deny in each opportunity the great amount of Black ancestry in their veins).

With regard to JLO, I had heard that her mother is of Spanish origin, but this is not guarantee of anything..

Saludos

Posted by: Juan ascaño at January 30, 2003 02:34 PM


an abstract on puerto rico. the behavior you characterize, emphasizing native ancestry and denying african ancestry is common among triracial isolates in the united states too. mexicans are about 10% black but that is denyed/forgotten by the national racial consciousness.....

Posted by: razib at January 30, 2003 02:43 PM


Razib would have a field day in Oklahoma, what with black Seminoles and white Cherokees and Choctaws! Sheesh, a girl I used to work with said that her family had discovered papers that proved she was a Cherokee freedman, yet she had an ass like a black girl's! She had pale white skin, black hair, hazel eyes, and a small number of freckles. But from behind her behind looked like a black girl's!

And let's not get into the Wesorts I grew up with in Southern Maryland. They were black, white and American Indian. Some had kinky blonde hair, thick, full lips, and blue or hazel eyes. And many manifested signs of inbreeding over the generations such as cleft palates. http://www.heite.org/Indians/invisibleindians.html

Posted by: Roger Chaillet at January 30, 2003 08:22 PM


huh, just so it's on record, i don't fancy big asses in particular. i do think JLo is an attractive woman, whatever her assets happen to be....

Posted by: razib at January 31, 2003 01:18 AM


Razib,


Yup, I'm well aware of the Bengali pride in matters such as literature, music, and other arts. In my house, you couldn't escape it. What is interesting is that for all the pride Bengalis take in their contribution to Indian culture, they are scared to death when their own children express a desire to pursue a career in it. Additionally, they hate to recognize anything contemporary. Ravi Shankar was criticized in some circles back in the sixties for "commercializing" Indian music. Satyajit Ray only received due credit once praise came poring in from overseas. Now, these two are part of the Bengali cultural canon.

But, in my house at least, we always knew who could get things done. When the Hindu temple in Flushing, Queens underwent an expansion a couple of years ago, my mom was quick to offer her opinion, "It was pretty much run and organized by South Indians. They take their religion seriously and know how to get things done."

I'd read the Sailer piece on his page earlier, and it is interesting to note the complexion issues that appear in Mexican and Indian families. Granted, Indians don't have blond hair, so we probably won't be seeing too many of those in Indian dramas, unlike Mexican soap operas. But there does seem to be a trend away from the hippy Indian film vixen of yesteryear, and towards a leaner look, like Sonali Bendre or Bipasha Basu. That's not necessarily a bad thing, I just hope Bollywood does not adopt Hollywood's homosexual elite's image of what a women should look like, namely, having the shape of a teenage boy. Will Lara Flynn Boyle please leave the screen?!

Posted by: KXB at January 31, 2003 11:09 PM


lara was nice in the days of THREESOME and TWIN PEAKS. i didn't know ravi shankar was bengali. that means norah jones is half-bengali i guess....

Posted by: razib at February 1, 2003 02:00 PM


Razib writes:
"that means norah jones is half-bengali i guess...."

I did not know this. I thought you were kidding...

Posted by: -R at February 1, 2003 04:35 PM


norah looks just like her half-sister anoushka actually. you can see that norah is half-brown AFTER THE FACT in her facial features...she even looks a bit like a family friend of my family's in her nose & mouth....

Posted by: razib at February 1, 2003 07:56 PM


OKay.....all you ppl. piss the fuck out of me... Who the hell says u have the right to classify people. Just because someone is half colombian and white....does not make them 100% colombian or 100% white you dumbasses. SOrry if i am rude or being a bitch i don't care, because personally you guys have judgemental views. Or if a person is half white half black....it does not make them full black. THey are white and black....not 100% of either. If you guys talk about how I can pass for full white... or black..or native or spanish... and talk about what you can pass for then, you ppl. have issues. WHat's wrong with being mixed? what are you ashamed or something. I am multicultural, I am Belgium (eruopean), jamaican, west indian, and portugese. I am proud of every single culture. I would not want to be one thing, it's boring. I also do not classify myself as one culture. I classify myself as a mixed person... I am belgium, jamaician, west indian, and portugese I do not go with one nationality or side with them. I side with all my nationalities. You people shouldn't classify somone.. i don't know what's wrong with you ppl. And because of what i said, i probably will be expecting some bitchy remarks...but bring it on. Why u people always classify people...you bigots ...if u mixed and say I mexican and white but really white...THen it shows You ARE A DAME RACIST.. p.s. i know my message does not apply to all

Posted by: krystal at March 21, 2003 11:16 AM


There is absolutely no genetic basis for the concept of race, genetically. Humans have approximatelly 3 billion base pairs of DNA. When you sample DNA from two individuals within the same population, say the same small village, you get about 500,000 differences, a miniscule percentage. When you sample two individuals from two different ethnic groups, the differences number about 600,000. That's essentially the same, when you take into account the billions of base pairs. Furthermore, no genes have been isolated to belong to only a certain 'race'; all racial traits are actually found all across the human population. So classifying people by race is a worthless exercise.

Posted by: gump at March 24, 2003 01:26 PM


As far as ethnicity is concerned...

If I'm correct, the U.S. census considers anyone whose ancestors came from either the Iberian peninsula (Portugese and Spanish), or 'Latin' America (Mexico, Argentina, & al.) to be of 'Hispanic' ethnicity. 'Race,' 'colour,' or whatever have nothing to do with it.

Consider the following...

'whiter' than me, with blue/grey/green eyes:
*Esther Cañadas
*Cameron Díaz
*Nicole Neumann

the same colour as me, with hazel eyes (though _far_ more attractive):
*Gisele Bündchen
*Paulina Rubio
*Yamila Díaz-Rahi

the stereotype 'Latina' (brown) colour, with brown eyes:
*Jennifer Lopez
*Patricia Velasquéz
*Talisa Soto

Yet ALL of the preceding are Latinas (at least according to the fulllatin.com people).

Then, we have Anglo-Canadians (I'm a Canuck, so I have to put this in) like Kristin Kreuk, Estella Warren and Yasmin Ghauri--all different colours. My racial background is all over the place (Euro, Semite, what have you), but I call myself an Anglo-North American. So there.

Cheers,
Adam C. Sieracki

BTW: I'd think that the name is of Germanic extraction. (Lots of Germans and Ashkenazim in Latin America--just look at the names and .) She also went to Lutheran school, so I'm assuming that's her faith. Anyhoo, I think she's a hottie (something about her in a pleated skirt and tights that makes me want to tickle her chin).

Posted by: Adam C. Sieracki at March 24, 2003 06:46 PM


As far as ethnicity is concerned...

If I'm correct, the U.S. census considers anyone whose ancestors came from either the Iberian peninsula (Portugese and Spanish), or 'Latin' America (Mexico, Argentina, & al.) to be of 'Hispanic' ethnicity. 'Race,' 'colour,' or whatever have nothing to do with it.

Consider the following...

'whiter' than me, with blue/grey/green eyes:
*Esther Cañadas
*Cameron Díaz
*Nicole Neumann

the same colour as me, with hazel eyes (though _far_ more attractive):
*Gisele Bündchen
*Paulina Rubio
*Yamila Díaz-Rahi

the stereotype 'Latina' (brown) colour, with brown eyes:
*Jennifer Lopez
*Patricia Velasquéz
*Talisa Soto

Yet ALL of the preceding are Latinas (at least according to the fulllatin.com people).

Then, we have Anglo-Canadians (I'm a Canuck, so I have to put this in) like Kristin Kreuk, Estella Warren and Yasmin Ghauri--all different colours. My racial background is all over the place (Euro, Semite, what have you), but I call myself an Anglo-North American. So there.

Cheers,
Adam C. Sieracki

BTW: I'd think that the name is of Germanic extraction. (Lots of Germans and Ashkenazim in Latin America--just look at the names and .) She also went to Lutheran school, so I'm assuming that's her faith. Anyhoo, I think she's a hottie (something about her in a pleated skirt and tights that makes me want to tickle her chin).

Posted by: Adam C. Sieracki at March 24, 2003 06:46 PM


As far as ethnicity is concerned...

If I'm correct, the U.S. census considers anyone whose ancestors came from either the Iberian peninsula (Portugese and Spanish), or 'Latin' America (Mexico, Argentina, & al.) to be of 'Hispanic' ethnicity. 'Race,' 'colour,' or whatever have nothing to do with it.

Consider the following...

'whiter' than me, with blue/grey/green eyes:
*Esther Cañadas
*Cameron Díaz
*Nicole Neumann

the same colour as me, with hazel eyes (though _far_ more attractive):
*Gisele Bündchen
*Paulina Rubio
*Yamila Díaz-Rahi

the stereotype 'Latina' (brown) colour, with brown eyes:
*Jennifer Lopez
*Patricia Velasquéz
*Talisa Soto

Yet ALL of the preceding are Latinas (at least according to the fulllatin.com people).

Then, we have Anglo-Canadians (I'm a Canuck, so I have to put this in) like Kristin Kreuk, Estella Warren and Yasmin Ghauri--all different colours. My racial background is all over the place (Euro, Semite, what have you), but I call myself an Anglo-North American. So there.

Cheers,
Adam C. Sieracki

BTW: I'd think that the name is of Germanic extraction. (Lots of Germans and Ashkenazim in Latin America--just look at the names and .) She also went to Lutheran school, so I'm assuming that's her faith. Anyhoo, I think she's a hottie (something about her in a pleated skirt and tights that makes me want to tickle her chin).

Posted by: Adam C. Sieracki at March 24, 2003 06:47 PM


I met jlo's mother in person......she looks like more from africa then spain....... I dont believe in anything jlo say she wants to be spanish so badly

Posted by: maria at April 24, 2003 10:54 PM


ok i'm spanish-mexican (the mexican being of pure spanish descent), but born here in us. and i'm blonde with gray eyes. like all my family are blonde with either blue/green/gray eyes. when people hear that my name is garcia they are like utterly confused. i just wish that people wouldn't be so ignorant and stereotypical. spaniards for the most part are EXTREMELY light, thus, producing cameron diaz, yago hermida, esther canadas, and many others. go to http://spanishmodels.cjb.net to see true spaniards. however, remember that the darker spaniards have either moorish or gypsy blood in them.

Posted by: Anne at May 2, 2003 04:26 PM


Please!!!! Who cares? I am a Mexican-American who is tired of people, including "my own", getting so hung up on skin color and European ancestry. It doesn't friggin' matter! I am mistaken as "American white" all the time, because most people have no idea that Mexico has a whole spectrum of skin colors. But again, who cares! People are approaching this as if to be lighter, or to have some claim to Europe, is to be superior. Give me a break! Yes some of us have very little or no indigenous ancestry, others have very little or no European ancestry, but do not call yourself "Spanish-American" unless you were born in the U.S. and your parents were born in Spain. Especially if your parents were born in Mexico, because then it is obvious that you have what is known as "malinchismo", and you favor anything European over Mexican. It's sad, really. I was born in the U.S. My parents and grandparents were born in Mexico. Go back a couple more generations and everyone is from France, Portugal and Spain. Does that make me French-Portuguese-Spanish-American? No, it makes me Mexican-American. Or better yet, Latina.

People are trying to justify Alexis Bledel's light skin and blue eyes "in spite" of her "Mexicanness", when it could just as easily be because of this. And as far as Argentina, I a writing a research paper on the nature of Argentines to claim to be European, and to devalue anything native to Argentina. Most of you people could very easily be Argentines, and I'm not talking about skin color or Italian grandmothers.

Ever heard of "internalized racism"???

Posted by: liz at May 2, 2003 06:44 PM


Hey Liz,

I just read your comment about "internalized racism" in argentina. My mother is Cuban and my father is Argentinian, and my ancestors were mostly italian, spanish, and some french. It's not about being racist in Argentina. I have been there many times and more than 90% of their population is White. They are just being honest of their ancestry. Look it up and you'll see that Argentina is 97% white and 3% mestizo.

Frank

Posted by: Frank Bandiera at May 10, 2003 12:16 AM


liz,
what you said about malinchismo...my dad, who's parents were born in the mother country of spain, happened to only be born in mexico b/c his parents were living there for the time b/c of business. anyways, i say that i'm "spanish-mexican (the mexican being of pure spanish descent) b/c it's not only true, but yes i'm most proud of my blood. you see, i'm rather "racist" against the mestizos b/c i hate how all of them claim SO much spanish blood or whatever, when in fact a lot of them have a spanish name only b/c their indian ancestors were baptized by the spaniards; although i will admit many of them do have SOME spanish blood in them. anyways, as i said before, i wish people would stop being stereotypical b/c thankfully i don't look dark like talisa soto or j-lo, but instead show my blood like esther canadas and clara mas.

Posted by: anne at May 15, 2003 04:21 PM


Hey Frank,

I'm sorry but yes, it is racism. To feel superiority in regards to another group of people because of their being "indigenous" is racism.

You're half Argentine, so you should be familiar with the writings of Alberdi and Sarmiento, right?
Does this sound familiar?:
“The South American republics are the product and living testimony of Europe’s presence in America…. All that is civilization on our soil is European. America itself is a European discovery…. Those of us who call ourselves American are nothing more than Europeans born in America; our skull, blood, color –everything is from [Europe]…. Who among us would not prefer a thousand times over to see his daughter marry an English shoeman rather than an Araucanian prince? In America everything that is not European is barbaric: there is no division other than this one: Indian which is synonymous with savage, and European which means those of us born in America, who speak Spanish and believe in Jesus Christ,” (Alberdi 239).

Sarmiento wrote that Argentina was better off because it has "more white people." Unlike Ecuador, who had a large mestizo and indigenous population.

Do you know why Argentina is over 90% white? Is it because the Pampas were uninhabited prior to the arrival of European immigrants? Or is it because of a little something called the Expedition to the Desert in 1879, and the subsequent systematic silencing and undervaluing of indigenous peoples?

Maybe you're the one that needs to do a little research. While you're at it, why don't you look up the origins of the tango?

Posted by: Liz at May 20, 2003 03:06 AM


Anne,

If your father was born in Mexico to Spanish parents then I don't see why you make any claim to Mexico at all. Just call yourself Spanish and leave Mexico out of it.

I wish you would re-read your statement and realize how it reaks of anti-indigenous sentiment. "Thankfully I don't look dark" is what you said. Well, if that makes you happy, good for you.

I don't understand how you can become annoyed at mestizos that claim to have Spanish blood, and yet you go out of your way to make your own claims to Europe explicit. I'm sure you'll want to justify this by saying that you have a legitimate claim to Spain because your grandparents were born there. What I wish you would realize is that all you're doing is perpetuating a cycle of "my country is better/more civilized/more cultured than yours". We could all play that game. Watch:

-To be mestizo is better than being indigenous,
But to be Spanish is better than to be mestizo,
However, France is far more superior than Spain!
But German blood is so much cooler than French!
But England is more civilized than Germany!

Ah, but Holland's perfect social welfare beats England.
But everyone knows Switzerland beats Holland. Besides, Switzerland makes the best chocolate!

But where did they get the chocolate? Oh yeah! Mesoamerica! Where all the indigenous people are!

So here's my "claim to fame": Spain, Portugal and France. What do I win?

...and to think I stumbled upon this message board while searching for Alexis Bledel's bio...

Posted by: Liz at May 20, 2003 03:31 AM


liz,

actually, i will never forgive myself for what i said in the previous comments b/c to be honest, i often do wish i had darker skin and hair and eyes. i think dark skin is the most beautiful.

Posted by: anne at May 21, 2003 02:37 PM


I am a Mexican-American who is fourth-generation American-born. My ancestry is a combination of Spanish, Native American, West African, Arab, French, German, and Portuguese. Although most of my body is light with a yellowish tinge, my face and arms are quite dark; however, even if I had light skin, I have numerous ethnic features which would set me apart from Northern and Western Europeans or their descendants. I am often mistaken for Samoan, Ethiopian, Brazilian, U.S. Native American, Puerto Rican, Pakistani, Australian Aborigine, Egyptian, and Persian, which is most likely the result of my extremely mixed ancestry. Also, my family consists of many different colors as well. What pisses me off is people's xenophobia as well as cultural/racial arrogance. The concept of race between humans bears very little biological weight; rather, it is more of a social construct used to keep people separate (and often subordinate). No human sub-group is biologically better than another; we are all members of the same species. In response to an earlier comment, yes, Spain has many fair-haired and light-eyed "white" people, but many are also dark-haired and swarthy; after all, Spain was under the power of Arabs and Berbers, swarthy people of North Africa, for a very long time. It is also possible to find different looks among members of the same family in Spain. As far as Argentina is concerned, most Argentines I have met and seen are fairly "ethnic-looking"; in other words, they have traits that are quite different from Northern and Western Europeans. Yes, there were many German and Welsh immigrants to Argentina, but the dominant elements were Spanish and Italian, two ethnicities known for darker hair, eye color, and complexion. Besides this, Argentina once had a relatively large black population that has all but disappeared; based on the existence of the tango, it is obvious that they mixed in with the mostly European-descended population, adding elements of their own heritage to the Argentine culture. We are all mixed people; the sooner we acknowledge this, the better.

Posted by: Zumbi at September 12, 2003 12:06 AM


If you talk about Portuguese kinds go to www.portuguesemodels.com to see true portuguese models.

Posted by: David at October 1, 2003 03:17 PM