Latinos in Hollywood—both male and female—are often sexually objectified. Whether it be in the actual casting of Latino characters or the development of the characters themselves, Hollywood’s space for Latinos often comes with the catch that they must ooze sex appeal. A case study in this can be observed with the career of one actress/singer/ mogul Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer Lopez hitched a ride to stardom on Selena Quintanilla’s hearse, playing the icon in the cult-classic biopic Selena: “with this role she proved her bankability in a cross over role in an A-list film” (Beltran 71).
Unfortunately, despite being arguably the only good performance is Lopez’ career, it wasn’t her acting chops that garnered Lopez critical acclaim. The media focused more on the actress’ butt: “dozens of newspapers, entertainment magazines, and entertainment-oriented television programs round the country and the world reported the news of Jennifer Lopez’s large and well-rounded buttocks” (72). Furthermore, one critic went as far as to specifically site Lopez’s physical assets in a review in a series of synonyms: “Jennifer Lopez’s bottom, her backside, her butt, her rear, her rump, her posterior, her gorgeously proud buttocks, her truly magnificent outstanding booty” (Style 6).
There’s nothing wrong with being hot. In fact, it is undeniably a worthy trait to have; however, it not the only trait in which one should strive to have. The same notion should exist in Hollywood. Jennifer Lopez is more than her butt and any other synonym for that word. One can be more introspective and note that even the woman Lopez was playing endured the same marginalization due to her body. In casting Selena, much of the debate orbited the similarity between Selena and Lopez, with people praising her for capturing her body. Rather than complimenting her ability to play the person.