Ask Juan: Why are all Latinas on Spanish-language television so “HOT”?

The infamous dance.

There’s a reason my television at the office is never tuned in to one of the Spanish-language networks.  Only when it’s late at night or there is nobody else in the building will you catch me watching anything on Univision, Telemundo, Telefutura, or any of the other half dozen canales en español that my dish network service carries.  The reason for this: the Latinas on all of the Spanish-language networks are – in the words of countless individuals who’ve walked in on me while I’ve been trying to sneak in a couple of minutes of my favorite programas, definitely more guys than gals – muy caliente!  

That’s literally what they’ve said after staring crazy-eyed at the television screen for a couple of minutes.  Then there’s the awkward explanation of what exactly it is I’m watching.  Yes, the ladies on Primer Impacto are actually reporting serious news.  Yes, Charytin and the rest of her very cleavage-advantaged and “bootylicious” co-hosts are supposed to be entertainment journalists.  Yes, dancing is an essential part of the job for the women of Despierta América! Much in the same way forced smiles and always looking like you are having the time of your life are a part of the job description for all of the presenters on Good Morning America and The Today Show.  Was the whole Tom Hanks-Chiquinquirá Delgado dance on Univision not explanation enough!?

By the same token, yes, all of the gents on shows like Escandalo TV and Sábado Gigante have to wear their shirts unbuttoned and open at least three buttons down to expose their chest.  Yes, these guys have to wear skin tight pants so as to leave very little to the imagination about just how “big” their packages might be.  Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable for Don Francisco to make inappropriate remarks about his very young and sexy female co-hosts.  So he’s been accused of sexual harassment.  So what!  Yes, all of those women in two piece bikinis sharing a jacuzzi with El Gordo de Molina find him irresistibly sexy, and by default of appearing on his show must do a complete 360° turn to show off their complete and full assets on all sides.  It’s just a part of their brand of entertainment.  It’s the same concept behind Spanish-language dating shows like 12 Corazones.  

It wasn’t really that popular of a show, but the contestants always exposed as much of their skin as possible to win the date.  For the eligible bachelors that meant pants squeezed into so tight they looked like they were about to tear if they bent down just far enough and no shirt whatsoever on their chests.  The ladies kept it classy with skintight, usually tube-topped dresses, that barely made it past their derrières and in which they jiggled just enough so that nothing would pop out sin querer queriendo. Janet Jackson could have definitely learned a thing or two from these chicas!  Then there was the banter.  Every single topic of conversation on the show was innuendo, sexual innuendo, and to be completely honest, that’s what made it so entertaining, as well as one of my guilty pleasures.  It just made for great mindless television.  No se enojen conmigo, it’s just the truth of the matter. I think.

So while it might not be the most appropriate or even the most politically correct activity to take place on such a powerful and far-reaching media as national television, I have a feeling those “HOT” Latinas will continue dancing and shaking what their momma’s gave them until we stop watching.  Those gents will continue bearing as much of their chests as possible, and all of us Latino men on television, regardless of how short, stocky, old, bald, fat, ugly, or naco we might look in real life, will also continue being the “HOTTEST” thing since sliced bread to the women of Univision, Telemundo, etc.  Because, after all, television is all about entertainment and guess what, SEX sells!

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8 thoughts on “Ask Juan: Why are all Latinas on Spanish-language television so “HOT”?”

  1. i wish you would’ve delved deeper into this. i haven’t read much on this myself, but i have some personal thoughts about it. essentially, univision markets to women emotionally, and markets to men visually. it seems like the decision-makers are mostly men, as they RARELY broadcast an intelligent female that is not exposing her body to some degree. it’s part of the machismo mentality that severely undermines the word of a woman. her word is not enough (unless it is to serve a man or to guide a child). she must complement it with a cleavage. univision drives our ideas of beauty (ideals that are highly european by the way). just consider the angle of the camera every time you watch Primer Impacto; the news content is always secondary. it bothers me like crazy that this is the largest tv network for latinos in the united states. it keeps our people in such narrow mind.

  2. Having been one of those females on Spanish TV, I can tell you that these “hot” babes made it more difficult for me to do serious journalism work. I once interviewed a respected forensic anthropologist and he actually asked me when I was going to take off my jacket and show cleavage for the camera. This is one of the main reasons I left the infotainment carrer on TV.

    1. Wow, Sandra! That’s really sinverguenza… What was your reaction to such a request? I can imagine that must have been one of the last straws… nombre, that is really having no shame.

  3. I am so glad others commented before me, I did not want to be the debbie downer.
    This sort of images is why Latina’s are not taken seriously. We all can’t be Miss Universo, Miss Colita or any other type of Misses.

  4. Yeah, this is kind of the reason I don’t watch Spanish channels anymore (that, and I mainly do netflix). Once you become Americanizada and a professional and begin to see yourself as more than a pretty thing this becomes insulting. Like, girls, I know you’re pretty but I don’t need to see your hermanas and please cover those legs a little. I think it also varies by show, Don Francisco, fine, but Primer Impacto and serious news channels should probably take on more serious dress codes. The problem with dressing this way is mainly that it creates an impression that the woman is nothing but an airhead and her value is reduced to her beauty when in truth women are so much more than that (most of us, anyway). It also prompts the kind of reaction one of the above commenters mentioned, although, honestly, some clueless men will hit on you inappropriately regardless of how you dress. I think we Latinos need to re-evaluate how we present ourselves in media if we are truly committed to being taken seriously. As my mom always says, ‘no basta ser, si no parecer.’

    1. The thing is now with streaming services like Hulu, Netflix and Amazon, and more mainstream networks developing content for Latinos (not in Spanish), the traditional networks like Univision and Telemundo are going to have to change their programming too to appeal to a changing viewership. It’s very exciting to see all the new content coming across the board. Thanks for the comment.

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