Ay, Ay, Ay, Consuela!! – Should We Love Her or Hate Her?

Consuela from 'Family Guy'

Honestly!  I’m not sure whether I should be offended or just plain tickled with the increasing popularity of this crazy little cartoon character named Consuela I’ve only recently discovered.

According to her creators on Family Guy, she is the leader of the Quahog Maids’ Union and Consuela is every bit the typical stereotype of a Latina housemaid… of Mexican descent according to the undercurrent of mostly young people who’ve taken her on as a “champion” of sorts for housemaids everywhere.

On the one hand, she’s definitely got the sarcasm and sass of many an abuelita down packed!  Her broken English – she calls everyone Misser regardless of their gender – and seemingly on purpose way of getting out of everything by saying “NOOOOOO!!” – her signature line by the way – is pretty hilarious and seems all too familiar to me for some reason.

También es medio cabrona La Consuela

On the other hand, though, her appearance on episodes like Are You Smarter Than a Hispanic Maid? just make me cringe.

Episode: Are You Smarter Than a Hispanic Maid?

Outside of the show there’s also an info-graphic circulating the web calling her the “grown up” version of Dora the Explorer, or what Dora will look like in a few decades.

Is this really Dora's future?

Come on people!  We Mexicans are capable of so much more than just cleaning houses – and NO, Dorita is not going to be a housemaid when she grows up!  She’s into science people!

While Consuela has become more than just another character on Family Guy – she’s one of the few that was created as a one time character and turned into a regular part of the show – the question for me is do we really need Consuela in the world?  It’s bad enough the Urban Dictionary already defines Consuela as “the universal name for a hotel maid.”  Really!?

I don’t know, what do you think?

14 thoughts on “Ay, Ay, Ay, Consuela!! – Should We Love Her or Hate Her?”

  1. When I saw your tweet that said something about “Consuela” being made up by Americans, I was intrigued. I mean, there is nobody out there named Consuela, right? Consuelo, sure, but Consuela? Come on. Then you told me about Urban Dictionary’s definition. I thought, what the eff?! Since when do racist white people define anything on “urban” dictionary. Or is it internalized-racist brown people? I am almost 40 and I wonder how much longer we’ll keep perpetuating our own stereotypes. I wonder when the words – internalized oppression – will be a part of our consciousness and when that knowledge will propel our growth. And lastly, there are many, many reasons not to watch The Family Guy. As a Chicana feminist I urge you to stop consuming any form of entertainment that espouses the hatred under the guise of comedy. c/s

    1. @mexicanwoman definitely agree on several points here. I’ve met many Consuelos… very few Consuelas in my life, but I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean much. There are much crazier names out there than Consuela. And as far as the show, I rarely ever watch it just because it’s not the style of humor that catches my attention. That’s why I didn’t even know who this character was, but after seeing her increasingly all over the web I had to do a little more digging… la verdad I still can’t make up my mind. Some of the clips made me laugh, others just kind of angered me. I mean La India Maria was totally making dun of herself. This feels a little like Consuela is just being made fun of.

  2. Don’t know if you know this but Consuela is based on Zoila from Bravo TV’s Flipping Out. She’s actually not Mexican, I believe she’s from Honduras. My kids and I LOVE her and can’t get enough of her and Jeff on Flipping Out. You should take a look. I hadn’t seen this cartoon but it certainly does sound and act like her. By the way I am hispanic, I’m not offended, it makes me laugh and I can’t wait until the new season of Flipping Out starts!

    1. Anonymous, had no idea about Zoila or the show you mentioned… mucho menos that Consuela is Honduran? What I found online said that she was created by the person who voices her based on previous housemaids he had hired in his own home?? But then again he could have modeled her after Zoila anyway??? And as far as being Mexican, they never really specified officially on the show… but for some reason kids on the net have claimed her as Mexican. Quien sabe, but thank yo for stopping by 🙂

  3. Zoila is from Nicaragua and Family Guy is tongue and cheek comedy that makes fun of everyone. The writers are Jewish, well lots of the writers are not all and they bash Jews more than anyone else. It’s a stereotype for a reason. They don’t get started from completely unfounded actions.

  4. I hate the Consuela character. So much. When she refused to leave the Griffin house cause of a rain storm… I was just like, CALL THE COPS TO HAUL THAT BITCH OUT, GODDAMN!

  5. I live about an hour from Mexico, and I’ve met probably hundreds of Mexican/South American women with the name Consuela. No, I’m not racist, I have completely embraced Mexican culture seeing as live in California and completely understand that this land was their territory long before America stole it. I have a few things to say about this article/post/whatever:
    For one, you say her catch phrase is “NOOOOOOOOO”, and I’m pretty sure she’s never said that even one single time….she says “No, no, no……no.” haha, but anyway, that’s a completely pointless thing to point out and has to do with little other than the validity of this author.
    My actual point is: In this article, you said “Come on people! We Mexicans are capable of so much more than just cleaning houses”… Please show me which part of the Consuela character even partially implies that Family Guy is trying to say that’s all they’re good for, in any way at all. They’re not trying to say that’s all they can do, they’re just depicting what a middle aged Mexican lady would be like if she DID choose to clean houses….And, honestly, I think they’re 100 percent accurate as far as her mannerisms and way she acts, but not the actual situations she gets into or anything like that – but that can be said about a lot of the characters. For instance, Peter acts exactly how middle aged men in Rhode Island act (not the stupid shit he does, but the way he talks and acts when he’s doing regular…human…stuff.) I think Consuela is absolutely hilarious because I have ran into so many ladies who act EXACTLY like that IN EVERY SINGLE WAY.
    I love you.

  6. Here is why it is racist, in my opinion…Consuela is the ONLY Mexican/Latina character that is ever on the show. I am a Chicano and I’ve met many women who work as housekeepers. They work long hard hours, miles away from their families for little pay. I’m not surprised a bunch of rich white guys think it is a funny idea to have the only representation of a whole race of people be a maid. The writers probably only run into Latinos when they are cooking or cleaning for them, as they would never think of hiring one as a writer. One may find Consuela funny but when a young white person, with no personal interactions with Latinos besides seeing them on Family Guy, thinks we are all dumb maids don’t be surprised. Also, Family Guy hasn’t been funny in years.

  7. Family Guy is an equal opportunity offender. The show makes people from all walks of life look bad. That doesn’t make it right. I watch the show and laugh, but am also occasionally offended when the comedy hits too close to home. What bothers me about Consuela becoming “famous” is just that. She’s a minor character on a long-running show but should not be a cultural icon of any sort. Latinos are still too underrepresented on television except as criminals, maids, or gardeners. Until we are on screen as characters from every walk of life, we should not be represented by one character who puts us in a negative light.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.