I thought for a while about what stereotype or generalization about someone in my life that has been exacerbated by the media is. After thinking for a while I think the most dangerous and hurtful one is the stereotype of my Hispanic friend and her mom. Her mom doesn’t speak English too well as she’s more comfortable speaking Spanish with her family. I have witnessed judgement from other’s because of this when out in public. I have noticed that when she speaks broken English she is judged harshly because American’s view her as ‘different’ and ‘foreign’. She has children, one of them being my friend, who are first generation to go to college and work towards a degree. My friend is studying to become a veterinarian, and it is extremely hard to get into vet school, but she is working very hard to do so. This is opposite of what society and the media have tried to portray her as. My friend’s mom and her husband are hardworking members of American society but because they come from a culture different to what white American’s are used to, they are generalized and looked down upon. Stereotypes and generalizations in media don’t help this attitude that the public has and often times it helps create more anger.
The stereotypes that are perpetuated by the media regarding people of Hispanic heritage can be very negative and demeaning. I can’t think of a single piece of media that I consumed growing up where a Hispanic person was a ‘superhero’ or a very successful person like a doctor or a wealthy CEO. Instead, you mainly see them play working class struggling people. “Housekeeping, especially at the commercial level, is considered a low-skilled and low-paying profession. It is work designed to attract the most vulnerable members of society. This includes women, single moms, and people of color — which is often reflected in the casting of maids. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, the service industry employs 33% of undocumented workers”. For example, you see women play maids or ‘the help’ while men will play gardeners or maintenance people. This generalization that Hispanics can only work domestic, working class jobs provides a narrative for people to believe in that ‘immigrants come into this country to steal our jobs’. We have heard this time and time again and this creates frustration and anger towards this marginalized group of individuals from racist Americans. It is a very dangerous and demeaning stereotype. What this stereotype fails to show us are all the Latino Americans working through college, being first generation to even go to college, and working successful jobs. An example of Hispanic women constantly being stereotyped as ‘the help’ can be shown in many different films and TV shows. Most popular would be Jennifer Lopez in the film ‘Maid In Manhattan’. Another more offensive example is Consuela the maid in Family Guy “One of the most popular of these is the character Consuela — the town’s ubiquitous Mexican-American maid who speaks broken English, always wears a uniform and rubber cleaning gloves, and spends most of her time asking for “Le-mohn Pledge” while walking around spraying everything with Windex.”