In 2014, Sofia Vergara and Bruce Rosenbaum of the Television and Motion Picture Academy performed a tongue-in-cheek bit at the Emmys. You can watch the clip below.

After the show, reactions on the bit were mixed with some saying Vergara was poking fun at Latina stereotypes and the objectification rampant in Hollywood, and others saying she was exuding a Latina stereotype and complicit in her own objectification.

Vergara herself said this:

I think its absolutely the opposite [of demeaning]. It means that somebody can be hot and also be funny and make fun of herself. I think it’s ridiculous that somebody started this—I know who she was—who has no sense of humor [and should] lighten up a little bit

Whatever your take on the bit, it is ripe for analysis about what it means to be a "Latino" (specifically Latino and not Latinx) in America. Last month, The Estuary Collective hosted BLUE HOUR, a round table discussion focused on support and solidary with our AAPI writer friends. In that space, Maria BolaƱos shared the following sentiment:

Asian-ness as a learned identity that necessitates sacrificing cultural specificity for a seat at the American table was a new concept to me--though given my background, it really shouldn't have been. How many times in life have I had to explain that the varied "Hispanic" or "Latino" cultures are not a monolith but distinct cultures with their own native tongues and cultural heritage? Too many. 

These two concepts come together in SOFIAS, a short collection of poems that use Rosenbaum & Vergara's 2014 moment to explore Latinidad as an American idea and product. I am so happy to share that SOFIAS will be published by Ethel press next Summer!! 

Until then, catch "a translation" (from this collection) appearing in CLOSED EYE OPEN's MAYA'S MINI series, in July!!


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