In honor of Hispanic Heritage month, Vice President of the Penn State Latino Caucus Ashley Calle decided to hold an event “targeted for the ladies.”
Calle (junior-interdisciplinary digital studio and film) started the event, Real Latinas Have “Curves,”presented by the Latino Caucus and Lambda Theta Alpha Latina Sorority Inc. by asking those in the audience what their backgrounds were. As everyone announced their various ancestries, the diversity in the room became clear before members in the audience began discussing the body issues Latinas face.
“We have our own issues we’d like to talk about,” she said.
Calle first asked members of the audience to explain what is beautiful in his or her culture. Cynthia Guzman explained that since she is Dominican Republican, the culture of the Caribbean values curves, which is very different than what is valued in the white mainstream society.
Calle then showed a video to show how much editing goes into models’ photographs. The video demonstrated a fast-forwarded photo-shop session where the model’s face was completely changed when it finally reached a billboard.
Lilibell Sanchez said in the open discussion that more videos like this should be shown to show girls the effects of photo editing.
When asked if she thought this practice in the media should stop, she said that it should and that the media should be encouraged to show less-edited photos.
“The more you show natural beauty, the more confident young girls will be,” Sanchez (senior-psychology)said.
Guzman (senior- telecommunications) added her personal experience with photo editing and said that the finished product is “a shadow of the same person.”
Calle then asked the audience what it is that makes Latinas beautiful, and the majority responded that confidence is what makes them beautiful, whether they are curvaceous or not.
President of the Latino Caucus Ariel Coronel said that Latina women are always expected to have curves on top and bottom with an “itty-bitty waist.”
“It doesn’t always happen that way,” Coronel (senior-energy business finance)said. “We come in every variety.”
Academic Advisor Gary Abdullah reminded everyone that the media has been dominated by men saying what they think women should be.
“Other people have issues,” he said. “You don’t inherently have them.”
Calle ended her presentation by giving those in the audience a list of ways to love their bodies.
“Recognize your special qualities,” she said. “And then put your body back together.”
The Latino Caucus will be holding five more events to honor Hispanic Heritage month: The Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, Machismo Tres, the Puerto Rican Independence Debate, the Best Man, and Sabor Latino.