Monday, November 15, 2010

Jennifer Lopez on SNL

Our discussion of bilingualism reminded me of this Saturday Night Live Sketch with Jennifer Lopez. It is a spoof of one of those entertainment show celebrity interviews where they ask meaningless questions and are supposed to act interested in the generally run of the mill answers. At one point the female host repeats a question in Spanish, that is incorrect Spanish, and Jennifer Lopez says, “ I speak English…” At another point Lopez says, “… like my mom always used to say, ‘Paciencia y fe’”. The hosts respond with, “Oh oh what’s that??” Intrigued by the Spanish, the hosts make her say in over and over again, “sassier! Yes, spicy, spicy!” Finally they get her to scream, “Paciencia y fe aye aye aye! “. Then it cuts to the final edited version of the interview where they have cut out everything before the scream and ask, “has J. Lo gone loco?”

This sketch ties in well to the discussion of the latin@ stereotype of excess. It identifies the media as a common culprit in promoting this stereotype and often creating it out of nothing. It also implicates us as the viewer as a participant as this stereotypical portrayal is what sells, what attracts the most viewers. The sketch illustrates a very average celebrity interview that is twisted by the media into something over the top, uncontrolled and excessive.

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting and it got me thinking about how Jennifer Lopez is often described as a "typical" Latina, always doing everything in excess. Her signature is her big butt and this reminded me of the discussion we had about the Latina stereotype that they all have big butts and if you don't you somehow are not a true Latina. I was on google and I typed in about Jennifer Lopez's butt and what came up was a link advertised as "How to get a bigger butt like Jennifer Lopez" it is a workout with an intense eating and working out schedule that shows you how to achieve a bigger butt like Jennifer Lopez. I couldn't believe that this came up as the top link when googled, apparently people really want a bigger butt like her.
    I really started thinking about how a bigger butt has become romanticized and has come to be thought of as a signature trait of Latinas. It reminds me of the advertising reading we had at the beginning of the semester that talked about the "generic Latina" being used in commercials and television shows. I believe that the bigger butt is a trait of the "generic Latina" and I don't really like it because I think that it discounts other women who may not have a big butt saying that they must not be Latina because they don't share that generic Latina trait. Who defined it as being a trait of Latinas anyways? Jennifer Lopez being a successful Latina who also happened to have a big butt made the big butt a symbol of Latinas and I think it does a disservice to and can create oppression for Latinas who happen to not have a big butt.

    Here is the link for the workout: