Actor David Gallagher (L)
It’s not always easy to determine whether or not a person is Latino. With the mix of European, African, and Asian populations found throughout Latin America, increased globalization and immigration, and the birth of children of mixed descent, there is an ever-growing number of Latinos that don’t fit the physical stereotype. There are blonde-haired, blue-eyed Latinos, light and bordering on white skinned Latinos, olive-skinned, Black and Asian Latinos to name but a few of the complications that are regularly seen.
Today I scrolled through Latina Magazine’s list of “105 Stars You Never Knew Were Latina,” and yes, I was surprised and thrilled to many of my favorite sports stars, actors, and musicians present. Check out the full list along with their accompanying Latino histories HERE.
For many of these people, their little known Latino identify is due to their appearance, either because they don’t look Latino, or they look more like an Italian, an African, or a white person than anything else. For others, it’s because they’ve changed their Latino name(s) in order to be more marketable as Hollywood stars. Some make the name change for fear of being typecast in Latino specific roles; others fear discrimination because they’re Latino, and still others change their name to accommodate for the pronunciation capabilities of an English speaker.
Many of these “undercover” Latinos are of mixed heritage, with the Latino component stemming from only one of their parental lineages, but they still identify as predominantly or proudly Latino. They may be raised in a multilingual household allowing them to speak English with such ease that their Spanish or Portuguese accents are undetectable. While some of these Latinos are proud of their heritage, they are quiet about it in their professional life for a myriad of reasons including the industry which seeks to perpetuate the stereotypical image of a Latino without acknowledging that these people are just as Latino or Latina as say, Eva Longoria, or Gael Garcia Bernal.
Take a look at the list, I’d love to know who your biggest surprises are!