06/30/2015 02:52 pm ET

#HispanicGirlsUnited Gives An Honest Look At What It's Like To Be Latina

A viral new hashtag is giving Latinas a voice, at least on Twitter.

According to, #HispanicGirlsUnited started trending on Twitter last Thursday after user Joyce Santeliz added it to a tweet about how Hispanic girls are depicted in the media.

The hashtag gained momentum when other Latinas joined in to discuss their experiences and shut down stereotypes.

Gina Rodriguez from "Jane the Virgin" chimed in with a message of unity.

Some Latinas shared the expectations they face when it comes to physical appearance.

Others celebrated the diversity of Latinas.

Some pointed out the hard work of their parents and the sacrifices they made for them.

Some reminded the Twitter universe that their culture is more than a costume or a holiday.

Many used specific examples of the prejudice they face.

And one Twitter user summed up the importance of #HispanicGirlsUnited by highlighting something special: pride in her heritage.


  • "Men's Ranchero Costume Mexican Poncho"
    Mexican Rancheros =/= gun-toting mustachioed, sombrero and poncho wearing men. Truth is Mexican ranchers probably don't dress very differently from U.S. ranchers.
    Photo: Amazon
  • "Unisex Taco"
    1. As a general rule, avoid being life-size food. It's not really a 'cool' look.
    2. Tacos are from Mexico but they're not served with a sombrero on top.
    Photo: Ricky's Halloween
  • "Hey Amigo Donkey Costume"
    Adding the word amigo to the title doesn't make this anymore Latino friendly.
    Latinos' roots come from a variety of cultures and countries, which span from Mexico all the way down to the tip of the Chilean Patagonia. Yes there are donkeys. Yes there are ponchos. But they are not worn everywhere or by everyone -- not by a long shot.
    Want to be cool this halloween? Don't perpetuate Latino stereotypes.
  • Cholas or Cholos

    A photo posted by karrueche (@karrueche) on

    Nothing cooler than dressing up like gang members, right?
    "Cholas" and "Cholos" are part of a Chicano subculture rooted in the Mexican-American empowerment movement from the 1940s through 1970s but the term is most often associated with Los Angeles street gangs.
    Also, depending on the context, the term can be seen as a racial slur.
    Chris Brown's girlfriend Karreuche Tan and Rihanna both donned the look in 2013. But it seems the singer, at least, came to her senses and deleted the picture from Instagram.
  • "Latina Puerto Rican Pride Costume"
    Hey sexyyy...flag?
    Unless you're Puerto Rican and planning on attending a Puerto Rican Day Parade, we highly advise against this getup.
    Photo: Ricky's Halloween
  • "Mayan Costume Adult Aztec Queen Indian Mexican Halloween Fancy Dress"
    Well, which one is it?! Mayan or Aztec? They're two different Mesoamerican civilizations. The Maya empire, for example, was a pre-Columbian civilization who settled beyond present day Mexico and into Guatemala, El Salvador and more. But hey, let's belittle these two impressively advanced ancient civilizations who saw their demise at the hands of Spanish conquistadors.
    Or wait, is it just an "Indian Mexican fancy dress"? Because calling someone "Indian Mexican" is zero offensive as long as they're wearing something elegant? C'mon people.
    Photo: Ebay
  • "Mayan King Costume Adult Aztec Indian Warrior Mexican Halloween Fancy Dress"
    *Face Palm*
    Photo: Ebay
  • "Mexican Fiesta Adult Costume"
    Let's reduce a rich and vibrant culture to mustaches, margaritas and sombreros! ... Oh and Hawaiian shirts? Oh well, it's red and spicy looking. Arrrribbbaaa!!
    How about we reconsider whether "adult costume" is a proper way of describing this ensemble.
    Photo: Costume Craze
  • "Illegal Alien Costume"
    Oh, I see what you did there! You're comparing undocumented human beings to criminally convicted extraterrestrials. Something tells me people might argue it's a way to continue the hostile US vs. THEM mentality that surrounds immigration reform. While others... actually nope, everyone seems to agree it's a bad idea.
    That's why in 2009, the costume was discontinued on Target and Amazon. So this is a friendly reminder of what to avoid for anyone thinking about DIY costumes.
    At least technically you're not denoting this one as "Latino" with something like a mustache...
    Photo: Amazon
  • "Illegal Alien Mask"
    The following costume description is really the icing on the cake: "In this hilarious Adult Illegal Alien Mask, you'll be crossing more than one border! Party guests will crack up once they realize that your clever Halloween costume is not just from across customs, but out of this world."
    You won't be crossing the border but you will be crossing a line. We repeat: This is NOT clever and NOT Hilarious. And, unfortunately, this one is actually in stock.
    Photo: Find Costume
  • "Latin Dancer Costume"
    Nailed it! This is EXACTLY what Latinos wear when they go out dancing.
    Sure this ensemble was popularized by Brazilian singer and dancer Carmen Miranda in the 1930s and 1940s. But even Miranda was once criticized for appropriating the look from the Afro-Brazilian Bahianas.
    Miranda was a wonderful performer who found success in the U.S. -- but at a price. She realized too late that her persona and act had created a caricature for Latin American woman as oversexed, exotic and seductive. The Brazilian artist tried to move away from the stereotypical look with more serious roles late in her career -- but never managed to put it behind her.
    Photo: Led Christmas Lighting
  • "Bandita Costume Adult Mexican Shot Girl Western Cinco de Mayo Fancy Dress"
    This sexy bandit is ready to shoot you... with tequila.
    While the creators of this costume could've stopped at making criminals sexy -- adding "Mexican" accessories like a sombrero, a colorful scarf and tequila bottles is the real crime here.
    Photo: Ebay
  • "Mexican Serape Costume"
    Good job using "serape" instead of "poncho," if only you had left your crazy eyes, maracas, sombrero, and mustache at home. The Mexican culture is not a caricature to poke fun at. Please stop.
    Photo: Pure Costumes
  • "Fidel Castro"
    It should go without saying (but we'll say it anyways) that dressing up as a dictator is a big no, no.
    Other figures to avoid: Drug Lord Pablo Escobar (or any cartel member for that matter), Chilean Dictator Augusto Pinochet and so on.
    Photo: Halloween Costumes