The inevitable has happened.
Joining the series of viral videos "Sh*t (insert race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity) People Say", are the Latinos versions "Sh*t Abuelas Say" and "Sh*t Spanish Girls Say." There's no doubt that stereotypical portrayal of Latinos in TV exists but do these YouTube videos take stereotypes to another dimension. Or are they a more genuine portrayal of Hispanics?
The first video presents an cliché abuela, Spanish for grandma, who's constantly drinking coffee because that's what "keeps one alive" and always on the phone, gossiping with her friends. "Did you see Marc Anthony's girlfriend? Did you see Beyonce had a baby? And did you hear about the fire on 74th? Did you read the horoscope of Walter Mercado?" Oh, Walter Mercado, the flamboyant television astrologer.
And you have the overly-concerned, very, very opinionated abuela telling a girl, who we assume is her granddaughter, that she's too fat. "Look at that belly!" But worry not, abuela has the cure for everything: "Don't worry, we're going to light a candle to The Virgin of Guadalupe and you'll see that everything will work out."
Then, the grandmother shifts gears suddenly and tells her granddaughter that she's too skinny and that she needs to eat more. And abuela is offended when she hears over the phone that instead of eating her food they went out for pizza. "Pizza? But that's not even real food." Real food is the "small snack, so you can nibble on" that she's prepared for her grandson: a full meal of toast, eggs, and three side dishes. After all, what abuela doesn't take pleasure in feeding her grandkids?
And lo and behold, the most abuela moment of them all: "Ok, honey, when are you getting married?"
The "Sh*t Abuelas Say" video has had a number of positive responses. Comments such as "Puerto Rican, Cuban, Colombian, who cares? This is what ABUELAS say. So if you call your grandma Abuela, then this is for you" and "Oh. My. God. That IS my abuela. lol" have filled the YouTube sphere.
"Sh*t Spanish Girls Say", a parody on young Latino-- specifically Puerto Rican -- women, is on the more exaggerated, overacted end of the spectrum. Skittlez, the main character in the video, is (very) loud and bold. She is the exuberant and vivacious to the point of being borderline obnoxious.
The video satirizes the idea of the "sexy Latina" as Skittlez's takes pictures of herself with a Puerto Rican flag over her naked chest. She embodies the stereotypical boy-crazy Latina who in one minute goes from "I loooove him, he treats me like a princess" to "Este tipo, you know he basically cheated on me?"
And Skittlez is also a big complainer obsessed with her phone, clothes and her hair.
The video also brilliantly highlights another very Latino dynamic: that special mother-daughter bond. We hear Skittlez yelling "Maaaaaaa!" every five seconds, from the store, the shower, the kitchen, even sending it in a text. This underlines the idea of the love-hate relationship with the Latino mother, the authority figure we sometimes can't stand but we can't live without.
The name of the video is misleading. The parody is not of Spanish, but of Latino and Hispanic women. People who are "Spanish" are from Spain. Latinos and Hispanics, speak Spanish.
But apparently the misuse of the title "Sh*t Spanish Girls Say" is intentional. "When we chose to use the word Spanish we were just thinking about how in America, if you're from a Spanish-speaking country and you're Hispanic or Latino, the way people sum you up is from the language you speak," said Juan Ortiz who plays Skittlez and is the mastermind behind the YouTube video according to Univision News.
For Skittlez, the language is Spanglish at it's best. "Ugh we can never just be romantic... Pa tu me quieres?"
So now you tell us, does this sound like a Latina girl you know? Does this remind you more of your own abuela?