Latinas Underrepresented in Films But More Likely to Appear in Them Naked

Latinas Underrepresented in Films But More Likely to Appear in Them Naked


A new study by the University of California Annenberg school has revealed that less than five percent of actors in top grossing films are Latino and that Latinas are more likely than any other women of other ethnic groups to appear partially nude or naked on screen. Latinos are now 17 percent of the U.S. population and are frequent moviegoers (purchasing 25 percent of all movie tickets according to the study), but their lack of representation on the big screen shows that the film industry still has a long way to go to catch up to the nation’s changing demographics.

Overall, the USC study found that just over a quarter of all speaking characters from top grossing films were members of underrepresented ethnic groups.

Some key findings include the following:

  • “Hispanic females (37.5%) were more likely than females from all other races/ethnicities to be shown partially or fully naked on screen. In comparison to black females (23.5%), White females were more likely to be shown with some exposed skin (31.9%) and Asian females were less likely (18.2%).”
  • “Hispanic males (16.5%) were the most likely to be shown in tight, alluring, or revealing clothing. Asian males (13.7%) were more likely than white males (8.3%) to be depicted in sexy attire. In terms of some nudity, male characters from “other” (18.2%) races/ethnicities were more likely than white male characters (9.9%) to be shown partially or fully nude.”
  • “Black males were the most likely to be shown in a committed relationship (68.4%). Further, White (58.1%) and Hispanic (57.1%) males were more likely than “Other” males (37.5%) to be depicted as boyfriends or spouses. Asian males were the least likely to be depicted in a romantic relationship (28.6%).”

In essence, Latinos are hypersexualized on screen, portraying “Latin lovers.”

Last October in an interview for PBS, then 81 year old actress Rita Moreno discussed how she had played to stereotypes to get work saying, “I’m no longer ashamed of it. I was for many, many years, especially during the years when I was dissembling that way. But I didn’t know any other way to do, any other way to be. And I wore too much makeup, and I did all of that Conchita-Lolita stuff. You know, I wore very tight dresses and then would be offended when — when men would make remarks about me.”


Photo credit: Rosario Dawson at the 2009 Streamy awards by, CC-BY-SA 2.0


  1. There is no such thing as a LATINA. Latina/Latino is only a language and not a race and not an ethnicity and it doesn’t have anything to do with speaking Spanish or coming from Latin America.
    Latina/Latino is the language spoken by the Romans and the language which they imposed on all those that they colonized including the Spaniards in what they called Hispania.
    Hispanics have misinterpreted and twisted the meaning of this terminology and made it as if it’s their Race or Ethnicity which is none of this.
    These are the Latin/Latino people by language and culture: The Italians,the French.the Romanians,the Portuguese and the Spaniards.

    The Latins,(Latinos), the Latin language (Lingua Latina), the Latin Culture all come from Italy and not from Spain and not from Latin America.
    Hope that this clarifies what Latino/Latina means.