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Customer Review

66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Weak Read - Filled with Ads and Stereotypes, September 14, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Latina Magazine (Magazine)
I like the idea of a bilingual magazine, but LATINA's self-involved "spanglish" can be juvenile and borders on offensive at times. Although attempting to bridge the gap between the two languages that dominate US Hispanic society, it fails to make a connection in either one.
I've subscribed for a year and although I enjoy some of the articles and beauty tips as much as the next woman, I feel the magazine reads like a "poor-chica's" Nancy Drew mystery, with all its "buy-it-for-less" ads strategically inserted in the actual articles. That smacks of editorial sell out and lack of integrity. Plus, most of the articles seem to be written for 18-22 year olds. I don't know about you, but I grew up a long time ago!
Besides - Latinas (and all Latinos for that matter) have much more on their minds than the latest trends in mascara, runway fashion or shampoo! The magazine, though occassionally interesting, makes us appear two-dimensional, reinforcing negative images with its made-up language and limited editorial focus. It's as if LATINA is written for just one kind of Hispanic woman - a "Nuyorkina teen" with nothing on her mind except boys, sex and cosmetics!
For a much better read about Latinos in the US and our many contributions to the arts, culture and language of America, Hispanics would do far better to read Selecciones, Cristina or People en Español. At least those magazine offer more depth, news-worthiness, and expertise on fashion, beauty and the arts. Plus, reading in spanish means nothing if real MEANING is lost in translation - something LATINA succeeds at. With made up words and VERY loose use of both languages the magazine doesn't connect with either culture or present a unifying identity. Instead it often reinforces the finger-snappin'-salsa-lovin'-big-hipped vision of women of color. That's not something Latinas need these days - we can read AND think AND shop AND learn AND work in two languages - why do we feel we have to choose one or the other? Latina seems to think we must or - GOD forbid - we'll miss out on the latest trends for Fall Fashion! Que pena!
Sad thing is...advertisers seem to love it for all the wrong reasons (probably because they can read the english and dismiss the spanish.) That's too bad - our language should not be wrapped up in a neat package like LATINA as that undermines our common Hispanic identity. Instead, our bond of language should be celebrated and encouraged among Latino youth (the very target LATINA goes after.) We acculturate, not assimilate. We must incorporate the many worlds of Hispanic America (Spaniards and Boricuas, Cubanos and Argentinas, Mexicanas, Colombianas y Peruanos, etc.)through our beautiful language rather than kow-towing to advertisers and companies who dismiss us because they cannot read our words. That means they prefer we read THEIRs and at least for this reader, I CHOOSE to do both regardless of whether or not advertisers like it. Reading "en español" sets me apart and gives me an edge, plus it gives me a unique perspective I never get in LATINA.
Celebrate our culture AND our language - and maintain it for generations to come --- a good magazine like People Español or Vanidades can help you do that. A poor product like LATINA just undermines our own future.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 10, 2008 7:33:17 AM PDT
K. Cespedes says:
I can only say "Amen" to your comments! I get angry when I see/hear newer generation latinos not being able to speak/write proper spanish and using spanglish instead. Our language is important. Thank you for your valuable words to the community.

Posted on Nov 14, 2008 4:27:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 14, 2008 4:28:39 PM PST
Iliana says:
My school gets a free subscription to this magazine (I am a Spanish teacher in a high school in Maine) and I have to say I would not pay a dime for this magazine! Their idea of "bilingual" is the use of Spanglish, which makes Spanish speaking Latinos (like me) cringe. It occasionally offers an interesting article, but it is covered so superficially that I am left with more questions than answers. It seems to be tailored more to the teenaged "pocha" (a term that is used to describe a person who still has not found a balance in being Latina in an Anglo world) than a Latina woman. If Latinas want to be empowered, then they should read something written in proper Spanish or English.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2010 7:32:04 AM PST
[Deleted by the author on Feb 4, 2010 7:36:24 AM PST]
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