Presenters

Sofia AguilarFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

This analysis explores the history and characterization of the “Spicy Latina” trope through the character analysis of Isabel Fuentes Whitman portrayed by Salma Hayek in the film Fools Rush In (1997). The trope has evolved throughout its existence but has remained within the boundaries of “exotic, passionate and dangerous”. In Fools Rush In, Isabel Fuentes is depicted as the free-spirited Latina who disrupts the world of the protagonist, Alex Whitman, played by Matthew Perry. Ultimately Isabel is merely a projection of Alex’s desires, not reaching full potential as a developed character. The study focuses on how this Hollywood trope can lead to a lack of character development and depth in the structure of a story as it does in Fool Rush In. These repeated portrayals of Latina women have affected not only the actresses who have played and are offered the same roles over and over but also the community.

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, asynchronously via recorded video upload

Spicy_Latina_Abstract.docx (13 kB)
Abstract for presentation

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The Portrayal of Latina Women in Hollywood

This analysis explores the history and characterization of the “Spicy Latina” trope through the character analysis of Isabel Fuentes Whitman portrayed by Salma Hayek in the film Fools Rush In (1997). The trope has evolved throughout its existence but has remained within the boundaries of “exotic, passionate and dangerous”. In Fools Rush In, Isabel Fuentes is depicted as the free-spirited Latina who disrupts the world of the protagonist, Alex Whitman, played by Matthew Perry. Ultimately Isabel is merely a projection of Alex’s desires, not reaching full potential as a developed character. The study focuses on how this Hollywood trope can lead to a lack of character development and depth in the structure of a story as it does in Fool Rush In. These repeated portrayals of Latina women have affected not only the actresses who have played and are offered the same roles over and over but also the community.

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