Twitter: Bruce Jenner — May 19, 2015

Twitter: Bruce Jenner

Thousands of people were shocked when they found out the truth about Bruce Jenner’s gender identity. Many people were skeptical of the tabloids until things got real with Diane Sawyer’s interview with Jenner.  Just weeks before the interview with Sawyer, the E! Network filmed a special edition of Keeping Up with the Kardashians:About Bruce and aired on Sunday, May 17. This special edition involves Jenner opening up to his step daughters Kim Kardashian, Khloe Kardashian, and Kourtney Kardashian and his two daughters with Kris Jenner; Kendall and Kylie Jenner. The show was a very emotional episode for the sisters, especially for Kendall and Kylie who still find it hard to believe their father will be transitioning into a woman soon.  The #AboutBruce hashtag was a big trending topic during the show and several hours after Part 1 and 2.

 

Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe tweeted throughout the show saying they forgot how hard it was on them, and how it was such an emotional thing to watch.

 

Jenner’s two daughters Kendall and Kylie weren’t as active on Twitter as their older sisters but still showed their support on the show.

The Kardashian sisters wanted to tell the Twitter world how much they loved Jenner despite his choice of transitioning into a woman.  Using their trend setting reputation, the Kardashian sisters used this special edition to raise awareness of this issue and to encourage those who have lived a life in secret like Jenner to come out and be comfortable being themselves. They also want others to be as accepting as they were when Jenner finally told the truth, despite the fact that society still has an issue accepting transgender.

Jenner chose to speak to each of the girls individually, one by one, so that he can be as open with them as possible. It wasn’t an easy task  for him, but he made it through.

What seemed to be the hardest part for Jenner was telling the girls he plans on transitioning sooner than later. The thought of Bruce Jenner being gone brought Khloe and Kendall to tears and led to a confrontation between Khloe and Jenner. Khloe’s argument was that Jenner needs to be open about big decisions such as the procedure that will change his gender permanently.

When Jenner does turn into a woman, what will happen when Kendall and Kylie get married, who would walk them down the isle?

During the second part of KUWTK:About Bruce, Kim Kardashian’s twitter page consistently updated tweets, talking about the show and the support Jenner is getting from the family. Kim even tweets how fun it is to change outfits with Jenner in her closet.

The main thing here is that Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney are using their popularity in the media to put Jenner’s gender transition under a positive light, encouraging others who may be going through similar issues to be open about them.

The hashtag #AboutBruce has brought KUWTK viewers together despite their constant criticism with respect to the family’s acceptance and encouragement of Jenner to be free to be who ever he wants.

Sofia Vergara’s Role on Modern Family — May 7, 2015

Sofia Vergara’s Role on Modern Family

Latino stereotypes in the media have long been in existence.  For example, the 2002 movie Made in Manhattan starring Jennifer Lopez and Ralph Fiennes portrayed Latinas as the typical stereotype of the housekeeping maid. Jennifer Lopez’s character works for a hotel where she meets the rich, white man whom she falls in love with. These scenarios involving the poor beautiful Latina and the rich white man still have a prominent presence, in today’s media world.

I’ve recently become a fan of ABC’s Modern Family due to its hilarious cast and storyline.  I think it’s great that they’ve made a show about a family that isn’t necessarily about the nuclear familyIt features the gay couple; Mitchell and Cameron; the “cool” parents, Claire and Phil; and the odd couple, Jay and Gloria. Although this show seems progressive, it plays into the stereotypes many have been trying to get away from.

My favorite character is Gloria Pritchett played by Sofia Vergara and thought it would be fun to explore her portrayal as a Latina on the show. Modern Family portrays Gloria as the feisty Latina stereotype despite the fact that Sofia has denied it in several interviews.   Before I get into the nitty gritty of some of the scenes that sparked controversy over her stereotype, let’s talk about Sofia Vergara’s background because it will help us understand her character.

Before Sofia Vergara gained her breakthrough role as Gloria on Modern Family, Sofia had already built herself a portfolio with modeling contracts, including one with Pepsi.  At only seventeen, she was featured in a Spanish Pepsi commercial showing off her sexual appeal, gaining the attention all over Latin America. Her following careers were based around her sexual appeal and beauty, working her way up the blood bath battle in Hollywood.

This is Sofia Vergara’s first Pepsi commercial:

In 2009, Sofia Vergara’s character on Modern Family was born and her name was Gloria Pritchett. She is the sexy beautiful and very loud wife to the much older and mellow Jay Pritchett played by Ed O’Neil.  Both Gloria and Jay are on their second marriage and have children from their past relationship. This detail helps us understand that Modern Family is set to be a show about a “nontraditional” family while still portraying some of the nuclear family elements within Gloria and Jay’s relationship.

This scene sums up their relationship:

Jay and Gloria Modern family Funny quotes

Prior to meeting Jay, Gloria worked as a Taxi driver to support herself and her son.  According to Modern Family Wiki, this information was revealed on the episode called “Aunt Mommy.” The nuclear family element to this is that  Gloria is now a stay at home wife and mother who loves to spend her husband’s money. In the episode called “Coal Digger” found in season one, Jay’s daughter Claire is exposed of calling Gloria a gold digger several times in the beginning of their relationship. Claire admits to her father that she was suspicious of their relationship because Gloria was so much younger and well…so much more attractive than Jay. It only seemed normal for Claire to have those thoughts. This scene is interesting because it portrays the obvious Latina as a possible gold digger, although the episode ends positively by Gloria reassuring everyone, including the viewers that she is seriously in love with Jay and that her love has nothing to do with his money.

The most popular stereotype Gloria plays is the loud Latina. In the episode “The Late Show” Jay expresses his frustration with Gloria’s inability to be ready on time but he also says he won’t get mad or say anything to her. He tells the audience he’s trying a new “thing”- to stay calm and not yell…because Gloria always wins when it comes to yelling. It’s clear that Jay is trying to be patient so that Gloria doesn’t lose it and start a fight.

 

Later in that episode, Sofia explains to Jay why she likes to be late. She tells him, “I like to make an entrance” “I want them all to tell me how pretty I look,” clearly making her sound vain and ditsy. In the same episode, much like every episode, the stereotype of Latina women having short tempers or even crazy is portrayed. Once the entire family arrives at the restaurant Jay had been raving about for ages, the host of the restaurant tells them rudely they gave away their table because the party took too long to arrive. Gloria was not having that. She threatened the host and yelled at her face telling her to sit them. Yet, instead of getting sat the entire family gets kicked out and decides on street tacos for dinner. Although Gloria is often portrayed as the crazy Colombian in the family, Modern Family is sure to let their audience know that Gloria loves her family and will do anything to protect them.

These stereotypes have caused controversy but Sofia disagrees with comments of her being negatively stereotyped as a Latina. In an interview with Time, Sofia defends her role as a stereotype because according to her she is acting as the women she has known her entire life.

Time- “I’ve read that the character of Gloria is based on you. How similar are you two?”

Sofia- “I play her the way I see my mother and my aunt behave as Latin women. And now the writers know more about the Latin culture than when I started doing the show, and they know me better, too. So at this point, I pretty much follow the script.”

So, according to Gloria she is just being herself and just so happens to fall under the stereotype many Latinas have been trying to get away from. I myself am a Latina born in Latin America and I understand her statement of saying she is who she is.  My mother and all her sisters have always been loud and passionate for as long as I can remember. They’ve always been about family first, they love coffee, just as Gloria’s culture does, and yes they get crazy! But there’s always the Latin women that hate the stereotype and want to see Latin women in the media in a different light, which is understandable.

The important thing to remember is that TV shows or movies with a Latin character will more often than not portray a stereotype that puts all Latins under the same light. Fine by me.

-Alicia Zapata

 

References:

 

  1. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1442437/
  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKoRiwCCsQU
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEAFBjl4x-I
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-uv6Mvfor9o
  5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYtsvF6fj5A6
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tanisha-l-ramirez/sofia-vergara-sex-symbol-stereotype_b_2812691.html
  7. http://www.people.com/people/sofia_vergara/biography/0,,20479979,00.html
  8. Http://modernfamily.wikia.com/wiki/Gloria_Pritchett
  9. http://girlsincapes.com/2013/09/18/sofia-gloria/
  10. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/23/sofia-vergara-latino-representation_n_6037590.html
  11. http://time.com/3531603/sofia-vergara-interview-thyroid-cancer/