LATINA MADE: Then & Now
by: Ana Martinez-Feliciano
Once upon a time… when you googled the words LATINA MADE, what would come up was pornography and images of maids. Picture after picture, the images tab on Google would feature degrading images of Latinas in lingerie, links to porn sites, maid services, or countless examples of actresses that played maids thanks to Hollywood’s limiting belief that a Latina could not possibly play any other role.
Latina Made started in the middle of the Me Too movement, where women across our country wanted to be heard. Female empowerment was at an all-time high as women started to protest and use their voices.
In 2017, when Latina Made Not Maid began, people would react with anger at the results given by search engines. We would tell them, “Take out your phone, type Latina Made and see what comes up.”
The response was always the same. People would get their device, type the words, and look in disbelief. Some would get pissed off, others would share the results with their friends, most would ask, How else can we support?
For a full two years after that, we would visit colleges, universities, and women’s events talking about the Latina Made movement. We would share our statement tees to help spread the message as the tee shirts sparked curiosity for anyone who would read the words.
The internet was degrading us, but it was also helping us make a change. With online sales, shirts were shipped throughout the country - Latinas and NON-Latinas would rock the tee to share the message, we are Latina MADE not MAID. From Utah to Cali, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Florida, and the rest of the country, women were sharing the idea that Latina Made meant so much more than sexual objects or stereotypes.
This doesn’t happen anymore. What happens instead, now, in the year 2020, a year full of revolutionary events, movements, and an all-encompassing pandemic, is, that a list of other, more empowering links show up as a result of those two words.
Take out your phone now, and type LATINA MADE, into any search engine and you’ll see Latina women from every walk of life - artists, teachers, moms, creatives, doctors, designers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, restauranteurs, counselors, telling their stories. A list of Latina owned businesses and articles on the accomplishments of Latina women.
We, the community of Latina women who were tired of being degraded, did that. We did that. Using the hashtag, sharing, liking, commenting, and reposting, we changed the algorithm that would allow those terrible results to come up when anyone searched for something MADE by a LATINA.
When we started this we wanted to change the conversation… and we did.