It’s so easy to look at where the country is today and feel a hunger for more diversity across all platforms of media: online, TV, music, and movies. So much of American media is carried by a standard from decades ago, but some strides have been made. Still, better days are ahead for young Latine girls who want to see themselves on the big screen one day.
Today, we will highlight three Latinas who have dominated the industry with their talent, relentless drive, and enough accomplishments to be called a “badass“ by everyone in the industry and beyond.
Rosario Dawson is not just the first Latina, but the first Star Wars character that is a consensus favorite amongst all three generations that follow the franchise. Dawson has also been a feature character in almost every major franchise besides DC.
The Latina actress started in independent comedy films and is now considered an acclaimed Marvel veteran. Her character, Ahsoka, is thought to be the most beloved female character in Star Wars outside of Princess Leia.
When I was growing up, the only badass female characters I could remember in movies were Michelle Yeo’s Yu Shu Lien and Zhang Ziyi’s Jen Yu from “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” Latina representation, particularly in action, was scarce.
She will no doubt give many Latinas the inspiration needed to further push the diversification in big Hollywood franchises.
Ariana Debose gained tremendous popularity after her Oscar win. For a Latina actress to win an Oscar at such a young age, it puts her on a level that no one else in the history of the film industry has reached before. Now, DeBose is part of an elite group of actors that get to pick their own films.
However, it may take some time – and some more performances – for her to be able to call on any filmmaker and/or writer she wishes to work with. Nevertheless, this Latina thespian has proven she is up for any role.
Salma Hayek became a household name in the 90s and was considered one of the most beautiful women in Hollywood.
For years, her sensual image was what people regarded her for, but that changed after her groundbreaking performance in “Frida” and her comedic role in “Grown-Ups” starring Adam Sandler and Chris Rock. Salma Hayek has successfully proven she is more than just a world-class beauty – she’s an artist that can paint pictures in the darkest colors of drama and the lightest colors of comedy.
There are many other Latinas in the industry who have done amazing things that should be celebrated and acknowledged. However, when it comes to children seeing themselves in Hollywood, these extraordinary actresses are top of mind.
Who would you add to this list?