The Latina Perspective: A Cultural Understanding of Hispanic Female Body Image


Christina was an attractive and engaging 18-year-old top high school student athlete heading to a major American University on a partial scholarship when she first dropped by the office for her pre-college physical exam and immunizations. To pay for the remainder of the tuition, she was hoping to model, but worried that her tall athletic body was to “curvy” to compete with the “ultra-thin” appearance of most successful models. When it comes to Latinas and body image, there is often a sense of paradox.

After several visits and discussions, I managed to convince Christina that her build was very healthy and would actually be an asset in many areas of modeling, such as sportswear and athletic shoes. Today she is a successful model and student soon to graduate college.

As a Latina woman, Christina had actually been quite comfortable with her body, but the paradox was that she feared initially how it would be accepted in our mainstream modeling culture. Much to her surprise, she was met with an embracing enthusiasm of her healthier athletic and curvy appearance.

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