It doesn’t take a media expert to realize the Hispanic community is underrepresented in major motion pictures by quite a large margin. It’s been proven in more than a few studies and anyone with eyes has probably realized the same thing through basic observation. If the latest of those studies is to be believed, however, Hispanic women are actually vastly overrepresented in one particular movie area: nude scenes.
In a massive study conducted by USC, Dr. Stacy L Smith not only broke down roles by race, she also further broke down the figures to ascertain what those roles actually involved. Was the character in a committed relationship? Was he or she sexualized? And was he or she partially or fully naked? When it comes to Hispanic women, the answer to the naked question is yes an alarming 37.5 percent of the time.
How does that compare to other races? Here’s a copy of the chart, courtesy of USC…
For the purposes of this study, nudity or partial nudity was defined as showing skin between the upper chest and upper thigh. So, it could be a woman in a bra or it could be full-frontal nudity.
Now, there are two different ways of looking at the above data. For the sake of reason and not overreacting, let’s look at both. Then, you can make up your own mind as to whether or not this is an issue.
On the one hand, one could argue this statistic has something to do with different attitudes and social norms related to nudity, sex and revealing clothing throughout Latin America. Obviously, not everyone with roots in the region shares the same opinion, but some of the cultures are a bit more sexually forward and open. As a result, these actresses may not have any inhibitions about shedding their clothing, and if they don’t, more power to them. That’s their choice, and they shouldn’t be shamed for it. Plus, the number isn’t that much higher than white women who take off at least something 31% or so of the time.
On the other hand, one could argue this statistic reflects a frightening lack of non-sexual opportunities for Hispanic actresses. Many of these actresses, while having roots outside this country, have adapted to American ways and values, but they may still be getting typecast as sexually forward and promiscuous women on film. If so, that’s a serious problem for the industry, and it has likely led to more than a few ladies feeling like they needed to bend their own moral compasses in order to get work in Hollywood. After all, it’s almost twice as high as the figure for Black women.
To check out the rest of the study, you can head over to see the entire results here.