In the story “ The Myth of the Latin Woman: I Just Met a Girl Named Maria” by Judith Ortiz Cofer, Cofer talks about the problems that Latin women experience based on the stereotypes illustrated by other cultures and the media. She speaks about her own personal experience when she attends a formal dance with a boy who is quick to kiss her thinking that since she’s a Latina, she was “supposed to mature early” (Cofer pg. 115). In America, there is an excessive amount of attention and importance paid to what someone wears which regularly leads Americans to make hasty and unfair judgments. The way a Latina dresses is traditional in their Latin culture; it is a part of their normal lifestyle to dress that way, they were taught how to dress by their mothers! Yet in the US it is taken to be inviting sexual advances. As Cofer puts it, that is a culture clash. In Europe, it is common to see nude sunbathers on the beach but if that was to be tried in America it would and has been banned. However, when the Oscar Awards come around, the celebrities are all dressed up in very revealing outfits. It is never taken as them inviting sexual advances. It’s something considered “normal” for our society but as soon as something out of the norm appears, we misinterpret it.
American society can help modify and change this mixed message by learning more about other cultures around the world as well as teaching their own children. Another way would be to learn about it and if possible, find a way to use it or part of it in our lifestyles so that it would no longer stick out and be “not normal.” At least we should be able to understand it and be accepting. All people are different and we shouldn’t force them to be all the same.