Christina Aguilera is right, she shouldn't have to prove she is Latina to anyone
If someone asked you, could you describe what a Latina looks like?
Before you say yes, ask yourself this: Would Celia Cruz or Paulina Rubio fit that description? Would you ever say that Celia and Pau aren't Latina? Of course not. So what's the problem with Christina Aguilera? Why does everyone give her a hard time about not being Latina enough? For that matter, why do we judge people as being "Latino enough" to begin with. What does that even mean?
Aguilera told Latina magazine that she has dealt with the "you aren't Latina enough" criticism her whole life:
I don’t speak the language fluently. And I’m split right down the middle, half Irish and half Ecuadorean. I should not have to prove my ethnicity to anyone. I know who I am....I wouldn't be questioned if I looked more stereotypically Latina. Whatever that is. All I know is no one can tell me I’m not a proud Latina woman.
Being Latina is incredibly complex. While we are all grouped together, we do not always share food, music or customs. What we do share is language, but even that is a tenuous connection because Puerto Ricans and Mexicans and Colombians do not speak the SAME Spanish.
Before you judge whether Christina is Latina enough, think about it from another perspective. So she wasn't raised speaking Spanish or immersed in her Ecuadorian culture. When you are half-Latina and that half falls on your father's side and your last name is CLEARLY Latino, the world identifies you as Latina. Trust me, I know. My last name is Rivera and like Christina, I am half and half. I was raised knowing my Puerto Rican family and culture, but it didn't define my whole existence. But when your last name identifies you to the outside world, they don't care if you were raised Latino or not. You face all the prejudices and misconceptions Latinos face, PLUS you have to deal with other Latinos telling you that you're not good enough.
You have a choice: Either you can identify and own your Latinidad or you can self-loath and hide. Like Christina, I chose to own it. If she was walking around with a last name like Aguilera and not owning it, you'd be mad at her, too. Look at all the heat Jessica Alba took for years.
What do you think? Is there a defining 'Latina' trait?