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Gloria, Emily and Lili Estefan open up about colorism within the Latinx group: ‘We have to have this dialog’


This week, as Latinx & Hispanic Heritage Month continues, Grammy-winning Latin music trailblazer Gloria Estefan, her daughter Emily Estefan, and her niece Lili Estefan return for a brand new season of Fb Watch’s Daytime Emmy- and GLAAD Media Awards-nominated sequence Pink Desk Discuss: The Estefans. Over Season 2’s dozen weekly new episodes, the three generations of girls will deal with essential subjects together with cosmetic surgery, on-line bullying, the Surfside condominium collapse, and little one abuse. And because the Estefans preview the sequence throughout a sit-down interview with Yahoo Leisure & Life, Emily mentions one Pink Desk Discuss dialogue she’s particularly trying ahead to.

“One thing I’m really proud and excited about is we’re bringing up and opening the door to the conversation of colorism and racism within the Latin community,” says the 26-year-old second-generation musician. “You know, families that have siblings ranging in skin tones and colors — some identifying as Afro Latino, some not — and just this duality within the community of these things that we’re facing that are difficult to talk about.”

“…that aren’t talked about,” Gloria interjects.

“People are saying ‘mejorar la raza,’ which is a terrible expression implying that if your skin is lighter, you’re making your culture better or something like that — and this is something that has been said for yearsin families, and some people don’t even think to say something because they don’t realize,” Emily continues. “So, as three Latina white women, we don’t encounter a lot of the struggles that our Afro Latino brothers and sisters do. And it’s really important, and I feel privileged to be able to use our platform to highlight conversations like that.”

“This was one of those episodes that I hope people will see and feel that that bridge being built within the community,” provides Gloria — who, as probably the most distinguished Latinx celebrities within the U.S. over the previous 4 a long time, discovered her title and feedback about her personal pores and skin coloration within the information cycle just lately, when Lin-Manuel Miranda’s movie Within the Heights got here underneath fireplace for its lack of illustration of the Black Latinx inhabitants.

“One of the things that really sparked my interest even more so into tackling this topic [of colorism] at the Table this time was when the controversy started coming out surrounding In the Heights — that one of the people that started that conversation online, their line was, ‘We’re not all Gloria Estefan!’ They literally called me out because I’m lighter,” Gloria remembers. “But I understood it, completely. I understood it because I am a very well-known Latina, and I look a certain way. My skin is white, you know, whatever. Although to a lot of people, they might assume that I’m not white because I’m Latina! So, it may have nothing to do with your genetics; the bottom line is labeling and putting people in boxes. And the only thing when I read that… OK, even though I go, ‘Hey, I’m just as Latina as anybody else,’ I understood where that was coming from.”

“A little Black Latino girl isn’t going to see herself necessarily represented in [Gloria],” Emily factors out.

When requested if any of the Estefan girls have been accused of getting profession benefits over their darker-skinned Latinx friends, Emily instantly chimes in. “I mean, I think we do

,” she solutions bluntly. “I think we do. And that’s part of the reason why we need to have this conversation. … I think that we do walk around with these privileges, and that is why is even more important to use our voice, to speak about it… and there are moments as well where we’ve had, you know, moments of people not calling us out, but just educating us on the reality of certain experiences.”

Emily, Gloria and Lili Estefan (Photo: Sami Drasin)Emily, Gloria and Lili Estefan (Photo: Sami Drasin)

Emily, Gloria and Lili Estefan (Picture: Sami Drasin)

Cuban-American pop celebrity Gloria particularly has needed to deal with preconceptions about Latina entertainers since she started recording with Miami Sound Machine in 1977, together with the stereotype that each one Latinx girls are “spicy,” “fiery,” and overtly sexual. “Well, I’ve never really thought about making my self-image reflected by stereotypes,” chuckles the elder Estefan, who turned 64 this month. “I love to break stereotypes! You know, people would tell us, “You’re too American for the Latins. You’re too Latin for the Americans.’ … Which is why my favorite [fashion] look was my chaps — because I was in jeans and leather chaps! That’s not Latina in any way, shape, or form! Plain white top, I let my curly hair fly, and that was great. People loved it.”

“There was a moment there, which is like: Look, for most people, a Latina woman is Lili Estefan or Gloria Estefan. And I mean, yes, they are Latina women, but Latina women are all colors, all sorts of colors and shapes and sizes and hair textures,” Emily emphasizes.

Gloria Estefan in the '80s. (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)Gloria Estefan in the '80s. (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Gloria Estefan within the ’80s. (Picture: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Pictures)

“And different shades and accents and different food,” Gloria provides. “Especially now for Hispanic Heritage Month, I think it’s important not just to celebrate our sameness, that we’re all Latinos, but for us to celebrate the beautiful cultural tapestry that we bring to this country, whether it be West Coast Mexican to East Coast over here — Puerto Rican, Cuban, Dominican, and everything in between. We have a lot to offer in many different ways, and we have to celebrate those beautiful differences as well.”

Gloria’s niece, Emmy-winner Lili Estefan, seems to be again on her personal lengthy profession and believes the leisure business has developed for all Latinx girl, an evolution that had led to a groundbreaking present like Pink Desk Discuss. “The Hispanic market for so many years — like, it’s already 35 years — I’ve seen the change,” the 54-year-old tv host says optimistically. “You know, before it used to be more a stereotype, but now we’re open. It is totally different. I see the change, even on the soap operas, or the way that we handle ourselves. It’s getting much better.”

Pink Desk Discuss: The Estefans Season 2 premieres Sept. 30 at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET on Fb Watch. Upcoming company embody Clare Crawley (the primary Latina Bachelorette, Becky G, Anitta, Ariel Winter, Karamo, Amara “La Negra,” and Gabi Demartino.

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