Vox has a good piece today about OITNB and the way Latina characters are portrayed on television. I don't watch the show, but I thought it was worth a read anyway.

"Hollywood, had a stereotype and maybe I didn't fit it correctly," Orange's Cruz said, explaining the roles seems to be limited to sexy girls, hookers, and girlfriends (there's actually a Modern Family episode where the running joke is that Gloria ran a brothel). That kind of typecasting made it hard for Cruz to find parts.

"[Orange creator] Jenji [Kohan] created someone like me," Cruz said. "Because there are people like me."

The character that Kohan, the creator of the show, brought to life is Marisol Gonzalez a.k.a. Flaca โ€” Litchfield's resident hipster. Flaca, with her heavy bangs and Winehouse-like eyeliner, likes the Smiths more than reggaeton, dates a boy named Ian who rides a Vespa, and has a knack for copy-editing, which she displays when she volunteers to edit the prison's newsletter. And Cruz has carved out a place for herself and Flaca in this second season, delivering nimble and airy humor while maintaining Flaca's keen edge.

Seeing a Latina who likes the Smiths on a critically-acclaimed television show seems like a such small thing or a minute tweak. And it might be hard to understand why Flaca's musical taste matters unless you've grown up watching television shows where no one looks like or behaves like you.

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