What’s your butt’s ethnicity?

A premium denim company, Fiorana, is has created a “Latina-cut” jean.

“The Latina body is different in waist and hip structure,” says Mike Braden, Founder and President of Fiorana, Inc. “When wearing Anglo cut jeans, there is always a fit problem around the waist area. Our ‘Latina Cut’ collection will provide the American Hispanic woman a sexy, sophisticated premium jean that caters to their feminine curves.”

‘Cause all Latinas look like J-Lo? What? Laura Martinez responds,

Still, reading and re-reading the staggering conclusions of the apparel maker’s internal research among Hispanics, I couldn’t help but wonder: Could it be that the jean maker is simply generalizing about what a Latina body is supposed to look like? Either that or I’m going to have a serious talk with my parents, as perhaps I am really not what they told me I was, but the adopted child of a non-Latino, voluptuously challenged family clan from some far away place.

I am absolutely, 100% in favor of a wider range of denim cuts and styles (cue commentary about how hard it is for every woman to find jeans that fit well). And I don’t have a problem with culturally-conscious marketing. But this is different. It implies that curvaceous is the only “authentic” Latina shape. Women like Laura Martinez, who aren’t particularly curvy, don’t count. I mean, is Fiorana planning on rolling out a style of jeans for every race/ethnicity? “African cut,” “Asian cut,” etc.? The company would *never* make a “Caucasian cut.” Why? Because it’s acknowledged that white women come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There’s not one specific shape stereotype attached to the “white ass” (unless I’m unaware…). But, uh, last time I checked, women of all races came in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps Fiorana should stick to selling jeans by their measurements, not by ethnic stereotype.

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61 Comments

  1. spike the cat
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    “I think it’s a shame that they targeted this towards ethnicity instead of body type. ”
    I agree. But, unfortunately, sometimes, you have to give things a label to point out the fact that the there are a lot of products and services that appear to be “for everybody” but are in fact designed with one particular group in mind or to the exclusion another group.
    Hair is a good example of this. Now, I have kinky curls. So when I look in the phone book, I have to find a place that will do “ethnic hair”—see, there it is again, the special label. I don’t even think supercuts (at least on the west coast) will take my @$$.
    But what you have to ask is why was the label necessary in the first place?
    So, yeah, it’s stereotyping calling them Latina jeans, but I think it can also be an eye opener.
    And if we can get past our discomfort with ethnicity and body types, this could be actually kinda cool…imagine all of us different women asking for the “Latina Jeans” by name…and proudly sportin’ them. I mean that right there will break down the stereotypes.

  2. Posted February 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    “I agree. But, unfortunately, sometimes, you have to give things a label to point out the fact that the there are a lot of products and services that appear to be “for everybody” but are in fact designed with one particular group in mind or to the exclusion another group.
    Hair is a good example of this.” Spike the Cat
    Yeah totally. I may not have a “black” girl butt, but my hair defintely all the way literally screaming at you “I’m a black girl!!!”
    With jeans I totally agree it should be body type, but with African descent type hair (most not all.) I know it’s WAY different than other people’s hair.
    I need to know if you can do nappy, kinky hair, not curly, not ethnic, but you know can you do African hair. I think in that one case, saying the ethnicity is completely ok, it’s pratically mandatory. I don’t want to play games and end up bald, because someone couldn’t admit they couldn’t do my hair. To me I’m completely ok with Supercuts telling me, “No, I won’t take your money.” Because at least I know that means I won’t leave out looking insane.
    I’m totally for the PC language, but not when it impacts my apperance ;)
    I have a story about a person who swore he could do black hair, he couldn’t. I could have just killed this guy. I looked like a bloody poodle, a dead poodle, a dead matted poodle.
    I mean it’s not like I would have thought he was racist if he has just said, “I don’t even know where to start…” I understand.
    Sorry for that long diatribe, you inspired a flashback of horror Spike.
    …but the pants…I don’t even believe the cut of the jeans is even real.
    Has anyone tried them?
    Browne

  3. Posted February 3, 2008 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I remember an incredibly funny Saturday Night Live routine. It showed two white cheerleaders doing a cheer about white flat butts. I think the guy was Will Ferrell I don’t remember who the girl was.
    It is true that Hispanic is not a racial characteristic. Living in Mississippi I was used to seeing darker Mexicans with more African features.
    I was shocked when I moved to California that the average Mexican seems to look much more Native American. At the hotel where I worked all of the Mexicans looked very Mayan.
    While there may not be a difference in body types between the races there are differences in what is generally considered to be desirable.
    I am white, but my wife is black. Her brother is dating a white person and everyone in the family talks approvingly of her “black” butt.
    I remember my African American teacher saying he hated people who said they don’t see color differences. He would say “That’s odd because I have never seen you wear one black sock and one brown sock.”
    Denial of cultural differences is actually a large part of prejudice. When we deny that there are different cultures it often has the effect of labeling people from other cultures as deviant and deficient.
    I know it is depreciated these days tow the multi-cultural line, but if we don’t acknowledge and celebrate our differences we dehumanize each other.
    Join the revolution at The Bloody Flag!

  4. electronBlue
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Wow, thanks for all the great discussion! Even better than I hoped.
    Re: feeling “obliged” to wear tight-fitting jeans. After many years of wearing baggy clothes to hide my very obviously female body, I realized that I found fitted (not tight, but fitted) clothes far more comfortable and flattering. I’m certainly not suggesting that every woman who wears baggy clothing is trying to hide her body, but for me wearing clothing that fit was a very big step in accepting my body.
    All the more reason women’s pants should be sold by multiple measurements, like men’s pants, as I have felt for a long time and as at least one other poster has commented.

  5. jessedouglas
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    They do seem to have a “caucasian cut,” it being the mainstream cut, as they’re referring to the mainstream cut as an “anglo cut.”

  6. Andrea
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Express, Express, Express! I have thin limbs going into wide hips and a round ass, and the curvy jeans there are terrific. If I go a size up I can fit the straight-leg jeans as well. My main problem with pants in general, however, is that my muffin tops appear no matter HOW big the jeans are. I guess it’s how fabric is meant to sit on hips? I dunno.

  7. Posted February 3, 2008 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    you are mistaken. white women are suppossed to have no ass at all. A friend of mine has a very large bottom and when she tells people this they say “but you’re white.”
    everyone has a stereotype. — Suzy

    Some knucklehead friends of mine, while ogling girls, used to say “She has a great ass…
    …for a white girl.”
    Like I said, I definitely agree that jeans should be made for a much broader range of sizes.
    But why call them “Latina”? Why not call them “curvy”? — Ann

    Like most stereotypes, this one has some basis in fact. Back in 1992, a study of female college students showed that whites tended to have more (and more serious) problems with body image and self esteem than black and hispanic girls. White girls are more likely to try to starve themselves skinny, too.
    I love my Lane Bryant straight (yellow) jeans. Another issue is the idea that “curvy” women or women with big butts are more sensual or sexual. This has an ugly history of stereotyping black women or Latinas as being more sexual, earthy, etc. –Suzie
    Well a woman who (a) has the 3:2 hips-to-waist ratio preferred by most men and (b) is either self-confident or carefree enough to show it off is going to be construed as sexier than someone who either lacks the hips and ass or makes it a point not to show them. The fact that women in much of Africa, Latin America and the Pacific tended to wear less clothing back in more prudish times has a lot to do with it as well.
    I’m really done with jeans now anyway. I am totally for the harem look pants, those rock.
    What exactly are “harem look pants”?
    The ethnicity of my butt is gin and tonic.
    I’m also going to vote no for men in tight jeans and I’m going to add in speedos as another no. — Browne Molyneux

    I agree. Between tight jeans, speedos and ballhugger underwear, no wonder the average sperm count in men today is half what it was 50 years ago. Balls need freedom!

  8. Kei
    Posted February 3, 2008 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Although, having some difficulty in the pants area myself, love the idea of finding pants that fit my butt without cutting off circulation, I wish they would rename the jeans. Obviously, the first problem is that Latina or Hispanic is not a race. I am Puerto Rican and even in my own family, our body types vary drastically. I always like to say that the best thing about being a Hispanic woman is that I get parts from all over the world. I have my father’s African genes, My grandfather’s Spaniard genes, and My grandmother’s Taino genes. I love it.
    However, my butt is nothing like the rest of my family’s. My mother is seriously lacking in the curvy department and she has no problem whatsoever wearing “white” jeans. That doesn’t make her any less Hispanic than me, with my bubbly butt & thick thighs. All of my aunts in my father’s side, however, have plenty of curves. That doesn’t make them better Hispanics than me or my mom. We all vary in shape and size. And though I only take home about 1/6 of the jeans I try on when shopping, I wear plenty of typical “Anglo” jeans (cheap ones, might I add) that fit me just fine and accentuate my curves as much as any expensive so-called “Latina” or “Black” jeans.
    I also have plenty of white friends that have more curves than I, where they find jeans, I have no idea but I am sure they do not consider themselves to be abnormal or not traditionally white. They are just a different shape. To say that all white women have no curves or that all Hispanic and Black women are extremely curvaceous is obviously not correct. I learned this in grade school: we ALL come in different shapes and sizes, with varying opinions and beliefs, it’s what makes us human. HUMAN! As in, every single human being is not the same, even if you share the same ethnic background. That’s like saying every woman on this blog shares the same opinions on every issue and we are all, as a unit, completely different from men. Bullshit.

  9. frumpiefox
    Posted February 4, 2008 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Ditto on the “white girl, big butt” thing. (my ancestors were German/Croatian, if that’s relevant.)
    I love my curves, and I hate women’s jeans. I pretty much exclusively wear men’s Levis 501, because they’re for whatever reason the only jeans I’ve found that don’t gap on my waist–maybe because they’re kind of lower-cut? I also wear them fitted, but not tight–there is nothing more uncomfortable than tight jeans. Even the women’s Dockers I wear to work gap about 2 inches, but I belt ‘em and good enough.
    I’ve started to sew vintage patterns for myself, because so many modern women’s clothes either don’t fit, or are extremely unflattering for a person with a big butt. Current styles are made for people with the figures of wire hangers–not that there’s anything wrong with being thin, but what flatters thin people with flat butts is not what flatters curvy people with round butts.

  10. Posted February 6, 2008 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    The Latina woman, eh? I guess they come from a magical place called LATINALAND or something.
    As for me: I’m black and have a boyish build, which I love. Sadly, I’m constantly told that I have “the perfect body…if you were white.” News flash: being hipless and assless doesn’t make me any less black than the next woman.

  11. Me1804Mate
    Posted February 7, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    “As for me: I’m black and have a boyish build, which I love. Sadly, I’m constantly told that I have “the perfect body…if you were white.” News flash: being hipless and assless doesn’t make me any less black than the next woman.”
    To Jennifer:
    Um…what is the race of your significant other? The people you date and have dated, what color are they mostly? What race of men typically hit on you? You think this has nothing to do with your body type and what people assume it says about you? You are less of a black woman than the next woman.

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