Latinos & Gringas Gorditas

White guy #1: You know who likes to go with Mexicans? Fat white girls! It’s always the fat ones who-
Carlos: Hey.
White guy #1: What?
Carlos: Do me a favor.
White guy #1: Yeah?
Carlos: Shut the fuck up. {walks away}
White guy #1: Damn, what the hell’s his problem?
White guy #2: You’re a dumbass. His wife is white.
{awkward silence}
White guy #1: But I wasn’t sayin’ nothin – I just meant it’s like… a stereotype.

A stereotype – and like any stereotype, it’s mostly hurtful bigotry, but with a little truth mixed in – (Sort of like Fruit Punch with 10% real juice.)

“Gringas Gorditas” (Fat white girls), do not disproportionately pair up with Latino men. I can say anecdotally that among the gringas I know who are with Latino men, it’s an even split 50/50 with half being flacas (thin) and the other half being gorditas (chubby or fat.)

I’m one of the gorditas, and I’ve come up against a lot of ignorant assumptions about my marriage. First of all, I did not “settle” for my husband because I couldn’t “get a white guy”. White guys were never on my radar in the first place, maybe due to a childhood crush on Ricky Ricardo – who knows.

Second of all, my husband did not choose me just to get a Greencard, and nor am I a “status symbol” for him.

This stereotype about Latinos and gringas gorditas is doubly damaging because not only does it literally weigh my worth as a woman in pounds, it casts an ugly light on interracial marriage – as if our marriage is somehow less valid.

Here’s some breaking news: Interracial couples fall in love for all the complicated and simple reasons “same race” couples fall in love. In the end, it comes down to attraction – not just physical, (though biologically that can’t much be helped), but spiritual connection, emotional attachment, and shared experiences all play a role.

Now for the 10% juice: Culturally speaking, Latino men are typically more accepting, and even desiring, of a thicker figure on a woman, than are Anglo men. (Source: Study on Race/Ethnicity Body Type Preferences)

(Necessary Disclaimer: That, of course, is a generality that does not apply to all Latino men or all Anglo men. Individual results may vary.)

The real question in my mind is what is the fascination with this stereotype? Why all the scrutiny over my curves and his color? Yes, I’m a gringa gordita and yes, he is Latino – ¿Y qué? (So what?)

“It is not that love is blind. It is that love sees with a painter’s eye, finding the essence that renders all else background.” – Robert Brault

Posted on November 20, 2010, in amor, Corazón, Culture, el macho, marriage, racism, self esteem, wisdom, women. Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.

  1. Feel like clapping. Great piece. Bravo Tracy.

  2. BRAVO!!! You can’t see me, but I’m giving you a standing ovation. I too am a white gordita married to a Latino! But I wasn’t a gordita when I met and married my Hubby.

    I don’t like stereotypes of any kind. So when I first heard this one, which was only recently, I was appalled and offended.

    Thank you so much for writing this post! :)

  3. I had never heard about this stereotype. Very very interesting Tracy, I like how you wrote about it, and specially the comparison to 10% juice, excellent way to put it!

  4. Thank you for writing this post about such a big, yet sensitive subject. Love your humor too!

  5. LM BIG FAT NO!

    Ricky Ricardo! lol

    Luv ya!

  6. Ricky Ricardo? Hahahaaaaaa!!!

  7. Great piece Tracy. Great question. “¿Y qué?” Well put.

  8. Bravo! Wonderful blog on something that rings true in my area. It’s awful what people think.

    I’m a gordita who also fell in love when I was flaca. My hubby loves me unconditionally, with even more to go around now. He’s the best!

  9. I love your take on this subject and you said it perfectly! I also love that Carlos told that guy to STFU. Awesome!

  10. Hi Tracy. Loved your blog, it’s soo true. I sent it to my girlfriend who is a Gordita. I don’t know if she follows you but I recommended it. She has a twitter acct but doesn’t tweet as much as we do. I’m glad you wrote about this subject because I love all women, but prefer thicker women, white, black, or Hispanic. My g/f just happens to be white, German at that. Like most stereotypes (men mostly) they think that big woman are easy and that’s why we chase after them. Not true, my g/f is very educated (teacher) and respects herself and is proud of who she is and how she looks. My friends all love her and she is soo outgoing. Finally, I do believe Latino men prefer women on the chunky side, (AND NOT BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE THEY’RE EASY) but it’s our preference, at least mine. The great part about this is that we don’t have to come home to salads for dinner, yogurt for breakfast and rice cakes for lunch. We get real good food and usually home made. By the way, we believe in fitness too, and go on long walks, some gorditas are just big bone and will never rid of most of their wait, (pero y que?). My gordita works out in her own way which will not hurt her body (because society says exercise must be intense and it has to be done like this). I’m a former marine and so my workouts are different and I try to stay toned, but not to impress. I’m 51 and just want to add a few more years to my life and so does my g/f. We do light work outs and eat real good too. It’s amazing, because just last night the guy that sits next to us at the hockey game made some comments about big women and hot women. My g/f and I just looked at each other knowing how he just randomly says these things not realizing we are next to him and how offensive his statement was,(he is actually a nice guy). The thing is, he’s not a very handsome guy, and he’s the type that looks for nice slim miss America types (the one’s hell never have, only in his dreams). I want to end this comment, since I rattled on and on, by saying this; It’s funny how most stereotypical men who make these comments are not that great looking themselves and 10% of the real juice are gay. Thanks for writing Tracy…..Rudy

  11. Tell em’ girl! I love your analogies! That 10% juice ain’t enough to tamper with your love, true love! :)

  12. I am appalled by this as well! I had no idea there was such a stereo-type of this. I am offended by it as well, since I am a goridita, too. This is a sensitive, sensitive, subject for me. I cannot stand it when people pay more attention to someone’s size and what they see on the outside and instead of the inside. The heart is what matters more and how the women treat their men. The way I see it – as long as two people are happy in love, – that’s what’s more important. My whole life I have been a gordita, and I did not have confidence in my size until I got to colelge and “grew up.” But believe me, I had some stereotypes thrown at me too, mi suegra todavia! But in the end, I know people who stereotype and poke fun at others, are only feeling down on themselves.

  13. And there you go, Y Que?
    You said it right…good for you…Good for us all.
    You rock.

  14. I just wanted to say “thank you” to everyone who has commented. While it makes me sad that this resonates with so many, I’m glad that we can all come together and denounce this ignorant stereotype together.

    The truth is, stereotypes and bigotry will always exist. People will always judge you — we can’t control that, but we can control how we react, how we treat ourselves, and how we treat others. {Abrazos}

  15. Tracy, I love this post. I like it because these are the real life issues that we face, but no one really talks about it openly. Muy bien!

  16. Go Tracy, Go Tracy, Go Tracy, Go! Sharing this one with my mama… xoxo

  17. My husband has often commented on his preference for curves, and when we are out and about, a woman with “something to squeeze” is much more likely to catch his eye than a skinny lady. It always surprises me, his fascination with the larger lady (not obese) since my “white” culture has tried to brainwash me otherwise. I too get quite annoyed at people believing that somehow I made this great “sacrificial” leap, or “got trapped” by our early pregnancy to join another culture. Meaning sub-culture. ??? Whatever people. Go back to your corn flakes, I’m enjoying my lluevos y nopales, con frijoles y papas fritas y tortillas calientitas. Like my little one said the other day “I would help you, but I can’t. I’m busy. I’m smiling.”

  18. I once overheard that “dating Latinas is what’s in”… so that’s why a lot of “white guys are dating Latinas”, I have also heard that “Latinas date white guys for their money”.

    So my husband is only with me to be popular and I’m only with my husband because of all his pisto!!! ( :

    Yeah, right!!!!

    You go girl!!! Thank you for writing this!!!

    • @ Marcela – I guess it cuts both ways! Ignorant people will be ignorant and haters will hate, but the best revenge is to just live a happy life. Thanks for your comment.

  19. Hey “gringas gorditas” have always been very kool in my book, LOL! I don’t really think one can generalize about the size of a white girl, how likely she is to hook up with a Latino, but you know how we are tambien. “Hey look at that guera with that vato…hmmm, guess somebody is becoming a permanent resident!” – Not very nice, I know, but that’s the truth about las malas lenguas.

    De mi parte estoy de acuerdo, y que?

    I like my women curvy too. Always have and probably always will. A little junk in the trunk never hurt nobody! Thanks for putting a smile on my face :-)

    • @ Juan, yes, yes, I know this type of joking goes on, and I’m sure many of us have made little jokes like this between family/friends, but it’s not something one would say among polite company or else one risks offending/hurting someone – which is not worth the laugh.

      Appreciate your support of “junk in the trunk” :)

  20. Great post Tracy! I’d never actually heard of this particular stereotype (although I believe it) but I’ve heard the “green card” stereotype my whole life (first Filipina mom married American dad and then me marrying a Latino…) Makes me mad. Don’t people understand that one actually can marry for love? :-) All you need is love, love love….

  21. Great post! Got me laughing in what was an otherwise way to serious type of Monday. You did a great job of writing your observations to these stereotypes in a very personal and humanized manner. For me the first was this- I’ve never heard this from a woman’s perspective. Only from a bunch of guys…and believe me, I’ve heard a lot of jokes and stereotypes about this through the years. I’ve heard this a lot from men of varying ethnicities- white, Mexican, Native American, PR, Central American and Black.

    I’ve also heard the snide commentary from older Latina women, mothers who see themselves becoming suegras or who are suegras.

    Thanks for humanizing this and starting out with the dialogue at the beginning. Well done!

    • Thank you, Joe. I’m glad I could offer a new perspective on this. Almost everyone in the world has laughed at a joke that could be called “not politically correct” — We are all guilty of this, whether it’s making fun of someone’s race, weight, perceived beauty/lack of beauty, disability, religion – etc. The point is, people have feelings and there’s nothing humorous about hurting others just to have a good laugh. I think this is also a lesson in judging, and how many things we feel we have a right to comment on, are really none of our damn business. Many adults are no better than middle school bullies.

      Live and let live.

  22. Well said Pal and it is a good thing Carlos tell him to shut up!!!

    Back in the 80s here in Singapore, alot of stereotype too especially Chinese girls with White men. But as Singaporeans get more affluent and travel more, inter-racial marriages is very common here :D

  23. You go girl. ¿Y que? Y que piensen lo que quieran, you know what is true. So proud of you girl!

  24. I spoke about this post w/ a friend- he’s unenlightened and doesn’t read what he calls ChicLit (his loss) but as we talked about it -BTW- he sided w/ you on this– wouldn’t this be a great stage play? The humor, the honesty, the stereotypes and the bite. Bittersweet perhaps but you wrote something with very good creative potential.

    This post has a lot of honesty to it and has more potential to it. Again, great job!

  25. ….good article!,,,i grew up with skinny sisters and when i got old as they did, i noticed that we had all gotten “panson” and we still loved, admired and respected each other just as much ,,,,i had awesome love affair with a big “nalgona” gabacha but we had to separate on account of her kids attitude about inter-racial bonding and yet one of her kids married a black…go figure……people change as much as the sun sets…..

  26. I’m new to the blogosphere so I just saw this. I’m a bit “llenita”- always had enough hips to dance merengue-and might be considered somewhat “gordita” by the mainstream culture. But my Dominican husband is the one who has a beer belly (not a misnomer, caused by too much cerveza) and complains that he’s too heavy at 6’3″ and 240 lbs. I joke that I want “something to squeeze.” I’m 5 feet tall and a size 8; luckily I’m not really skinny and petite, or we’d look even funnier together.

    When we met I was a size 14 and only wanted to lose weight because I had gained it from eating emotionally and compulsively. But it’s like that movie with America Ferreira, Real Women Have Curves! I didn’t feel comfortable with all the extra weight, but there are women who carry it quite gracefully.

    • Lori – My husband is a little overweight too – so we’re gordita and gordito. LOL. I am really trying to change my lifestyle in regards to food right now and having some success. I’m of the mind that everyone’s weight and appearance in general is their own business. When I’m gordita, I love myself regardless, but that doesn’t mean I don’t try to improve myself to the best of my ability… And for those who are gordita and don’t try to change, who accept themselves that way or even love themselves that way – that’s their business too. We all have our own issues to sort out.

      My main point with this post is less about weight and more that people don’t need to judge or assume things based on appearances.

      • True: people do tend to judge based on appearances and interracial marriage does fall prey to stereotypes. I used to think that Latinas who married into the “mainstream” culture had such an easy time being accepted simply because there are more of them who are visible. I forgot that the “She’s only with him for his money” stereotype could be just as hurtful. Most of the Latinas I know who have married into another culture are entrepreneurs, or else they hold managerial positions or are community leaders, so they don’t need to be “taken care of” by a “powerful” man. Organizations like Latinas Unidas in my howetown are living proof of this.

  27. So what do people say about Salvadorenos con Chinas? :)

    • LOL, good question Marlon. You may be in a “safe zone” on that one, though there are always people who will come up with something ignorant to say.

      Saludos!

  28. LOL!!! Too funny! Exactly, someone will come up with something ignorant to say.

    One of my cousins in Mexico is married to a woman who is of Japanese descent (her father was from Japan but she was born/raised in Mexico). Whenever my female cousins get mad/catty with her they refer to her as La China. I heard them get corrected by another brother one time “no es China, es Japonesa” the snapping barracuda response was “¡No me importa!” To which he sheepishly kept his mouth shut.

    Tough crowd!

    • You have no idea how many times I’ve corrected people who use “China” for all Asians and the response they give me is always indifference. LOL… Yet, call a Salvadoran a Mexican and all kinds of passion comes out about why Salvadorans are NOT Mexicans.

      Can’t have it both ways! jijiji

      • At this point in life, I am not so sure that’s ignorance. We tend to call chinas anyone who has almond eyes. We sure know that they are not chinese but to simplify, we say chino or china. I call my girl mi chinita but she’s not chinese. De carino.

        Now, to make fun of any possible stereotypes that may come up, I tell people(when they ask how we met) that I ordered some chinese food and then she came to my house and I felt in love. But then she says I used to do her lawn/landscaping. The reality is that the computer age brought us together. Oh and 3 years later, we are getting married so don’t be surprised if we do some promotion for match.com LOL.

        Anyway, awesome writing and yes, that stereotype exists. I have come to realize that our people do like gorditas a lot. And it has nothing to do with papers or stereotypes, it’s just love. But always remember, in El Salvador, there’s gorditas o con unas libras de mas y TONELES.

      • Marlon – You’re right that it’s just very ingrained in the culture at this point. Who doesn’t have a cousin nicknamed “China” or “Chino”? LOL. (And I refer to Carlos’s eyes as “chinito.”) — When it comes “de carino” – no hay problema, brother.

        The stories about the way you met are funny. Sounds like you both have a good sense of humor so I’m predicting a successful marriage. Felicidades! Looking forward to your match.com commercial :)

  29. Yeah, but let’s face it, some of it is ignorance.

    I wish I found this blog a while back. This stereotype is so prevalent. It’s annoying because people like myself realize that what’s common to some, it’s not to others.

    Example, my friend visited NYC this past week. First time in NY and first time I have seen him in like 17 years. Salvadoreno. I brought him to my fiancee’s family to watch the Pacquiao fight. He doesn’t speak English but he felt fine. They treated him like a king. Honestly. All of the sudden, this girl walks in, filipina. And he tells me: ” pero Marlon, esa mujer esta buenisima.”

    Casi se le cae la boca. And for me, she was just fine. Remember, I am always among them so I am pretty used to these types of looks. He almost had a heart attack. I can guarantee that to other filipinos, she’s just ok. For him, a model.

    When I was in South Africa last year, this guy was talking the Apartheid and how during those times those who were mixed were called COLOURED. And how it was very insulting at the time. And how the use of the word had empowered them to forget about all the negative connotations. He continued his speech and said that the future was not white or black or asian, or indian. The future was mixed. I agree with him and honestly, interracial relationships are fascinating.

    • The incident with your friend thinking the average-looking girl was model material is a great example of how just the unfamiliarity of something can make it more special — it’s one of the interesting aspects of interracial relationships. When I go to El Salvador I get many compliments on my eyes, which on official documents are marked “blue” just so as not to be difficult – but they’re not a very spectacular blue at all – much closer to slate gray. Other Caucasians here in the United States don’t comment on my eyes – they’re nothing exceptional. (I say this coming from a family of blue-eyed people – both parents and both sisters have blue eyes which are all much brighter than mine.)

      Reality changes based on perception and one’s level of attractiveness does too – based on the cultural and individual preferences of the person doing the viewing.

      My husband complains that he’s too dark and I complain that I’m too pale – LOL. If Carlos looked the way he thought was “ideal”, and I could do the same, the irony is that neither of us would be attracted to the other. It’s all relative and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

      I agree that the future is mixed. We are already seeing a generation that can not easily be defined or labeled — many who infact resist being put into “race” boxes. Interesting times we live in.

  30. Love is love!!!!!

    PD: ¡Me encantó el video de la gordita! No lo había visto, jaja.

  31. Kimberli Canales

    This was too funny! And kudos to Carlos for handling it the way he did-my husband got in a fight once when someone made a remark about me, the gordita. He never understood how people’s comments never bothered me.
    On the other hand, we once got into a fight and he made a rude remark about my weight and although he apologized immediately I still felt justified in giving him the cold shoulder, both in the bedroom and in feeding him. I guess you could say I shut down both kitchens, lol. And I made dam sure I reminded him that thanks to the TRUE stereotype of the big girl’s cooking skills, he put on a pound or 40 in the last 14 years too :)

    • Cold shoulder definitely justified. Glad he apologized though… Funny how men in general are so quick to comment on a woman’s weight when they may be fat themselves. I guess they don’t realize it because they wear their pants below their bellies and don’t need to buy new ones when they put on a few pounds. ROFL.

  32. soy gringo y encanto una gordita ! white girls not my thing but hey love me a mexicana! I hate stereotypes especially for interacial relationships and big women cus big girls usually know their food and I love to eat y mexicanas son chingon. peace to you all and fuck the haters!

  33. It’s interesting to me how in Anglo American culture, being skinny is desirable, yet in many Latin American cultures, being “gordita” is considered good and skinny is considered less desirable. Myself, being a little “llenita,” tend to attract Latin and black men more (since culturally, women with a little meat on her bones is considered attractive to them, however as a disclaimer I will say “sobre gustos no hay nada escrito” and tastes do vary individually), and not so many white men, because in Anglo American culture, some men are afraid of what their friends will say if they don’t have a skinny babe (I’m personally not convinced that this is their *actual* preference, but there is societal pressure due to cultural preferences from what I’ve seen and experienced). Anyhow, I find it interesting, because one of my Ecuadorian friends is very tall and skinny. She eats a lot but just has a really fast metabolism. She’s always been made fun of, “palo de escoba” and the like and most Latin men tell her she needs to put on some weight and don’t look twice at her (according to her). However, white American guys are constantly hitting on her (she is very beautiful, I think she could be a model). In my opinion, women of all shapes and sizes are beautiful, as long as it is natural and they take care of what they were given and have confidence and a good personality. Although as a proud mujer llenita I will say that los hombres dicen que it’s nice to “tener donde agarrar” if you know what I mean ;)

    • “it’s nice to “tener donde agarrar”

      LOL – my husband approves this message… y Gracias a Dios because I have plenty “agarrar” and I don’t see myself being able to shed it any time soon.

  34. I completely agree. First of all, I think it is an inferiority issue with white men. They feel that since they are too inadequate to please certain white women, that they have to justify it. Oh, well only the fat white girls date Latinos. The only truth to this statement is that Latin men appreciate a real woman’s body whereas American men are more concerned with 90 lb. stick figure. Since when did having an ass, tits and hips qualify you as fat? Evolutionary-wise, a woman’s body is supposed to have curves. Thanks for pointing out this stereotype though. I am not fat, but I do have curves.

  35. haha in most cases, like one of you followers Mex men marry fat or chubby whites. This is a woman that follows your site. see…..

    –DELETED URL–

    she’s fat. Here in Columbus we have a good population of Mexicans and no racism intended but majority of the Mex male and white female couple is average looking male with a fat, chubby or undesirable white woman. I always thought it was Desperation meets try to gain legal status. Y’all know what I mean. Oh I’m Colombian btw.

    • Hi Rico,

      First, I deleted the URL in your comment because I don’t think it’s nice to point people out like that.

      Second, I looked at her photos and she doesn’t seem fat at all to me. She looked to be an average weight, healthy and happy.

      Third, had she been fat, I wonder why it should bother you. It’s funny how people point out fat and/or average-looking white girls with average looking Latino males. When two average-looking white people, two average looking black people or an average looking Latina gets together with an average looking Latino, no one says anything – because that’s the way it works. Beautiful people tend to marry other beautiful people and average-looking people, or under-average looking people tend to seek out their equals.

      In the end, it’s really none of our business to question why someone married someone else – and I think it’s cynical to assume it was for any reason less than love.

      I do wonder why you would point out this one woman on Facebook though…Perhaps deep down inside you’re a little celoso of the lucky mexicano she married.

  36. As a “flaquita” I can’t say anything about being “gordita” but it strikes me as similar to the way I unfortunately found out when I was single that some men believed since I was white and American, I would be “mas liberada” (ready to hop in the sack). As a married woman I struggle to hold my tongue when people assume white women are genetically incapable of cooking a satisfying meal for their husband, cleaning a house properly, or being affectionate with children. No, I’m not saying this is a measure of a woman’s worth, I’m saying it’s bothersome that “everyone knows” a white woman couldn’t do it if she tried. However my husband is quick to defend me too like your Carlos. There’s something extra-sweet to savor about that. I feel like his relatives or friends actually are listening to him and their minds get opened a bit. Just having me in the family is teaching the kids something.

    • Beth, my suegra believes every negative stereotype about white women and it really hurt me a lot – more than I was ever willing to show. No matter how often I proved her wrong – no matter how great a wife I’ve been to her son, how great a mother to her grandchildren, she would never give me any credit, even when we were on good terms.

      Good to know your family and friends are willing to be proven wrong and learn that not all white people are the same.

  37. Hola Sra. Lopez,

    Me gusto su posting, I can realate to it, as you know estoy casado to a Chinese woman and we both in the past had endure comment and looks and not from Whites or other ethnic groups, but from Latinos and Chinese which even worst.

    I like when people at work make comments about Chinese and they don’t know that i’m casado to a Chinese . I let them fill their boots with negative bs and bang!!! I let go without mercy and with one goal in mind, el defender mi heritages and my wife’s heritage, so my Little 3 yrs old Latenees future will better one without ignorance.

    Stereotyping is nothing but the ABC of descriminacion . Things are changing too fast for us, to start Tagging with new prices (new names) like a Superstore or Waltmart , is outdated! And difinitivamente estamos en el mismo hoyo, nos guste o no nos guste. c’est la vie!

    Let me finish by saying Sra. Lopez excellent posting

    http://exploredia.com/most-spoken-languages-in-the-world-2011/

    Read the above link y enterence

    Buen día y feliz fin de semana

  38. Found your blog and love it! Like the McDonald commercial badabopbadah me encanta :)

  39. Thank you for this posting! I’m black and my husband is Salvadoran and we get the weirdest stares as if I’m the Elephant Man or something! Many people have said negative things to him about my culture and then when I show up, they shut up. Keep up the good work!

  40. I feel like you took every thought in my head, and wrote it in here! I’m constantly called gringa gordita, and he didn’t settle for a fat girl, because he wanted someone who was american, any more than i settled for a Latino, because I couldn’t get a white guy. Like you I was always looking for Ricky Ricardo’s, and ignoring the white guys!

  41. Umm Ricky Ricardo was white… you guys realize that latino isn’t a race right? Like many Cubans his family were immigrants from Europe -_- so what your saying doesn’t make sense.. I don’t get how Americans are not aware of this, I’m from Poland but much of my family immigrated to South America like a lot of Europeans

    • You’re correct that Latino isn’t a race – it’s an ethnicity, and as such, Desi Arnaz (who played Ricky Ricardo), as a Cuban born and raised and as a Spanish-speaker, is Latino according to the American definition. Many of my friends are Cuban or part Cuban and they all self-identify as Latina.

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