“I’m Not Spanish, I’m Latina!”

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There’s a lot people who don’t know the difference between the terms “Hispanic,” “Latino” and “Spanish”.

Many of us are guilty of using all three terms interchangeably without realizing how offensive it can be to women, and that the ethnic identities happen to be completely different.

Bustle’s Kat Lazo, who’s Colombian and Peruvian, made a video asking New Yorkers if they knew the difference between Hispanic, Latino and Spanish, and unsurprisingly, many failed to know.

Just in case you find yourself confused about who real Latinas are, here’s some deets! 

Hispanic refers to Spanish-speaking countries of origin, which includes Spain but excludes Brazil because they speak Portuguese.

Latina refers to women in Latin America’s geographic location—which actually includes Brazil and not Spain.

Some assume Latina refer to any woman who speaks a Romance language. That has more to do with language than geographic location, and would then include people from France, Portugal and Italy, so that’s clearly off!

Spanish refers to someone from Spain because of course, Spaniards speak Spanish!

Not everyone from the U.S., Spain, Latin America or Europe will identify with all or any of these terms.

And like some of our fave starlets like Lala Anthony and Zoe Saldana, being Latina doesn’t exclude you from also being Black.

As for Lazo, she will refer to herself as an indigenous Latina until there’s a real term that embraces both indigenous and African influences of Latin America! 

Before you assume which enthic identity someone falls into, just ask!

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