An image is worth a thousand words


Colombia is famous around the world for the beauty and strong personality of its women, and Sofia Vergara has become an ambassador of this trait. She has harvested the fruits of her labor and this is evidenced by five consecutive years as the highest paid TV actress in the US, according to Forbes Magazine.

Besides being one of the sexiest and most recognized Hispanic women in Hollywood, she is a savvy business woman, her husband is eye candy, and she owns a clothing and furniture line. Therefore, I can´t help but ask, why the heck does she diminish herself with jokes that are vulgar and portrays a poor Latina stereotype?

During the Golden Globes ceremony this past Sunday, Vergara pretended to confuse the word “annual” with “anal” generating a wave of sharp criticism from the entertainment media.

According to the diva, her “joke” was a mistake in pronunciation as she has done many times in the past when in character. It is not a mystery that the actress has milked her exaggerated accent (believe me, we Colombians don’t all sound like her!) to differentiate Gloria Pritchett–her funny character in Modern Family–from all other Hispanic characters on American TV right now.

Nevertheless, it seems that her audience and the media are tired of the same old song. Sofia Vergara is a very powerful woman in Hollywood, who doesn’t need to reduce herself to denigrating jokes like this anymore in order to get 15 minutes of publicity.

In my opinion, whether it was done of her own free will or suggested by the awards producers, these real life episodes indicate that Sofia Vergara and Gloria Pritchett are the same woman in front and behind the scenes.

So, if she behaves like the madam of a brothel, why spend thousands of dollars in designer jewels and clothes? Might as well wear a leopard bodysuit.

For decades, Colombians–especially self-exiled like me–have rejected the negative image that TV and films project of our country around the world. Women are depicted as prostitutes or “drug mules” and men like capos and assassins.

Although times have changed and Colombia is now on the top five of many sectors that make us proud, such as quality of healthcare, gastronomy, and innovation, TV production companies continue to perpetuate and to glorify the most repulsive image of our country.

Even in my own home, I have to explain to my husband how much it offends me when he watches Netflix’s Narcos or El Patron del Mal about the abominable Pablo Escobar. I refuse to let my young son grow up believing that Colombia is nothing but a country of silicone and bullets.

I would give anything to watch new TV series that show a brighter side passed years of violence and suffering. However they continue to dig deeper and an example of this is the newest novela about Escobar’s #2 assassin named Popeye.

If I could, I would ask the channel executives in Colombia, why don’t you produce the story of Nairo Quintana, one of the best cyclists in the world? Or how about the fascinating story of neurologist Fernando Lopera, the doctor who pioneered the most recent study to find the cure for Alzheimer’s diseased which was reported by CBS’ 60 minutes? It’s too boring, isn’t it?

A popular saying in my country translates, “Create a reputation and go to bed” meaning the image one portraits is definitive. I just hope I could wake up and see a better image of my country that spoke louder than a thousand words.

Thank you for reading and sharing.

Xiomara Spadafora

This column was sponsored by Zellner Insurance Agency. Many things in life don’t have insurance. For everything else call Zellner (888) 208-8119


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