That Latin(a) Look: Performing Ethnicity

Diane Railton and Paul Watson

in Music Video and the Politics of Representation

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780748633227
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671021 | DOI:
That Latin(a) Look: Performing Ethnicity

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This chapter covers the way that ethnic identity can be produced on and across the female body. It investigates the ways in which an image of ‘Latinaness’ is constructed around the figure of Christina Aguilera. Aguilera's relationship to Latina identity is neither authentic nor inauthentic. It is noted that the young ‘all-American’ pop princess is still too innocent to understand what she is singing about, and the self-consciously sexy Latina understands perfectly well the sexual implications of the song's lyrics. Her more sexualised appearance and the intimacy of her performance are secondary to the sense of physical closeness instigated through the proximity of the camera to her body and the frequent use of close-up. Her ability to defy and flout identities is a powerful demonstration of the way in which identity is always a product of discourse.

Keywords: ethnic identity; Christina Aguilera; Latina identity; Latinaness; female body

Chapter.  6811 words. 

Subjects: Media Studies

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