Marcos and J-Lo do the salsa

Posted by: | March 30, 2009 | Comments Off on Marcos and J-Lo do the salsa

I really enjoyed the readings this week, especially the first two! I find that when some sort of story is being told, I have a much easier time following along. The first article is a short and concise essay about Marcos and the Zapatistas (indigenous rebels) from Mexico. This is a fascinating situation where a leader of a rebel army and potential future president of a nation, is thrust into an international spotlight largely due to the suspense of hiding his true identity behind a balaclava or ski-mask. “el Sup” as he came to be known, used the media like it was a stage to create a buzz throughout the entire world that grew into erotic and cult-like following. However, as time wore on, the love affair with Marcos and the Zapatistas faded away and they were never really true contenders to take control of the Mexican government, in fact, “the day President Zedillo disclosed Marcos’s identity on national television, no one even batted an eye” (Pg. 228). Interesting read, I would have never guessed that the world would have become so enamoured with a smooth talking masked man from Mexico but it happened and it is an interesting situation to reflect upon.
The second article is about Jennifer Lopez’s voluptuous body so naturally it was not a difficult read for me. The author Mary Beltran argues that J-Lo’s attitude towards her body and how it was received in the United States created a new role for Latina crossover actresses. In the past, Latinas were typecast into certain roles that were rigid and secondary in regards to the plot. J-Lo bucked that trend by not only being a short curvy actress in a streamline world, but also by stepping into lead roles that Latinas had rarely ventured in the past. her success led to an almost obsession with her body and was “indicative of larger changes in the cultural landscape” (Pg. 83). There is no question that J-Lo’s “crossover butt” was a big deal in the late 90’s and was a huge influence on future notions of appearance in Hollywood.
The last article by Patria Roman-Valazquez talks about how the performance of Salsa can provide a lot of insight into how Latin American pop culture is becoming blurred throughout the world. As more and more non-Latin people engage in traditional salsa practices, a new identity for the music is being born. One that has a unique touch on tradition salsa performances and shows that even if non-Latin people engage in this type of music, they can articulate the true meaning of Salsa through they way in which they move their body, not by where in the world the dance is taking place. In a globalized world, even certain dances are becoming transient and this article does a nice job of showing how salsa has made its way to London and is being enjoyed by people from all over the planet.


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