Glee star Naya Rivera is rocking the cover of the latest issue of Cosmopolitan Latina, and she looks absolutely gorgeous in her spread. This comes as no surprise to those of us who’ve seen any Naya Rivera photo shoot, anywhere. The woman is undeniably stunning. But upon taking a look at her interview, readers may be surprised by some of Rivera’s statements about relationships and the role of the typical, Latina woman.
Rivera admits to letting her fiancé (rapper Big Sean) wear the pants in her relationship. She also says that, since being with him, she’s been embracing her domestic side in a way that is, apparently, in tune with her culture: “Latinas are really great nurturers who are great to our men; we love hard and we love to cook. The other morning I woke up and was like, ‘I need china — this table needs to be set all the time!’ Focusing on those things is where I’m at right now.”
We’re all for men and women embracing their domestic sides, but could Rivera’s comments be offensive to some Latinas? Obviously, she’s proud of her Puerto Rican heritage, but it’s as if she’s speaking for all Latin women, which is kind of… impossible. Cultural norms exist in any society and we get that she’s trying to connect with readers of Cosmo Latina and her fans, but it seems strange to suggest that all Latinas have a particular (domestic) approach to relationships.
It should also be said that domestic, for Rivera, does not mean dependent. Earlier in the interview she explained that whole ‘wearing the pants’ thing about Big Sean: “He’s so kind to people, but he also wears the pants in our relationship, which I love. We Latinas are very independent and strong, so it’s even sweeter that I’ve found somebody who can let me out of that role for a minute.”
It’s difficult to critique her statements here, because being Latina clearly means more than one thing for Rivera. On the one hand, she’s generalizing for a whole group of people, but she’s also trying to represent the aspects of her culture that she identifies with, and that she finds to be most positive. Sure, her labels could be problematic. To say that Latinas are any one thing is a risk, but Rivera most likely had the best intentions. You can read her full interview with Cosmo Latina here and decide for yourself.