IN WHICH CRISTINA ROSALES IS VERY MUCH LATIN
Okay kids, time for an educational rant. Cristina Rosales is not white. She is not Nina Dobrev, who is a lovely actress but not appropriate. She is of Mexican descent and visibly Latina. (I tend to think the Rosales have some very strong indigenous heritage, but the only thing that’s canon is her being darkly complexioned and very very Mexican.)
Both of her parents have Mexican, specifically Spanish, names. Her family is powerful in Mexico.
So what does this mean? It means that you should not be fan casting or editing very much white girls as Cristina. Now, I know edits are hard. I’ve probably slipped up a few times, at least. But with some hard work and judicious cropping, I believe you can do it. Lots of people already have, I’m always delighted to see a lot of great, accurate edits.
Obviously we can’t ask the moon. There’s a lot of room to be flexible. You don’t have to find a perfect born-in-Mexico-City Cristina. I’m proud of you if you can get Latina. There’s a lot of South and Central American countries and a lot of diversity within them and within Mexico itself.
Here’s some helpful hints:
- Try looking up Mexican or Latina actresses and models and then looking for good pictures of them. Build up a reserve of images. Since it is hard to find younger teenage models, you might want to resort to some old standbys, Disney actors. Selena Gomez is half Mexican and Victoria Justice is of Puerto Rican descent. Other actresses include Martha Higareda, Fernanda Romero, Biana A Santos, and Francia Raisa. It might also help to try Mexican musicians like Jasmine V or Becky G. One of my favorite models is Ela Velden. Brazil also has a lot of models for some reason as well.
- Remember that a lot of Latin America has a sizable African population too. Don’t be afraid to fancast someone of Afro Latino descent.
- Random image searches end of helping me more often than not. It may seem crass but don’t be afraid to toss a term like ‘latina’ or ‘mexican’ or even ‘brown’ on the end of your search. It narrows things down a lot. It’s hard work, there’s a lot more pictures of white girls doing ‘aesthetic’ things than anyone else and a big part of it is just picking through until you find a good picture. But I think it’s worth it, for a fair and accurate Cristina Rosales.
Crop and twist and edit until the picture is acceptable, if you must. There’s always that great pic with a lily white hand in it.
- A lot of the time you can’t tell exactly what the heritage of your model is. That’s okay. We understand. Use your judgement. Just remember the character.
Just respect Cristina’s ethnicity, have a good time, and try your best, that’s all anyone can ask. And remember, Nina Dobrev, while a fantastic actress, is Bulgarian.