Bronze seduction: The shaping of Latina stardom in Hollywood film and star publicity

2002 2002

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation explores the construction and ideological implications of Latina star images in Hollywood film and film publicity in the last nine decades, through in-depth case studies of the publicity that shaped the public images of actresses Dolores Del Rio in the mid-1920s–early 1940s, Rita Moreno in the 1950s and 1960s, and Jennifer Lopez in the last decade. In particular, the shaping of each star's image is analyzed in light of contemporary tendencies in Latina star promotion, including an emphasis on excessive, seductive bodies. The author documents how Latina stars have been demarcated as distinct from white stars since the transition to sound film, with this distinction positioning them as embodying a “lesser whiteness,” even while they also have been considered “all-purpose ethnics” able to easily portray Asian and American Indian as well as Latina roles. In this process, white femininity and Eurocentric beauty ideals have been protected and enhanced in Hollywood film and related publicity. Such paradigms are shown to reflect the status of Latinos in the U.S. and Hollywood at specific sociohistorical junctures. Within these dynamics, Latina stars have provided challenges to the status quo that have necessitated negotiation in their appearance, publicity, and film roles. As the dissertation documents, traditional Hollywood paradigms are both reified and under challenge in the present day, with current stars and shifting beauty standards reflecting contemporary shifts in the social landscape. Demographic changes, cultural shifts, and the rise of Latino-produced media have brought about an increased awareness and interest in the profits to be made from Latina stardom, while industrial structures and age-old perceptions continue to contribute to a decided ambivalence inherent in the marketing of Latinas as star figures.

Indexing (details)

Motion Pictures;
American studies;
Minority & ethnic groups;
Womens studies;
0900: Motion Pictures
0323: American studies
0631: Minority & ethnic groups
0631: Sociology
0453: Womens studies
0304: Biographies
Identifier / keyword
Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Del Rio, Dolores; Dolores Del Rio; Film; Hollywood; Jennifer Lopez; Latina; Lopez, Jennifer; Moreno, Rita; Publicity; Rita Moreno; Stardom
Bronze seduction: The shaping of Latina stardom in Hollywood film and star publicity
Beltran, Mary Caudle
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 64/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Berg, Charles Ramirez; Downing, John D. H.
The University of Texas at Austin
University location
United States -- Texas
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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