My favorite Latina entertainer, as of right now, is Sofia Vergara. Vergara started her acting career in Hispanic soap operas and has been very successful in crossing over to the general market. According to IMDB, Vergara began her transition to general market–more mainstream, commercial film projects–by landing a her first English role in the movie Chasing Papi. While the film garnered mostly negative reviews, it offered Vergara a small silver lining. She became a much more recognizable celebrity, and was eventually offered additional film and television roles that were much more well received. Most notably, Vergara solidified herself as an international star after securing her place on ABC’s hit situational comedy Modern Family. Her success on this show eventually led her to her first Emmy nomination.
But Vergara’s success is not contained solely to the film and television industries. She brings that same inviting charm to other facets of her life and has yielded remarkable results in other ventures as well. Using her talent and charisma, Vergara became the spokeswoman for international businesses such as Cover Girl, Pepsi Co., Kmart, and Comcast’s Xfinity brand. There is little doubt that her bubbling but strong personality, and the commitment with which she approaches her career, play key roles in Vergara defining herself as an international celebrity.
Who would have thought that this Colombian-born model/actress would go from Barranquilla, Colombia to the studio back lots of Hollywood, California. That she would transcend cultural and ethnic boundaries and permeate the vernaculars of so many different countries and generations, defining herself as a household name and a synonym for comedy.
Being a Latina in America as well, and fighting the inevitable fish-out-of-water complex that I experience every day, I genuinely appreciate Vergara’s success both on and off screen. Her success blossoming from the embrace of her Colombian culture and heritage, she stands as living proof that that one should not shy away from one’s identity, but instead wear it on one’s sleeve.