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sana sana, latino, nature, nurture, women, southern, pans in oven

I’m doing my own social experiment on nature versus nurture and I want you all to be apart of it. I shared a simple photo on Facebook yesterday of an oven full of pots and pans. I find this completely normal. In fact, my own oven is full of pots and pans right now! What struck me is that the caption said, “When you’re about to turn on the oven but then you remember that you’re Hispanic.”

latino, nature, nurture, women, southern, pans in oven


I shared it because for a minute I was shocked and thought, “ Wait, everybody doesn’t do this?” Well, doesn’t everybody? The answer is no, everybody doesn’t…but most people do and not just Latinos. But enough people don’t do it that 45 people weighed in on this status update. Who knew storing your pots and pans in your oven was so controversial?

Nature versus nurture, do we learn it or is it in our DNA?

nature versus nurture , latino, nature, nurture, women, southern, pans in oven

So it made me start to think, some of these things I do, are they nature or nurture? Is it a “Latina” thing? A “daughter of a southern woman” thing? A “ Chicago” thing? A “human” thing? A “Woman” thing? Did I learn these or was I born like this? So I decided to put it to a poll, this is where you all come in. I need to hear your answers to help me figure this all out and understand the mystery that is this “Debi” thing.


  1. Grilled cheese….do you put sugar on it? (Yes)
  2. Milk…do you put ice in it? (Yes)
  3. “Know what I mean?” …Doesn’t everyone ask this after they say something?
  4. Pots and Pans…do you store them in your oven? (Where else?)
  5. Eggs….do you put ketchup on them? (I put ketchup on them if they are scrambled, jelly if they are over easy)
  6. Hard shell or soft shell tacos? (I’ve never eaten a hard shell taco in my life. In Mexico the only hard shells I ever saw were Tostadas.)
  7. Pizza…thin or deep dish? (As a rule, deep dish but a like a good Sicilian.)
  8. Hot dogs…ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise? (Ketchup and mustard only.)
  9. Pop or soda? (Pop)
  10. Make-up…is it a daily requirement? (Only if you’re going some place where you care what the people think, so on most days…no!)
  11. Spanking kids….do you do it to your own kids? Would you allow others to do it to them? (No and Hell, no!)
  12. Can you say the word “Sampler” or does it completely disappear into your nasal cavity? (Asking for a friend)
  13. Vicks Vapo rub and Vaseline…do you use it? For what and how often? ( Yes, for everything and all the time.)
  14. How do you say this word? Cabinet. (I say kab-uh-nit. My family makes fun of me. They say kab-nit. They say it wrong! I have proof.)
  15. When your kid gets hurt, do you do Sana, Sana , kiss their booboos or say rub some dirt on it? (I sana, sana colita de rana and then I kiss it and make it all better because…you know, mom spit cures everything but stupid.)

Ok, I am dying to hear your answers because these are things that I thought were completely normal but have gotten some weird looks and comments on when I’ve said or done them before so I want to know, what do you do? Answer any of the questions above and weigh in in the comments. I really want to figure this out.

Nature versus nurture, which is it?

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Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business

What do you think of when you hear the word Latina?

The stereotypes are out of control. In fact, if you Google “Latina” every photo is of a hot, caramel colored girl in a tiny bikini, sometimes leaning over a lowrider or laying in bed. Oh and there are a couple of pregnant women surrounded by 12 kids. Go ahead. There is nothing you can say that will shock me. My husband likes to joke that he thought I’d be a little more Sophia Vergara and a little less Julie Bowen of Modern Family.

Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business


We have all heard the Latina stereotypes: voluptuous, passionate and hot-tempered Latinas. We fight to make up. We have lots of kids because of all the sex and Catholic refusal to believe in birth control. We all have thick accents and we live to serve our controlling husbands and walk our Chihuahua dogs. When we are not in the kitchen cooking from scratch in our high heels, we are in the bedroom working on another bebé.  We are all nannies and mothers. You could believe this and it could be true in some cases, because even a broken clock is right twice a day but mostly, you would be dead wrong.

Latina is not a color.I have been assumed to be everything but Latina on several occasions: Caucasian is the immediate go to, if they notice that I don’t exactly fit the stereotype for Latina. I have dark brown hair, light brown eyes, fair-skin and not immediately identifiable features. My mom is Southern by way of Ireland, France, Italy, England and the Cherokee nation. Then the guessing begins. Italian? Greek? Jewish? It makes me feel as if those guessing think I’m anything other than what I actually am: Latina on my father’s side.

OK, I am just going to say it, I am a fair skinned Latina woman; possibly the whitest Latina you may well ever meet. I get it. It might be a little bit confusing for those who don’t realize that, like every other race, we come in every single color of the rainbow, with different combinations of hair and eye color and varying degrees of assimilation. We are not all the same. We don’t look the same. We don’t talk the same. We don’t come from the same place and we certainly, don’t all fit some concocted cartoonish stereotype. My daughters are beautiful with blonde hair and blue eyes, if you ask them what they are, they will tell you, “I am Latina!” Because, they are and it’s that simple.

Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business, motherhood, raising daughters

Some are true. I think as a group many of us are loud, passionate people who place a great value on the family unit but not all of us.  Many of us are determined, handworkers who demand respect and take pride in our work, no matter how menial the task. We want to succeed and we’ve always had to work for it; from the farms to gaining respect in a new country so we are not afraid to work our asses off for what we want.

For many of us, failure is not an option. When, in business, I am asked to be “more” Latina that bothers me. I am not insulted because I am proud of being Latina. But I am offended that you have the nerve to ask me to prove that I fit into YOUR idea of who I should be. How do I quantify myself to meet your expectations? Would you ask a homosexual to be “more gay” or an African-American to be “more black”? I don’t think so.

I totally get that if I market myself as a Latina blogger, people expect me to be Latina and I am. It took me a long time to take ownership of that because I had spent so much time in my life feeling like I had to prove it. But when you ask me to be “more Latina” that insinuates that you don’t want me to be Latina, you want me to fit some misguided idea that you have of what it is to be “Latina”.You want more “spice”. That bothers me.

Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business I am first generation Mexican American. I speak Spanish. I grew up immersed in the Latino culture. I may not have been born in Mexico, but my father was. I will not apologize for not meeting your stereotype. I don’t speak with an accent and every thing I do is not overtly “Latin” in nature because you know what Latin people are? We are just PEOPLE, just like you.

Well, maybe not like you (the person asking Latinos to prove their Latino-ness) because I am pretty sure you are an asshole and you might even be a little bit of a racist, or just really ignorant to my culture. We are not all built like Sophia Vergara (though I wish we were). We are not all oversexed, tequila drinking, hot-tempered caramel colored taco eaters who dance Cumbia. Well, mostly I am, with the exception of the caramel colored skin but many are not.


What’s the stupidest thing anyone has ever asked you based on a stereotype Latina or otherwise?

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