In 2016, Buzzfeed announced the creation of Pero Like, a Facebook page and YouTube channel that would “look at the myriad identities under the ‘Latinx umbrella,’” including “[B]laxicans in LA, Tejanos in Corpus Christi, Cubans in Miami (and their abuelitas), and everyone who’s been told they don’t ‘look Latina.’” Pero Like followed the footsteps of mitú, a new media multi-channel network created in 2012 to target younger, bicultural Latinx audiences who are avid internet users and overlooked by legacy media. This article analyzes how Latina millennial digital content creators negotiate, mediate, and contest Latinidad through social media entertainment. It focuses on four of the most popular Latina creators featured on mitú and Pero Like: Jenny Lorenzo, Kat Lazo, Julissa Calderon, and Maya Murillo. In doing so, the article explores how these creators articulate the politics of Latinx millenniality through a focus on cultural specificity, panethnicity, generational differences, language practices, race and racism, and beauty standards.

This article analyzes how Latina millennial content creators negotiate and contest Latinidad through social media entertainment (SME). The social media videos produced by these content creators are emblematic of a generation, elucidating how Latinx millennials come to mediate panethnicity while creating new forms of Latinx media representation. SME as a technological, generic, and cultural form constitutes a new phenomenon that has enabled the unprecedented participation of diverse creators, particularly Latina millennials.

These dynamics are highlighted in the 2017 video “Segundo Impacto Parody,” starring Latina millennial content creators Jenny Lorenzo and Laura Di Lorenzo.1 Distributed through the YouTube channel and Facebook page of mitú, a multi-channel digital media network, the video features Lorenzo and Di Lorenzo dressed in miniskirts, tightly fitted colorful blazers, and low-cut shirts that accentuate their pushed-up breasts. The video parodies Primer Impacto (1994–), a Spanish-language television news program broadcast weekdays on the Univision network that has become a staple for immigrant and Spanish-speaking Latinx communities in the U.S.2 For many Latinx bicultural millennials who grew up watching the show as their parents tuned in, the program serves as a cultural marker that evokes childhood nostalgia. Primer Impacto covers segments on news, sports, entertainment, the weather, and horoscopes—famously delivered by icon Walter Mercado—and is known for its light-skinned, curvaceous female anchors who conform to traditional standards of Latina beauty.

Lorenzo, playing anchor Maria Antonia, and Di Lorenzo, starring as anchor Maria Josefa, commence the video by dramatically introducing themselves and the program. The video then cuts to Maria Josefa, who begins the news coverage, informing viewers that “un hombre en Arizona woke up Monday morning and realized he was a raccoon trapped in a human’s body,” as the camera pans down to focus on her breasts.3 After the segment recounting the bizarre story of Jose “Raccoon” Gonzalez, Maria Josefa offers commentary as she crosses and uncrosses her legs in a miniskirt. Comedically parodying a moment in the 1992 film Basic Instinct, the video pixelates her nether regions, implying that she has exposed herself. Thereafter, we are introduced to a third anchor, Maria Luisa Rodriguez, who makes a theatrical entrance to warn women of menstruating age that there has been a recall on tampons because a new study suggests their “absorbent fiber does in fact contain explosive matter.” Rodriguez proceeds to her next segment, “Si no lo escuchas aquí te mueres,” to caution viewers that heartburn causes erectile dysfunction, brushing your hair can lead to Satanism, and sleeping next to your phone may alter your DNA.4 As we return to the anchors, Maria Josefa laments the loss of tampon usage because pads feel like pañales, and Maria Antonia this time uncrosses her legs to trigger another pixelated area on screen.5 In their last segment, the anchors inform us that it has been confirmed that el Chacal de la trompeta—a character from the Spanish-language variety show Sábado Gigante—is the father of Justin Biebers [sic] and that the Chupacabra—a legendary creature known for attacking and drinking the blood of livestock—has married Carmen San Diego. The parody video concludes with the anchors melodramatically signing off as the camera pans out to reveal their pixelated nether parts once again.

Through this parodic three-minute video, these Latina content creators offer a critique of Spanish-language media and Latinidad through the lens of bicultural Latinx millennials. Lorenzo and Di Lorenzo satirize the hypersexualization of Latina women on Spanish-language television, who often wear short, low-cut, and tightly fitted dresses that accentuate their curves. In doing so, they disrupt the symbolic colonization of Latinas in mainstream media as over-sexed and exotic, as well as their commodification through tropes of large buttocks, bountiful breasts, and curvaceous hips.6 Moreover, they engage in a specific form of cultural memory and retro nostalgia by referring to long-standing touchstones and references of the 1990s, such as Carmen San Diego and the Chupacabra. In doing so, these creators not only represent particular aspects of many bicultural Latinx millennials’ childhoods, but they also appeal to this demographic as a niche audience through SME content.

To further understand how SME content creators negotiate Latinidad through the lens of millennials, I focus on the content produced by four of the most popular Latina creators whose videos have amassed millions of views on Latinx-oriented SME intermediaries mitú and Pero Like: Jenny Lorenzo, Maya Murillo, Julissa Calderon, and Kat Lazo. A racially white Miami-born-and-raised Cuban-American content creator who co-founded Pero Like and worked for mitú, Lorenzo describes her own comedic, Latinx-based content as coming from the “nostalgic lens of a 1st generation Cuban-American” and from “living in the hyphen.”7 Lorenzo achieved viral success with the appearance of her abuela character inspired by her Cuban grandmother, Orquídea Díaz, who immigrated to Florida in 1967. Hired by Pero Like in 2016, Murillo is a racially white Mexican-American who hails from Phoenix, Arizona. She self-describes as a “pocha” and was one of few creators on Pero Like that did not speak Spanish. Her content explores notions of Latinx exclusion and belonging as a third-generation Mexican-American. Calderon is a New York–born, Miami-raised Afrolatina whose SME content explores the intricacies of Afrolatinx identity and Dominican culture. After moving to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career, Calderon realized that people living on the West Coast, comprised primarily of Latinxs of Mexican descent, are largely unaware of Dominican culture.8 She therefore created content about Dominican and Caribbean culture when hired by Pero Like in 2016. Lastly, Lazo is a phenotypically brown Colombian-Peruvian New Yorker who was hired as a producer by mitú because of the feminist content she was producing on her independent YouTube channel. In 2017, Lazo launched “The Kat Call” series on mitú to debunk taboos and misconceptions about Latinidad as well to interrogate socially relevant, and often polemic, topics for Latinxs.

I center on the content of these four millennial Latinas because they present subjects that have been excluded from mainstream representations of Latinidad in legacy media: Peruvian, Dominican, Cuban, and Mexican-American experience and culture, Afrolatinx identity, and third-generation Latinx identity. SME has afforded these creators visibility and allowed them to examine and represent Latinx panethnicity in new terms, enabling a different set of possibilities than legacy media. To conduct this study, I analyzed 345 videos distributed by mitú and Pero Like between 2016 and 2020 that were produced by or feature any or all of these four content creators. I homed in particular on textual analysis of videos representative of the ways in which these creators negotiate and articulate Latinidad through the lens of Latinx millennials.

I argue that the SME content produced by and starring these four Latina millennials mediates ideological panethnicity through the politics of Latinx millenniality. Milagros Ricourt and Ruby Danta define ideological panethnicity as the discourses voiced by cultural and political leaders to construct panethnic Latinidad.9 In reading Latinidad through a generational lens, I conceive of the ways Latinx millennials negotiate the interplay between panethnicity and subethnic specificity as the politics of Latinx millenniality. Latinx millennials’ distinct experiences as a generational cohort enable them to push the boundaries of Latinidad by negotiating and contesting factors such as race, class, language practices, and gender. This articulation of ideological panethnicity and of the politics of Latinx millenniality in SME spreadable content is then experienced by audiences as experiential panethnicity.10 Experiential panethnicity refers to the proximity and daily-life interactions of Latinxs of different national and ethnic origins.11 These encounters enable commonalities to become more salient for these groups and enable their identification with a larger panethnic collective.12 The SME videos of these Latina content creators showcase representations of panethnic Latinidad that are consumed by Latinx audiences in their daily lives as they scroll through and watch content on social media. For members of Latinx subethnic groups who might live in homogenous neighborhoods—for example, Latinxs in the Southwest who are primarily exposed to Mexican and Central American ethnicities yet lack contact with Caribbean Latinxs—the content of these four creators featured on Pero Like and mitú provides exposure to the diversity of Latinidad and helps facilitate Latinx audience identification with a wider panethnic collective.

To help better understand Latinx millennials, this article begins by describing Latinx generational cohorts. It then contextualizes how Latinx millennial audiences fit within the legacy mediascape and explains the origins and workings of SME, paying particular attention to the rise of mitú and Pero Like. Thereafter, the article traces the work of the four abovementioned Latina content creators and how each articulates the politics of Latinx millenniality through the following themes: cultural specificity, panethnicity, generational differences, language practices, race and racism, and beauty standards. As a distinct generational cohort, Latinx millennials’ unique relationship to Latinidad merits defining and explication of those terms. Millennials are in part shaped and defined by their experiences as digital natives. These content creators’ relationships to and participation within SME allows us to understand how members of this generation navigate panethnicity and produce new forms of media practice that enable conversations about Latinx identity. By tracing these dynamics, this article contributes to new media studies, Latinx media studies, and research on Latinx millennials’ relationship to media.13

To understand how Latinx millennials have come to mediate panethnicity, it is important to define Latinx generational cohorts and the political, social, and economic experiences that have shaped them. Following the Pew Research Center’s categorization, Baby Boomers are defined as anyone born between 1946 and 1964, Generation X as those born between 1965 and 1980, Millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996, and Generation Z as anyone born 1997 and onward.14

The Latino Baby Boomer generation is comprised mostly of Mexican-Americans and Puerto Ricans who grew up during the post–World War II economic boom and came of age during the Civil Rights era.15 This generation was raised by parents who stressed assimilation as the road to mobility. Yet Boomers became politicized during the Civil Rights movement and demanded equality through organizations such as the Brown Berets, the Young Lords, and the American G.I. Forum.16 In contrast to the rights Boomers had to fight for, Latino Generation X benefitted from the educational and economic opportunities earned through Civil Rights legislation and affirmative action programs.17 Nonetheless, this generation also witnessed the defunding of public higher education, dismantling of affirmative action, expansion of border enforcement, and hypercriminalization of Latino youth as it was coming of age.

This generation also experienced the diversification of Latinx communities through increased immigration waves from Central America, South America, and the Caribbean during the 1980s.18 Latino Generation X came into adulthood when panethnic labels began to rise as a result of the 1980 census that helped institutionalize Hispanic panethnicity. The actions of U.S. government officials, activists, and Spanish-language media executives not only created a legitimate governmental administrative category that aggregated Hispanic subethnic groups, but they also helped shape and popularize the notion of a national, Latino consumer market.19

Although Generation X came of age during the ascent of Hispanic panethnicity, Latinx millennials grew up during a time when terms such as “Hispanic” and “Latino” were part of the national popular lexicon and everyday life, thus facilitating their identification with these panethnic labels.20 This point is reinforced in Nilda Flores-González’s groundbreaking study of Latinx millennials.21 The author argues that the increased contact between Latinx groups caused by the growing diversity and dispersal of Latinx populations in the U.S. has fomented Latinx millennials’ identification with panethnic labels.22 Thus, “panethnic identification is more marked among younger U.S.-born Latinos than among immigrants and older U.S.-born Latinos.”23 Although younger cohorts strongly identify with panethnic labels, they also identify by national/ethnic origin, indicating that panethnic and subethnic cultural identities coexist for Latinx millennials.24

According to Flores-González, millennials are the most racially diverse, politically liberal, and economically insecure generation in U.S. history.25 They are known as digital natives because they are the first generation to grow up with technology and social media.26 Latinx millennials specifically are the most diverse Latino generational cohort as a result of the abovementioned migration waves of the 1980s.27 They view themselves as an ethnoracial group, a categorization that “includes racial and cultural attributes about what makes up the stereotypical Latino, such as ‘tan’ skin color, Spanish language, particular foods and music, family values, and Latin American ancestry.”28 This ethnoracial categorization and the way Latinx millennials experience everyday racialization is also impacted by factors such as gender, social class, skin color and phenotype, ancestry, education, language, and culture.29

As a generational cohort, Latinx millennials have encountered distinct political, social, and economic factors that have impacted the ways they understand, negotiate, and contest Latinidad. Latinidad is understood as a “dynamic belief in a shared ‘Latina/o’ identity rooted in cultural, historic, affective, and political affinities (be they real or imagined) within and across US borders.”30 Although this panethnic label is celebrated for enabling wider Latinx political mobilization efforts, it has been critiqued for how it flattens differences pertaining to ethnicity, race, gender, class, sexuality, cultural geography, language practices, and citizenship status within the panethnic collective.31 Latinx millennials not only negotiate this tension between panethnicity and subethnic specificity, but also challenge Latinidad’s flattening of difference. Their unique experiences as a generational cohort enable them to push the boundaries of Latinidad by mediating factors such as race, gender, class, language, and so forth. These contestations and negotiations encompass the politics of Latinx millenniality.

Despite being born during the “multi-channel transition” of the mid-1980s to mid-2000s that witnessed the proliferation of cable channels, the rise of additional broadcast networks, and a move from targeting mass television audiences to niche audiences, Latinx millennial audiences have largely been overlooked by legacy media.32 During millennials’ childhood to early adulthood, Latinx audiences had limited culturally relevant programming available on broadcast English-language television. This included shows such as Culture Clash (1993–96), House of Buggin’ (1995), George Lopez (2002–07), and Ugly Betty (2006–10). In terms of U.S. Spanish-language television channels and networks, they have historically targeted a Spanish-speaking immigrant audience and have overlooked the experiences of U.S.-born Latinxs.33 Thus, their programming has primarily relied on imported content from Latin America or content produced in the U.S. for a transnational Latin American audience.34 Their employment practices have also privileged Latin American corporate intellectuals from middle- and upper-class backgrounds.35 Although short-lived attempts were made by Telemundo in the late 1990s to capture a bilingual, bicultural Latinx audience, it was not until the 2010s that Univision began to target that demographic through a strategy of linguistic flexibility, or “a linguistic paradigm shift that is more inclusive of accented Spanish, English, and Spanglish.”36

From the late 1990s to the mid-2000s, cable television, on the other hand, offered more options for English-dominant, bicultural, U.S.-born Latinxs. Marketers at the time began to grapple with how to target U.S-born Latinxs and began to no longer equate the Latinx market with the Spanish language, arguing that “the core of feeling Latino is not just about language.…It really is about identity.”37 Consequently, this period saw the rise of cable channels such as SiTV, Mun2, LATV, and MTV Tr3s, which attempted to capture the Latinx youth audience by embracing Latinx culture, music, and bilingualism. As Manuel Avilés-Santiago and Jillian Báez argue, “these niche networks configured a televisual landscape that featured a dynamic platform of representation of cultural hybridity. This platform included a linguistically flexible approach reflecting the code-switching ability of bilingual viewers.”38 Nonetheless, there was a lack of traction with the audience, which triggered a full rebranding of some channels and the disappearance of others.39 The failure of these channels to capture a sizeable bilingual, bicultural niche audience can be partly attributed to cable’s paywall, which served as a barrier to access for audiences.

Although cable’s strategy of Latinx narrowcasting proved unsuccessful, SME was able to successfully tap into and capture the Latinx millennial niche audience. This was facilitated through the proliferation of smart phones, ubiquitous internet access, and social media usage during the digital era. Thus, SME catered to digitally native millennials through technology and easily accessible content. The origins of SME as a proto-industry can be traced to 2006, shortly after Google’s acquisition of YouTube and the launch of Twitter, Youku, and Weibo.40 SME is defined as an emerging proto-industry at the nexus of social media communication and entertainment content that is “fueled by professionalizing previously amateur content creators using new entertainment and communicative formats…to develop potentially sustainable businesses based on significant followings that can extend across multiple platforms.”41 SME’s infrastructure relies on diverse and competing platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, Snapchat, and TikTok, which feature online video players and social networking affordances.42 By building media brands based upon their personalities and “authenticity,” content creators have had the ability to capitalize on these platforms’ commercial features for revenue streams and diverse business models.43

Importantly, as Stuart Cunningham and David Craig underscore, digital streaming and social networking platforms are transforming screen industries in the twenty-first century. These platforms, for example, offer advertisers a greater value proposition when compared to legacy media and offer creators the ability to produce “significantly different content, separate from the century-long model of intellectual property control and exploitation in the legacy content industries.”44 In contrast to legacy media and its models of professionalizing talent, SME offers low barriers to entry, access to the means of digital production, low-production budgets, and greater content and career control for creators.45 For example, SME does not require the formal training or apprenticeships needed to work in legacy media, and creators do not need to rely on funding and greenlighting from networks and studios to produce and distribute content. There is also virtually no division of labor; the creator simultaneously plays the role of actor, writer, director, producer, editor, location scout, composer, and visual effects supervisor.46 Given these low barriers to entry, SME is more multicultural and racially and gender diverse than legacy media and engages in unparalleled content innovation.47 This means that content creators historically excluded from legacy media as a result of systemic barriers have had an easier time participating within SME.

Seeking to capitalize on the potential of SME, a large number of firms developed and professionals entered to act as brokers between SME creators and platforms, and between SME and other industries.48 These intermediaries assist content creators, platforms, advertisers, and traditional media in their efforts to extract greater commercial value.49 The prime example of intermediaries such as these are multichannel networks (MCNs). MCNs sign creators, launch and/or manage a network of YouTube channels, and help monetize content. Whereas some MCNs target mass audiences and are scale driven, others, such as mitú and Pero Like, “focus on attracting niche markets, genres of talent, and verticals of interest defined by culture, language, and community.”50 With the proliferation of competing social media platforms, MCNs transformed into multiplatform networks (MPNs), seeking to maximize revenue streams across various platforms.51

Realizing that traditional Hispanic media content skews older and that no digital hub for Latinx millennials existed, Beatriz Acevedo, Doug Greiff, and Roy Burstin founded the new media company mitú in 2012.52 Foregoing the broadcast model and capitalizing on the younger demographics’ migration to the web, mitú launched as an MCN on YouTube in May of 2012 to target a Latinx audience aged 13 to 34.53 The company contracted top Latinx creators and influencers, eventually attracting two billion monthly video views across platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Vine, and earning more than 100 million global subscribers by 2016. Expanding from its Santa Monica headquarters, it also created hubs in Mexico City and Bogotá, raised millions of dollars in funding, and worked with companies such as Pepsi, Nestlé, Televisa, and Discovery.54

Similarly, Pero Like was born in February 2016 as a result of the advocacy efforts of a group of Latinx employees of Buzzfeed, a digital media company that focuses on news and entertainment. Feeling frustrated that their Latinx content was misunderstood and marginalized within Buzzfeed, content creators Norberto Briceño, Alex Alvarez, Jazmin Ontiveros, and Jenny Lorenzo decided they needed their “own table” to make “content for the culture, by the culture.”55 Wanting their own platform and editorial control over their content, these creators convinced Buzzfeed leadership to create a “distributed project” for Latinx audiences, conceived as a collaboration between BuzzFeed’s editorial team and BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Thus, Alvarez and Briceño announced the debut of Pero Like:

We’re launching as a Facebook and YouTube channel, making content that resonates with English-speaking Latinxs (who are, to put it mildly, kind of a big deal). We’re a group that’s historically been under- and misrepresented in media, and we’re here to change that. The purpose of this initiative is to feature the best, funniest, smartest, and most in-depth look at the myriad identities under the “Latinx” umbrella. This is for [B]laxicans in LA, Tejanos in Corpus Christi, Cubans in Miami (and their abuelitas), and everyone who’s been told they don’t “look Latina.” It’s for the bold, the proud, the creative, and even the hopelessly awkward. We’re here for you too, man.56

Pero Like therefore sought to capture young, bilingual, bicultural, digitally native Latinx audiences by providing representations of Latinx panethnicity. Over the years, the MPN has employed content creators of a myriad of Latinx nationalities and ethnicities, including Cuban-, Mexican-, Salvadoran-, Colombian-, Puerto Rican–, and Dominican-Americans.

SME then represents a new form of media practice and representation that is part of a broader, longstanding history of Latinx media in the U.S. Marking an industrial shift from legacy media, SME has enabled the unprecedented participation of diverse creators, particularly a considerable number of Latinas. SME as a technological, generic, and cultural form constitutes an identifiably new phenomenon, insofar as it enables and spreads new conversations about identity. As the following case studies demonstrate, the nature of SME allows creators to examine panethnicity in new terms and thus enables a different set of possibilities than legacy media.

SME videos produced by Latina millennial content creators push against homogenized Latinx media representations and the flattening of difference. By striking a balance between content that is ethnically specific while also representing and appealing to the wider Latinx panethnic collective, these content creators give rise to, enable, and facilitate experiential panethnicity for SME Latinx audiences. This is demonstrated through Jenny Lorenzo’s abuela character, who represents a universal immigrant Latina grandmother. Donning a short, gray hair wig, glasses, and loose-fitting clothing—either a long dress or the traditional Latina abuela bata (dressing gown)—Lorenzo comedically parodies the attitudes, habits, expressions, hyperboles, and superstitions of immigrant Latina grandmothers. Abuela’s dialogue is predominantly delivered in Cuban-accented Spanish, although at times she code-switches to include Cuban-accented English. Through this character, Lorenzo not only depicts the ethnic specificity of Cubans and Cuban-Americans, but also of a Latinx, immigrant, panethnic imaginary. Her content resonates with Latinx millennial audiences that grew up with immigrant relatives. Maya Murillo’s content, on the other hand, showcases Mexican-American/Chicano ethnic specificity. She articulates the politics of Latinx millenniality by focusing on generational differences and on Latinx belonging and authenticity.

Lorenzo first introduced her Latina abuela character in 2015 on Buzzfeed’s YouTube channel As/Is. The Spanish-language video, titled “When Abuela Wants You to Eat,” would also appear later on Pero Like after the channel’s launch in 2016.57 Standing next to various Catholic candles, a bottle of holy water, and other religious paraphernalia, Lorenzo impersonates immigrant Latina abuelas by mimicking their repeated attempts to feed their grandchildren. In this video, Abuela appears on screen continuously asking her offscreen grandson if he’s eaten and badgering him to stop playing video games. Satirizing abuelas’ use of hyperbole, the protagonist warns her grandchild that he’ll become skinny if he doesn’t eat, to the point where he’ll become unrecognizable and like a skeleton in a few days, thereby becoming perfect for trico tri (trick or treat). In true abuela fashion, she appears in the next scene trying to overfeed her grandson, holding a plate with a giant mound of Cuban picadillo while asserting she’s served him a “small” plate. Anticipating resistance, she deploys intimidation and guilt tactics by threatening to smack him if he doesn’t eat, melodramatically declaring she’ll stand there and pray to Saint Lazarus, and stating in a sad tone, “Tú no quieres a tu abuela,” as she walks away with the plate of food.58 During the last scene, her grandson has finally acquiesced and is sitting at the dining table eating a feast, only to be greeted by Abuela, who comically warns him “Te vas a poner gordo.”59 His shocked and saddened face, along with Abuela’s antics, are nostalgic to bicultural millennials who grew up with immigrant elders and who remember being caught between being pressured to eat large servings of homecooked meals and body-shamed if they’re perceived to be overweight.

Capturing the ethnic specificity of living in a Latinx immigrant household, Lorenzo mimics Latinx immigrants’ disposition to ecological friendliness and sustainability through the “How Abuela Saves the Planet” video.60 Abuela’s superpower comes from her creative ability to reuse materials and extract the most utility out of home goods. Thus, as salsa music plays in the background, she is shown washing disposable plasticware for later reuse, using old clothes as rags for cleaning, converting leftover containers of margarine into Tupperware, using large containers of crackers to store rice, and rinsing and drying used paper towels. To stretch resources, Abuela adds water to almost-empty shampoo and soap containers, reuses cooking oil, extracts every last bit of toothpaste from the tube, keeps a drawer full of leftover restaurant ketchup and sauce packets (known as los paquetitos), and saves a collection of fast-food napkins in her car’s glove compartment. Although Lorenzo’s Abuela videos often rely on satire for comedic relief, this video operates differently. It doesn’t poke fun of Abuela, but rather respectfully and jovially showcases Abuela’s everyday sustainable practices. In doing so, it normalizes habits that may seem foreign, a bit exaggerated, and comedic to non-immigrant audiences. Through this video, Lorenzo captures the panethnic experience of growing up in a Latinx immigrant household and the situations youth encounter through older relatives’ habits. In the last scene, Abuela’s granddaughter reaches for a blue cookie tin, nostalgically prompting Latinx audiences to question whether the container will in fact contain cookies or a sewing kit. Given that these tins are traditionally used by Latinx immigrant households to store sewing materials, it comes as a surprise that the granddaughter finds cookies inside the tin with a note from Abuela, saying “I love you.”

The first two videos I have discussed focus on the habits of Lorenzo’s universal Latina immigrant grandmother character, but the following video details a more ethnically specific portrayal of the Cuban exile experience. In “Abuela Reacts to Fidel Castro’s Death,” Abuela’s grandchildren are shown celebrating the death of polemic leader Fidel Castro.61 Given the long life Castro lived despite the various attempts on his life, Abuela initially refuses to believe he’s passed away. When she finally accepts his death, she stares at the ground in a serious manner and has flashbacks that reveal old pictures of her family with the image and sounds of a plane superimposed. This scene thus recalls the exodus some Cubans embarked on after the island’s revolution of 1959 and the life they had to live as exiles in the U.S. Abuela grabs a pot and a spoon, indicating she’s partaking in the popular form of protest known as a cacerolazo, and she joins her grandchildren, who are chanting “¡Cuba sí! ¡Castro no!” as they head to celebrate in Miami’s Calle 8. Through this ethnically specific sketch, Lorenzo provides non-Cuban audiences with exposure to Cuban-American politics and migratory experiences, thus facilitating experiential panethnicity.

Whereas Lorenzo’s grandmother character represents Latinx transnational diasporas, Murillo’s videos center on the experiences of third-generation Latinxs. Murillo articulates the politics of Latinx millenniality through a focus on Mexican-American identity, generational differences, and belonging. This is evinced in Murillo’s first video for Pero Like, “When You Suck at Being Latina,” which highlights the interplay between Latinidad, worthiness, belonging, and authenticity by showing Murillo’s inability to understand practices that are commonly understood by Latinxs.62 For example, after discussing how someone has given her bad vibes, a friend offers Murillo an egg and tells her to rub it all over her body. She, however, doesn’t understand what to do with the egg and comedically breaks it and rubs it all over her hands. By not recognizing that the egg is to be used for a limpia, an Indigenous ritual that uses an egg to purge the body of bad energies, Murillo implies that she’s not an “authentic” Latina. The video also showcases the struggles she faces when Latinxs assume she speaks Spanish. In a scene where another peer code-switches from English to Spanish while speaking to Murillo, the content creator cuts to her internal dialogue, revealing that she doesn’t understand what her colleague is saying. She therefore decides to simply agree with his words, only to make a fool out of herself because she unknowingly agrees that she enjoys eating cockroaches. In the next scene, Murillo is asked about her quinceañera, a rite of passage celebration for Latinas. When she discloses that she never had one, the person chatting with her responds, “so you never became a real woman.”

Murillo addresses issues of Latinx authenticity and food preferences in the following scene set in a restaurant. She inquires whether the burrito on the menu is spicy and asks the Latino server for one without cilantro, tomatoes, and onions. The Latino server looks at her with disdain and calls her a “pinche pocha,” a pejorative term used to describe Mexican-Americans who are perceived to be Americanized and who use English-accented Spanish or do not speak Spanish. The video serves to poke fun at notions of Latinx authenticity by showing the struggles Murillo faces for not having the cultural capital to navigate Latinx norms. The last scene, where she appears dancing on screen with the words “but despite the ‘fails,’ you don’t feel any less Latina,” helps to validate her Latinidad despite perceptions she may not be an “authentic” Latina.

Further exploring notions of Latinx belonging and authenticity, Murillo reclaims the pejorative term “pocha” in the “Pocha Concha” series. In the first video, “What is a Pocha?,” she explains that a “pocha” is a negative word, “a derisive term typically used by native-born Mexicans when referring to U.S.-born Mexicans who do not speak Spanish; they are not considered Mexican or American.”63 Relating it to her experiences, Murillo says that it “basically means that your accent sucks when you speak Spanish” and that “you are like fourth-generation Mexican-American; me basically.” She explains that it is a term used to offend someone and to tell them “they’re not Latin enough.” She goes on to discuss the impact of the expectation that she speak Spanish as a Latina has had on her. For instance, when Latinxs realize she does not speak Spanish, they act surprised and judge her, blaming her parents for not teaching her the language. They explain that not knowing the language is a “disgrace to our culture.” The times Murillo attempted to speak Spanish, she mentions she was told her Spanish was not good, and she was discouraged from speaking more. Such pressure made her feel like a constant failure and thus pushed her away from Latinx culture. Nonetheless, by the end of the video, Murillo shares that she loves being Mexican-American and that being third-generation does not make her any less Latina. In an act of defiance, Murillo reclaims the pejorative term “pocha” by combining it with her favorite Mexican pastry, the concha, to form the term “pocha concha.” She encourages viewers to “go ahead, use ‘pocha concha.’ Use it, and use it proud, and don’t let anyone else tell you that you’re not enough in any situation. Take control of it; be you; be empowered by it.”

Murillo also explores her Mexican-American background and identity in the 2019 video “We Tried Authentic Chicano Tacos.”64 She and her father, Patrick, travel to Barrio Logan, San Diego, California, a mecca for Chicanxs. The neighborhood is home to Chicano Park, a park created as a result of the local community’s fight to preserve public space amidst changes in zoning laws that were transforming the barrio into an industrial district. Although local residents intended to use adjacent parcels of land to expand the neighborhood’s park, in 1970 the city and state began construction of a California highway patrol station on those parcels. Feeling betrayed, the community occupied the land, organized demonstrations, and eventually forced city officials to designate those parcels for the park. Chicano Park famously houses the largest concentration of Chicano murals in the United States. It is also the site for Chicano Park Day, an annual celebration hosted in April since 1971 to commemorate the land occupation that resulted in the creation of the park.

The video of Murillo’s journey to Chicano Park is significant as it underscores the evolution of Murillo’s identity from Mexican-American to Chicana, as she declares that her father is a Chicano and that she is a Chicana. Chicana/o/@/x identity grows out of a politicized sense of identity that developed in the 1960s when activists sought to counter Anglo-American hegemony and government-imposed categorizations of people of Mexican descent in the U.S.65 Chicano identity offered an empowering and culturally nationalist alternative to terms such as Mexican-American. Chicanismo highlights the Indigenous origins of people who are of Mexican descent in the U.S., particularly through the concept of Aztlán—the mythical homeland of the Aztecs. This concept is important as it frames Chicanxs as ancestral peoples on U.S. land and serves to counter hegemonic discourses of Mexican descendants as foreigners and others.66

While trying Chicano tacos at the restaurant ¡Salud!, Patrick introduces viewers to his upbringing and Chicano culture, discussing how he was part of a lowriders’ car crew and dressed in zoot suits. He mentions that instead of assimilating into Anglo culture, he preserved his Mexican-American culture and roots. When asked what it means to be Chicano, he says, “Chicano is just a way to claim my identity back from colonization. We believe that Aztlán will come back, which is the place where the Aztecas came. As we return to America, from all parts of the word, we’re re-establishing Aztlán as we go, with our culture, with our style, with our dress. Minus the violence. The hybrid of our culture, the best of both worlds.” As he concludes his definition, he points to his daughter and calls her “the hybrid of the hybrid.” Through this video, Murillo and her father articulate the politics of diverse Latinx generational cohorts in the U.S., representing second- and third-generation Chicanxs respectively. In doing so, this content mediates ideological panethnicity by interrogating the notion of Latinxs as predominantly recent immigrants. Furthermore, this video serves to expose audiences to ethnically specific Chicanx content, facilitating experiential panethnicity for audiences not familiar with this identity.

Lorenzo and Murillo’s videos illustrate how Latinx millennials simultaneously identify with ethnic or national origin and with the wider panethnic collective. Through ethnically specific representations and through the exploration of Latinx generational differences, these content creators expose audiences to the diversity of ethnicities and experiences within Latinidad, thus enabling experiential panethnicity.

Another way Latina millennial content creators showcase ethnic specificity and articulate the politics of Latinx millenniality is through mediating and negotiating the diversity of language practices within the panethnic Latinx community. In the videos of Jenny Lorenzo, Julissa Calderon, and Maya Murillo, these creators strategically develop vocal bodies, or “all aspects of a person’s speech, such as perceived accent(s), intonation, speaking volume, and word choice” that serve to audibly racialize and gender someone and to mediate racial and ethnic authenticity.67 The deployment of these vocal bodies in SME videos facilitates experiential panethnicity through the lens of millennials by exposing audiences to the diversity of Latinx and Latin American ethnic vernacular, showcasing bilingualism, and challenging the assumption that all Latinxs speak Spanish. By privileging what Sara V. Hinojos and Dolores Inés Casillas call an “accented listener,” or “one raised or surrounded by immigrant speakers,” these Latina content creators represent some of the myriad language practices across Latinx generational cohorts and produce content predominantly legible to bicultural Latinx millennials.68

Lorenzo’s Cuban and bilingual vocal body is showcased through the “Spanglish con Yenny” series, dramatized videos about Abuela’s day-to-day life, and the “Abuela Pronounces” videos that appear on mitú and Pero Like. In the former, Jenny, or “Yenny” when pronounced in Spanish, explains Cuban-accented Spanglish words, their uses, and their importance to her childhood as an immigrant descendant Latinx millennial. Through a series of videos, audiences are introduced to words such as conflei (corn flakes), Vivaporu (Vicks VapoRub), Feibu (Facebook), el paree (the party), el mol (the mall), los pampel (diapers), lonche (lunch), parquear (park), frizar (freeze), typear y printear (type and print), and janguear (hang out). This series filters Spanglish through the lens of bilingual, bicultural Latinx millennials who were exposed to Spanish-speaking Latinx immigrants yet grew up in the U.S. speaking English. Lorenzo’s content advances experiential panethnicity by introducing audiences to ethnically specific, Cuban- and Caribbean-accented vernacular Spanglish. Whereas words such as conflei, Vivaporu, and parquear may be universally understood by Latinx accented listeners, Mexican-descendant listeners are exposed to new words such as los pampel and Feibu (los pampers and el Face in Mexican Spanglish). Similar dynamics are reproduced in the “Abuela Pronounces” series, in which Lorenzo comedically recreates Spanish-dominant Latina grandmothers’ pronunciation of English-language words. The beloved abuela character, for example, provides Spanish-accented English pronunciations of English-language movie titles, such as Toy Estori (Toy Story), Pokemon names, Harry Potter spells, gringo names, and cities in Florida while offering comedic commentary. In this manner, Lorenzo juxtaposes language practices and generational differences while appealing to Latinx millennial accented listeners through nostalgia and millennial popular culture references.

Similarly, content creator Julissa Calderon employs a bilingual, Dominican ethnically specific vocal body that privileges an accented listener. In the Pero Like video “Things that Make Dominicans Say Coño,” Calderon and co-star Gadiel Del Orbe comically introduce non-Dominican viewers to the idiom “coño,” a word whose meaning has evolved in Caribbean culture to express a variety of emotions defined by the tone used.69 Through short sketches that express a gamut of emotional reactions—ranging from being woken up by an angry mother, burning yourself, happily dancing, and being upset that someone has finished the quintessential Dominican alcoholic beverage Mama Juana—the video teaches audiences how and when to use “coño.” The interplay between ethnically specific language practices and the facilitation of experiential panethnicity is further evidenced through Calderon and Del Orbe’s Pero Like series “KLOK,” pronounced in Spanish as a homonym for the Dominican idiom “que lo que” (what’s up). Throughout the series, the content creators rely on code-switching among Spanish, English, and Dominican vernacular. The series showcases traditional Dominican culture through references to bachata, Dominican figures, food, and drink.

In a video from the series, Calderon and Del Orbe underscore the language practices of bicultural, bilingual Dominican millennials by demonstrating the various ways Dominicans use the expression “vaina”—an idiom that typically means “thing” or “stuff.”70 With great on-screen banter, they roleplay a conversation in Spanish riddled with uses of “vaina” and Dominican references that become unintelligible to non-Dominican viewers. Nonetheless, the video humorously provides English subtitles that decode the conversation for non-accented listeners. At the end of the video, Calderon and Del Orbe encourage viewers to use the comment section to let them know if their nationality or ethnicity uses “vaina” or what word is used in its place. They also give viewers permission to use the idiom, declaring them Dominican after having watched this video. In this way, they give prominence to Dominican Spanish while also promoting experiential panethnicity.

In the case of Maya Murillo, her videos articulate the politics of Latinx millenniality as it pertains to language practices by showcasing the struggles with belonging and authenticity that Latinxs who do not speak Spanish experience. Murillo showcases these dynamics in a twelve-minute video in the “Pocha Concha” series, which details her experiences trying to learn Spanish in 60 days.71 She begins the video crying and stating that she has a fear she will not allow herself to learn the language, thereby foregrounding the emotional journey she is about to embark on while processing self-doubt, shame, and trauma. To understand her relationship with Spanish, Murillo interviews her parents to learn why they didn’t teach her the language while growing up. Underscoring the discrimination Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have faced for speaking Spanish in the U.S., Murillo’s mom, Kathy, explains that although her parents grew up speaking the language, they didn’t teach it to her. She attributes this partly to her family moving to a non-Latino neighborhood and the pressure they faced to assimilate to limit exposure to discrimination. Kathy mentions that growing up in a middle class Mexican-American family, her parents wanted their children to “have equal opportunity with all of the other kids that were in the school.” Therefore, they didn’t want their children to have accents nor to “carry what they thought might be excess baggage that they had growing up.”

On Murillo’s paternal side, everyone in the family spoke Spanish. Yet her father recounts how his family would make fun of him for the way he spoke it; as a result, he decided to lose the language. Murillo then interviews her paternal grandmother, Susie, who shares that when she started school, she did not know how to ask her teachers to go to the bathroom because she only spoke Spanish and could have therefore urinated herself. That shame and trauma forced her to prioritize teaching her children English. Having learned about her family’s complex history with language discrimination, Maya then decides to partake in a 60-day challenge to learn Spanish by working with a tutor who specializes in heritage speakers. Audiences are given snapshots of Murillo’s tutoring sessions, time spent studying grammar and vocabulary, conversations to practice the language with coworkers, frustrations with learning the past tense, the self-doubt she experienced, and her performance on an oral exam. By the end of the video, Murillo proudly reflects on her progress and accomplishments, having sung in Spanish, appeared in a Pero Like video speaking Spanish, and feeling more connected to her culture. Through this video, Murillo articulates ideological panethnicity through the lens of a millennial by dispelling the notion that all Latinxs know Spanish and by elucidating the history of language discrimination that Latinx generational cohorts have experienced historically in the U.S.

Bringing to the forefront the interplay between language practices and ethnic specificity, in another “Pocha Concha” video, Murillo comes to the realization that while most Latinxs learn Spanish from their families, she acquired it mainly from her Dominican Pero Like co-workers, Calderon and Del Orbe. Murillo mentions that when she spoke to fellow Mexican-American colleague Norberto Briceño and used Caribbean expressions such as “ya tú sabe” (you know), he responded, “Maya, that’s super Dominican. You’re not Dominican, you’re Mexican.”72 Murillo’s Dominican-Spanish highlights the process of Latinx transculturation and experiential panethnicity, whereby diverse Latinx ethnicities and cultures merge and converge. Wanting to connect with her Mexican ancestry, Murillo embarks on a new journey through the video “I Learned How to Use Mexican Slang.” The video begins with Murillo calling her first-generation Mexican-American grandmother to learn slang, picking up expressions such as “simón” (yes), “ay te wacho” (I’ll see you), and “así nomás” (just like that). Thereafter, she speaks to her father, who qualifies his slang as being “neighborhood and border style” slang that bridges Spanish and English words. Murillo thereby realizes that the slang she grew up with is a Mexican-American, Spanglish, borderlands slang that differs from Mexican slang from Mexico. As a result, she seeks out two Mexican coworkers, who give her a crash course on appropriate and inappropriate Mexican slang, teaching her expressions such as “güey” (dude), “¿qué onda?” (what’s up), “¿qué pedo?” (what’s up?; what’s the issue?), “qué padre” (how cool), “no mames” (stop messing around), and “aguas” (watch out). Murillo concludes by telling viewers that she used to feel disappointed in herself for not knowing Mexican slang, but through this challenge she pushed herself outside her comfort zone, learned a lot, and can now teach her Mexican-American family these idioms.

As these videos demonstrate, Latina content creators express the politics of Latinx millenniality in terms of language practices by developing vocal bodies, privileging accented listeners, underscoring ethnically specific vernacular and bilingualism, and contesting the notion that all Latinxs speak Spanish. Through this articulation and negotiation of diverse Latinx language practices from a millennial point of view, these content creators mediate ideological panethnicity and facilitate experiential panethnicity.

Not only do Latina SME content creators mediate the politics of Latinx millenniality in terms of language practices, but they also do so in terms of race by exploring the legacies of racialization, colorism, and white privilege within Latinidad. Their videos contest dominant, Eurocentric beauty standards, anti-Blackness, and anti-Indigeneity, thus articulating an ideological panethnicity that is attuned to racial erasures and marginalizations within Latinidad. This negotiation of race from a millennial perspective is foregrounded particularly in the videos of Kat Lazo and Julissa Calderon.

Lazo’s videos articulate Latinx millennials’ negotiation of race and panethnicity. In the first episode of mitú’s “The Kat Call” series, “Why Are Novelas So White?,” Lazo explores colorism and mainstream representations of race in Latin American and Latinx media through a telenovela case study.73 The content creator outlines this format’s preference for light-skinned actors, with Indigenous and Black actors relegated to lower-class and servant roles or excluded from media narratives. Her video serves as an indictment of Latin American and Latinx racial hierarchies that privilege the phenotypically white. This is complimented by “Can Latinos Benefit from White Privilege?,” a video in which Lazo takes on Latinidad’s complicated relationship between race and ethnicity.74 The video begins with a sketch of a Latina student filling out a form that asks her to select her U.S.-based racial identity. Confused as to which race applies to her as a “tan” Latina, the student questions if she is white and worriedly concludes that she might have white privilege. Lazo interrupts the skit to clarify that no standard Latinx look exists and explains the impacts of European conquest and colonization in Latin America. The video describes processes of blanqueamiento, or racial whitening, that have created racial hierarchies in Latin America and resulted in the erasure of Black Latin Americans. Moreover, as Lazo explains, many Latinxs exhibit phenotypical features that are or sometimes pass as white in the U.S., therefore affording them white privilege that precludes them from being discriminated against because of their race. The video also interrogates internalized racism and anti-Blackness within the Latinx community, outlining the privileges afforded to fair-skinned and brown Latinas because of their proximity to whiteness. By interrogating Latinidad’s racial hierarchies, complicity in white supremacy, anti-Indigeneity, and anti-Blackness, Lazo’s videos articulate ideological panethnicity from the point of view of Latinx millennials.

In a similar vein, Calderon appears in and has produced videos for Pero Like that challenge Latinx erasure and discrimination against Afrolatinxs. The content creator produced the video “Afro-Latino & Proud,” in which a group of Afrolatinxs discuss the discrimination they have faced because of their identity.75 They also comment on the importance of Afrolatinx visibility and representation, and deconstruct the concept of the stereotypical Latina look. Calderon explains that to her, being Afrolatina means embracing two cultures, her African background and her Latinidad. Others talk about the importance of embracing their Blackness by bridging African American culture and Black Latinx culture despite being told they are not enough for either culture. They also explain the anti-Blackness they have experienced from Latinxs, the confusion they are met with when speaking Spanish, and their reactions to being told they do not look like the average Latina because of their skin color and hair.

These discussions are complimented by Calderon’s appearance in a video titled “What Afro-Latinos Want You to Know,” in which the relationship among racialization, Blackness, and Latinidad is analyzed.76 Speakers in the video question the notion of Latinx unity, calling out anti-Black racism within Latinidad, and argue that unity cannot be achieved until we stop discriminating against each other. Calderon and others discuss colorism and beauty standards within the Latinx community, whose white, Eurocentric ideal has cast Blackness as inferior and ugly. The content creator further explores the relationship among beauty standards, hair, and Latinidad in “Pelo Bueno, Pelo Malo (Good Hair, Bad Hair).”77 Here, Calderon and guests discuss the pressures, stigma, and discrimination they have faced from relatives, friends, and other Latinxs for being socialized to believe their Afro-textured hair is pelo malo. In an emotional clip, Calderon shares that after first getting her hair relaxed, she felt beautiful, happy, and like she belonged. This reveals the pressures Black Latinas have felt to conform to dominant Eurocentric beauty standards within the Latinx community. By discussing the troubled relationship these speakers have had with their hair, the video works as a means of catharsis. It concludes by showcasing the love they all now have for their hair and dismantling the notion of pelo malo.

By interrogating Latinidad’s racial hierarchies, contesting anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity, and dismantling dominant beauty standards, these Latina content creators articulate Latinx millennials’ negotiations of race. As a result, these creators assert an ideological panethnicity that encourages audiences to recognize Latinidad’s racial diversity and to celebrate historically marginalized Latinx racial subgroups.

By analyzing the work of Lorenzo, Lazo, Calderon, and Murillo featured on social media intermediaries mitú and Pero Like, I have demonstrated how Latinx millennials as a digitally native generational cohort come to navigate Latinidad and panethnicity. These creators articulate the politics of Latinx millenniality by negotiating ethnicity, race, generational differences, language practices, and beauty standards. They push against homogenized representations of Latinidad by showcasing ethnic specificity while also appealing to a wider panethnic collective. Their content features vocal bodies that center ethnically specific vernacular and bilingualism and dispel the notion that all Latinxs speak Spanish. Their videos also contest Latinidad’s hegemonic racial hierarchies by educating audiences on how anti-Blackness and anti-Indigeneity operate within the panethnic collective. In doing so, this SME content puts forth representations of ideological panethnicity that challenge Latinidad’s flattening of difference. By exposing audiences to the diversity of experiences within Latinidad, these spreadable videos also enable and facilitate experiential panethnicity for Latinx audiences.

SME represents the most recent iteration of coming to terms with a broad, panethnic category that continues to be problematic and contested. Although the work of these creators provides important representations of Latinidad and enables new forms of representation when compared to legacy media, the formulations of this identity on platforms such as Pero Like and mitú have not always been perceived as successful. As an example, Pero Like and mitú have been criticized by some Latinx audiences for creating monolithic, reductive, and stereotypical depictions of Latinidad. Some have accused these MPNs of creating tired caricatures, treading the line of cultural exploitation, and reducing Latinidad to tropes such as Hot Cheetos, tacos, pupusas, conchas, cacti, and Selena Quintanilla. Subsequent studies could help elucidate these tensions by focusing on audience reception of SME content.

Nevertheless, the content of the four creators analyzed in this article demonstrates how SME provides opportunities to produce and distribute content by, for, and about Latinxs. In a white, Anglo-dominated mediascape, these four content creators push against the flattening of difference and the othering of Latinxs. They celebrate and represent Latinidad on its own terms while challenging the marginalizations this ethnorace produces. By taking on issues such as race, ethnic diversity, generational differences, language practices, and beauty standards, the content of these four Latina millennials challenges viewers to envision a less oppressive and essentialized panethnic collective.

Thank you to Cristina Perez for her research assistance and to Mirasol Enríquez, Mary Beltrán, and Colin Gunckel for their invaluable feedback on early drafts of this article.

1.

“Segundo Impacto Parody,” YouTube, 2:43, posted by mitú, August 26, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V329bDW73wo.

2.

This article follows Pero Like and mitú’s practice of embracing Spanish- and English-language code-switching without subtitling or marking any language as foreign. Thus, I do not italicize Spanish or Spanglish words in this article. Translations will be provided in footnotes for non-Spanish- and non-Spanglish-dominant speakers. In addition, I use the term “Latinx” because I respect and value nonbinary and agender folks and the LGBTQIA+ community, and because it is used by Pero Like and mitú. When Latino or Hispanic appear in the text, it reflects the language employed by other scholars or practitioners whose work is being discussed. Latino is used to describe the Boomer generation and Generation X since the term “Latinx” was not part of the popular lexicon at the time.

3.

a man in

4.

If you don’t hear it here, you’ll die

5.

diapers

6.

Isabel Molina-Guzmán, Dangerous Curves: Latina Bodies in the Media (New York: New York University Press, 2010); Isabel Molina-Guzmán and Angharad N. Valdivia, “Brain, brow, and booty: Latina iconicity in US popular culture,” The Communication Review 7, no. 2 (2004): 205–21.

7.

Jenny Lorenzo, “Bio,” Jenny Lorenzo, http://www.jennylorenzo.com/bio.

8.

Beatriz García, “Julissa Calderon, an Afro-Latino Willing to ‘Make History’,” Al Día, July 28, 2020, https://aldianews.com/articles/culture/film-television/julissa-calderon-afro-latino-willing-make-history/59766.

9.

Milagros Ricourt and Ruby Danta, Hispanas de Queens: Latino Panethnicity in a New York City Neighborhood (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003), 10.

10.

For more on spreadability, see Spreadable Media: Creating Value and Meaning in a Networked Culture by Henry Jenkins, Sam Ford, and Joshua Green (New York: New York University Press, 2013).

11.

Ricourt and Danta, Hispanas de Queens, 10.

12.

Ibid., 10.

13.

Stuart Cunningham and David Craig, Social Media Entertainment: The New Intersection of Hollywood and Silicon Valley (New York: New York University Press, 2019); Jillian M. Báez, “Spreadable Citizenship: Undocumented Youth Activists and Social Media,” in The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Media, ed. María Elena Cepeda and Dolores Inés Casillas (New York: Routledge, 2017), 419–32; Manuel G. Avilés-Santiago, Puerto Rican Soldiers and Second-Class Citizenship: Representations in Media (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014); Viviana Rojas and Juan Piñón, “Voices from the Borderlands: Young Latinos Discuss the Impact that Culture and Identity Have on their Media Consumption,” in The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Media, 347–64; Hannah Grace Morrison, “Snapchat Page Mitú: Challenging the Patriarchy? Or Just Obsessing Over Flaming Hot Cheetos?,” Prose Studies 41, no. 2 (2020): 253–71; Manuel G. Avilés-Santiago and Jillian M. Báez, “Targeting Billennials: Billenials, Linguistic Flexibility, and the New Language Politics of Univision,” Communication Culture & Critique 12, no. 1 (2019): 128–46.

14.

Michael Dimock, “Defining Generations: Where Millennials and Generation Z Begin,” Pew Research Center, January 17, 2019, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/01/17/where-millennials-end-and-generation-z-begins/.

15.

Nilda Flores-González, Citizens but Not Americans: Race and Belonging among Latino Millennials (New York: New York University Press, 2017), 24.

16.

Ibid., 24–25.

17.

Ibid., 25.

18.

Ibid.

19.

G. Cristina Mora, Making Hispanics: How Activists, Bureaucrats, and Media Constructed a New American (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014); Arlene Dávila, Latinos, Inc.: The Marketing and Making of a People (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012).

20.

Flores-González, Citizens but Not Americans, 25.

21.

Ibid.

22.

Ibid., 17.

23.

Ibid., 18–19.

24.

Ibid., 17.

25.

Ibid., 24.

26.

Ibid.

27.

Ibid., 25.

28.

Ibid., 4.

29.

Ibid., 7.

30.

María Elena Cepeda, “Beyond ‘Filling in the Gap’: The State and Status of Latina/o Feminist Media Studies,” Feminist Media Studies 16, no. 2 (2016): 344–60, 350.

31.

For more on the flattening of difference, see Angharad N. Valdivia’s The Gender of Latinidad: Uses and Abuses of Hybridity.

32.

Amanda D. Lotz, The Television Will Be Revolutionized (New York: New York University Press, 2014).

33.

Dávila, Latinos, Inc.; Christopher Chávez, Reinventing the Latino Television Viewer: Language, Ideology, and Practice (Lanham, ID: Lexington Books, 2015).

34.

Chávez, Reinventing the Latino Television Viewer, 38.

35.

Dávila, Latinos, Inc., 34.

36.

Dávila, Latinos, Inc.; Chávez, Reinventing the Latino Television Viewer; Avilés-Santiago and Báez, “Targeting Billennials,” 129, 132.

37.

Mireya Navarro, “Focusing on an Attitude Rather Than a Language,” New York Times, September 25, 2006, https://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/25/arts/television/focusing-on-an-attitude-rather-than-a-language.html.

38.

Avilés-Santiago and Báez, “Targeting Billennials,” 133.

39.

Ibid., 133.

40.

Ibid., 5, 13.

41.

Cunningham and Craig, Social Media Entertainment, 5.

42.

Ibid., 5.

43.

Ibid., 13.

44.

Ibid., 4.

45.

Ibid., 11.

46.

Ibid., 12.

47.

Ibid., 11–12.

48.

Ibid., 117–18.

49.

Ibid., 118.

50.

Ibid., 132.

51.

Ibid., 140.

52.

Rae Votta, “MiTú Makes a Name for Itself in Latino Creative Community,” Daily Dot, March 1, 2020, https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/mitu-holiday-house-latino-influencers/.

53.

Lori Kozlowski, “MiTu, a YouTube Network Changing How Latino Content Creators and Audiences Connect,” Forbes, June 27, 2014, https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorikozlowski/2014/06/27/mitu-a-youtube-network-changing-how-latino-content-creators-and-audiences-connect/?sh=51cebb1c76dd.

54.

Votta, “MiTú Makes a Name”; Saba Hamedy, “How Latino Digital Network mitú is Winning Over Millennials, Investors,” Mashable, January 21, 2016, https://mashable.com/2016/01/21/how-latino-digital-network-mitu-is-winning-over-millennials-investors/.

55.

“Who Started Pero Like?,” YouTube, 17:56, posted by Pero Like, March 22, 2020, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st0_C0AbCQs.

56.

Shan Wang, “BuzzFeed Launches Pero Like, a Distributed Project for the ‘English-Speaking Latinx’ Community,” Nieman Lab, February 12, 2016, https://www.niemanlab.org/2016/02/buzzfeed-launches-pero-like-a-distributed-project-for-the-english-speaking-latinx-community/.

57.

“When Abuela Wants You To Eat,” YouTube, 0:47, posted by As/Is, September 26, 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7PdGlV7rp8.

58.

You don’t love your grandmother

59.

You’ll become fat

60.

“How Abuela Saves the Planet,” YouTube, 1:18, posted by mitú, May 8, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwArzvVDa_4.

61.

“Abuela Reacts to Fidel Castro's Death,” YouTube, 0:44, posted by mitú, November 28, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_O9cJOIpGI.

62.

“When You Suck At Being Latina,” YouTube, 1:32, posted by Pero Like, August 2, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A78fqiH_frU.

63.

“What is a Pocha?,” YouTube, 2:04, posted by Pero Like, March 11, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2GiZhWoD-k.

64.

“We Tried Authentic Chicano Tacos,” YouTube, 6:19, posted by Pero Like, May 29, 2019, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHwpTq2XHPM.

65.

Sheila Marie Contreras, “Chicana, Chicano, Chican@, Chicanx,” in Keywords for Latina/o Studies, ed. Deborah R. Vargas, Nancy Raquel Mirabal, and Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes (New York: New York University Press, 2017), 32–35.

66.

It’s important to underscore that Chicanismo has been criticized for its appropriation of Indigenous culture and that the Chicano Movement was machista and heteronormative.

67.

Dolores Inés Casillas, Juan Sebastian Ferrada, and Sara V. Hinojos, “The Accent on Modern Family: Listening to Representations of the Latina Vocal Body,” Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies 43, no. 1 (2018): 61–88, 62.

68.

Sara V. Hinojos and Dolores Inés Casillas, “Don’t be Self-Conchas: Listening to Mexican Styled Phonetics in Popular Culture,” Sounding Out!, May 5, 2017, https://soundstudiesblog.com/2017/05/05/dont-be-self-conchas-listening-to-mexican-styled-phonetics-in-popular-culture/.

69.

“Things that Make Dominicans Say Coño,” YouTube, 0:54, posted by Pero Like, November 17, 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rztI_swYRXA.

70.

“Different Ways Dominicans Use Vaina,” YouTube, 2:05, posted by Pero Like, July 29, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BZVU0CRCqU&pbjreload=101.

71.

“I Tried to Learn Spanish in 60 Days,” YouTube, 11:55, posted by Pero Like, February 3, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLgCWogAOoc.

72.

“I Learned How to Use Mexican Slang,” YouTube, 6:04, posted by Pero Like, September 15, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS4cvN_ETCQ.

73.

“Why Are Novelas So White?,” YouTube, 3:01, posted by mitú, March 12, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tV_10CdkvSI.

74.

“Can Latinos Benefit from White Privilege?,” YouTube, 6:26, posted by mitú, January 27, 2018, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWt2vy9DHsc.

75.

“Afro-Latino & Proud,” YouTube, 2:09, posted by Pero Like, February 11, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCpg4PcionQ.

76.

“What Afro-Latinos Want You to Know,” YouTube, 3:31, posted by Pero Like, November 12, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZX7EmIYdeKA.

77.

“Pelo Bueno, Pelo Malo (Good Hair, Bad Hair),” YouTube, 2:42, posted by Pero Like, March 3, 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOLn6hZqtAw.