I follow Cristela Alonzo on Twitter, and I almost clapped like a giddy little school girl when I saw this tweet:
FACT: The Christmas and Quinceanera episodes of #Cristela were both written by me and oddly enough, they're some of my faves.
— Cristela Alonzo (@cristela9) March 21, 2015
I sort of assumed the episode would focus on the festivities, but the title "Fifteen-Something" alludes to how Josh, Cristela's white co-worker, refers to the Quinceanera. As it turns out, he is big focus of the story and, interesting to me, the dynamics of a white-Latina relationship.
Cristela the actress has been in a 10-year relationship with a white guy. And she wrote on her blog, "Getting a white guy in the family felt like my family had been promoted." She includes this perspective in her sitcom, which had me thinking, "I can't believe she went there!"
Her mom couldn't wait to show off Cristela's white boyfriend in front of a friend with whom she has a competitive relationship. "Take that, Juanita Canales," she says, "My daughter has a white boyfriend." She goes on to describe the perks of dating someone white:
She's so proud Cristela will be bringing a white guy to the Quinceanera, it's uncomfortable. Of course, my favorite one-liner was probably when the doorbell rings and Cristela says, "That's probably Josh."
Hilarious. But also pointed.
This episode really gave a peak into some of the challenges of race and injustice, and how those can affect a relationship. When Josh is confused by the attention he's receiving, Cristela explains that her mom sees dating a white guy as a status symbol. "You're like an expensive bag!" she tells him.
So often, when parental reactions to interracial dating are discussed, there's an implicit assumption that many parents would feel negatively towards the match. However, there can also be inappropriate enthusiasm. I thought Cristela did a great (and funny) job of illustrating this dynamic.
GIF Source: Culpepper & Associates
Have you ever experienced this dynamic in your relationship? Have you seen it play out in other situations?