Model Latina arrives in Miami with an admirable purpose

The 16th floor of Miami’s avant garde Epic Hotel provided quite the sensory experience for its poolside guests this past Saturday, hosting the promotional set for SiTV’s reality television show “Model Latina.” From buzzing crew members trying to get it right to 15 vivacious women posing gracefully on the breezy balcony, the scene was not one to be ignored.

The deck is absorbing. To one side, twin crystalline infinity pools flow endlessly at the foot of elegantly stacked cabanas containing tropical drinks and artificially sun-kissed tourists. To the other, hard work and dedication come alive in front of cameras and spotlights as the contestants of the show’s second season work for the best shot. The Biscayne backdrop intensifies the spectacle more than thought possible.

In between shoots, the exotic-looking women hustle to meet the press. Away from the cameras, each girl seems more tangible. As questions range from their favorite ethnic food to what they plan to do with the $10,000 prize money, its obvious there’s more to these girls than just looks.

And that is exactly the message SiTV wants to convey to its 20 million viewer demographic: attractive women can be strong, intelligent, self-assured and powerful players in today’s changing world.

“Young women can use their beauty as an opportunity; it can open doors for them,” said Maria Perez-Brown, the senior vice president of programming at SiTV, who created the show with the intention of fashioning positive female role models for young Latina women in the United States. “But what do you do when you get into that door?”

In a country where only a handful Hispanic women are noted for their strengths in business, talent and philanthropy, “Model Latina” pioneers in targeting bilingual Latina women who want to watch a modeling contest that hits closer to home.

“The women of ‘Model Latina are definitely not the women our mothers were. They are culturally mindful women, who appreciate their heritage, but also have evolved into a more modern, influential woman,” said contestant Sonia Miranda, when asked what makes a Model Latina.

There is no room for cultural stereotypes in this contest, either.

“It seems like the United Nations is represented on this show,” said Amanda Rodriguez Smith, another contestant who stands between three impressively diverse ladies – one Basque and Mexican, one Puerto Rican, Jamaican, German and Swedish, and one Mexican and Portuguese.

As many of them are college graduates or students, they digress about their plans for the future.

“The best part about [the girls]is that they all have alternative plans. They are not throwing it all away for 15 minutes of fame,” says René Aguirre, the director and producer of the marketing shoot.

When asked what advice she would give to motivated Latina women at the University of Miami, contestant Carolina Arellano said, “Reach for the starts. Strong women can pursue anything they want, no matter what part of society they belong to. Take risks. Remember your roots. And most importantly, never be discouraged.”

Quick Facts:

Who: Fifteen hot Latina women compete for the grand prize of $10,000 and a modeling contract with Q Models.

What: Contestants are put to the test in different areas of skill: modeling, editing, design, technical and camera work, etc., to prove they are more that “just a pretty face.”

Where: SiTV is based in Los Angeles, but is filming its entire second season of the reality show “Model Latina” in Miami.

When: To be announced. Currently in pre-production.

March 29, 2009


Nicolette Roque

Assistant News Editor

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

Lester Williams wasn’t on the field playing for the Miami Hurricanes when they won their first natio ...

An extremely frustrated University of Miami football coach Mark Richt began his media availability b ...

UM chatter: • One lesson learned in recent years, as one UM official put it: Don’t get your hopes up ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.