On TV, on stage, on the field and on the radio, Hispanics hold sway. Hispanic culture is changing America.
The rapid rise of Univision Deportes Network (UDN), and the growing popularity of soccer in general, speaks to the continued mainstreaming of Hispanic culture.
Americans are increasingly embracing Hispanic artists, ball players, actors and ideas.
This has never been seen before in America on this scale.
several factors have allowed Hispanics to exert cultural influence in a way other groups have not. One, of course, is sheer size.
Hispanics number more than 55 million, roughly 17 percent of the U.S. population, and their numbers continue to grow. It’s only natural they’d begin to wield influence.
Another is their diversity. There are dozens of individual cultural identities within the U.S. Hispanic population.
There’s a familiarity to much of Hispanic culture because it originates so closely to our own. In many southern states along the border with Mexico, the countries are nearly interchangeable, which makes cultural interplay natural.
Here’s a look at just a few of the ways Hispanic culture has mainstreamed in the United States in recent years.
Soccer, long an afterthought in the U.S., is booming, and not only during World Cup years. The Copa America drew its biggest ratings ever this year, even outperforming the recent Stanley Cup finals. Olympic soccer posts huge numbers on NBCSN.
Nearly a third of Major League Baseball players, 29.3 percent, are Latino, and the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Cuba have the most foreign-born players. And one of the most popular boxers of recent decades, Oscar de la Hoya, is Mexican-American.
A decade ago, ABC had the crazy idea to adapt a telenovela as a dramedy. “Ugly Betty” became a surprise hit that ran for four seasons. It took a while since then, but novelas are hot again.
Some of the most successful artists today have Hispanic heritage, and they infuse their songs with Latin rhythms reflective of their native countries. These singers include Shakira, Pitbull (who features Latin music on his Sirius XM channel as well), Christina Aguilera, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and more.
Hispanics are especially active on Instagram and Twitter, and former Disney star Selena Gomez is the queen of Instagram, with more followers (89 million) than anyone else. She also posted the young-skewing social media site’s most-liked photo ever, of her drinking a Coke. Yes, she has outdrawn every Kardashian.
The lesson? You don’t have to be salacious to be influential, reflecting those strong Latino family values.
Latino fashion is big, colorful and bold. Hispanic culture embraces curves in a way Americans often eschew, which most women love.
Oscar de la Renta is the most famous Latino designer, of course, and his bold designs gained fame when Sarah Jessica Parker embraced them during the “Sex and the City” days.
Hispanics make up an important voting block–a record 27.3 million will be eligible to vote.