Where do I even begin?
I have always been appreciative of free prompts and guidelines in my college classes. I find it beneficial to my learning as a student when a professor takes heavy parameters away from writing, such as Dr. A has done for us in this assignment. Therefore, the Representation & Identity Report assignment could not be more perfect for me and my research on telenovelas... or could it? If all expectations for this assignment are favorable, then why am I having such a difficult time trying to decide what to focus on?
I assume that I am having this issue simply because my chosen telenovela for this assignment is La Reina del Sur. The story of Teresa Mendoza is so distinct and diverse. It is hard for me to layout and plan a paper focusing on the representations and identities depicted in the telenovela when they are each so vast. In lecture, we have discussed how topics like gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation can all relate to representations and identities in the world of telenovela production. I feel that each individual topic can be considered very general in the broad scope of telenovela stories, yet can also be very specific when tailored to the story of a character.
If I wrote my paper on gender, I could discuss how Teresa is not like most female leads in telenovelas. The struggles that she had to endure following the death of Guero made her very independent and self-confident. She emulates a character who is very sure of herself and her decision-making capabilities. This differs from the traditional female role presented in the majority of telenovelas.
If I wrote my paper on ethnicity, I could discuss how Teresa identifies with her Mexican roots in Spain. She is nicknamed "la mexicana" by everyone she encounters abroad, and even sometimes has issues with language idioms and pronunciation that differs between Mexican Spanish and Traditional Spanish. In addition, I could elaborate on the presentation on Moroccan culture in Spain and how the language and customs are portrayed in the eyes of the characters.
If I wrote my paper on sexual orientation, I could discuss how, so far in my viewing of the telenovela, every romantic interaction is heterosexual. The prostitution club, Yamila, that Teresa and her friends work at, helps to add to this notion of man-to-woman sexual contact as being the norm. There is a certain air of male dominance and female submission demonstrated with the use of this club.
With all of these examples, it is evident that La Reina del Sur contains many elements that relate to the topics of representation and identity. I could write a paper that encompasses details on each of these topics, or I could write a paper that singles out one topic and dives deeper into its evaluation. Needless to say, I have a lot of thinking and work to do before Tuesday, September 29th!