->''"For Europeans, South America is a mustached man with a guitar and a gun."''
-->-- '''Gabriel García Márquez'''

In real life, Latin America comprises a variety of ancestries and ethnic groups, making the region one of the most diverse in the world. The region is populated by a mix of the indigenous population who survived the colonization, descendants of Spanish and Portuguese colonists, African slaves and numerous immigrant populations who moved to the continent in the last two centuries from places as varied as Germany, Italy or Japan, leading to large numbers of the Latin American populations comprising (usually brown-skinned) [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mestizo various]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulatto kinds]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholo of]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zambo multi]][[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castizo racial]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardo people]], alongside the more customary "Whites", "Blacks", "Amerindians" and even "East Asians" who have sizeable communities in Peru and Brazil and "Arabs" such as in Chile.

However, in fiction, if a person is from a Latin American country, or, alternatively, his family originated from there, he will usually fit the stereotype of a [[AmbiguouslyBrown light brown-skinned person]], with dark hair and dark eyes; bonus points if that person uses Mexican slang or accent even if the character is not supposed to be Mexican. He will be a Roman Catholic and speak Spanish, but eat indigenous Mexican foods (tortillas, chiles, etc.), thus completing the mishmash. This is probably related to the fact that most visual media are produced in the area of Los Ángeles, which has a huge population of Mexicans, and increasingly Central Americans. The vast majority of which are of mestizo heritage who usually fit this appearance. This creates a mistaken belief that ''all people'' SouthOfTheBorder are brown-skinned multiracials, which flies straight in the face of the region's actual ethnic and racial diversity. This includes ostensibly non-Latino celebrities such as Creator/MartinSheen (part Galician) and Creator/SammyDavisJr. (part Cuban), most of whom have not called attention to their Latin heritage (Davis ''did'' claim to be part Puerto Rican instead of Cuban, [[ViewersAreMorons for fear people would think he was a communist]]).

This trope can be subverted if the Latino/a is visibly white, i.e. fair to medium skin, Caucasoid facial structure, light hair and/or eyes; a ''guero'' or ''guera''. If a non-white Latino/a dyes his/her hair a light color and/or wears blue or green contact lenses, this trope isn't subverted unless the character can reasonably pass for white. Additionally skin-bleaching generally won't help either, since it doesn't tend to cover up the Asiatic features of many American Indians; even Swedish-American actress Creator/KimBasinger, with her light blond hair and pale skin, still visibly shows her Cherokee heritage. Same for Africoid features in blacks unless you include [[Music/MichaelJackson plastic surgery]].

A similar problem is treating Latinos as if they are a separate race when they actually include ''all races''. Part of the problem is ValuesDissonance: ''raza'' does mean "race" in Latin American countries, but without the connotation of color that the related word has in English. A more accurate translation might be "people" or "society." Thus, not only are Latinos all brown, but they belong to "the brown race", which does not exist in modern anthropology. This is an inherently North American concept: the "separate-but-equal" racial classification system that arose in the United States and, to a lesser extent, in Canada never caught on in most Hispanic-American countries; in fact, even in the US, at least as far as the Census Bureau is concerned, "Hispanic" refers to ethnicity, not race. Ethnicity was much more often correlated to social class than to skin color, so a person with mixed ancestry but who had high social status could be considered "white" even if his/her skin tone was quite dark.

Because Latinos are considered an ethnic group, and ethnic groups can technically be multiracial, there are Latinos with almost every possible human skin tone. The confusion between ethnicity and race can lead to such misguided notions as noting that, on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, Haiti is "black" and the Dominican Republic is "Hispanic;" in fact, most of the inhabitants of ''both'' are black, just divided between French-speaking blacks and Spanish-speaking blacks (Dominican Republic is a tad more racially diverse than Haiti, however).

This trope is usually averted in actual Latin American productions, where producers are usually more realistic about this phenomenon. Telenovelas usually avert this, though some come under fire for only casting light-skinned white actors, or [[UnfortunateImplications giving only "servant" roles to those with darker skin]].

Strangely, this trope is never applied to other European peoples who have intermarried into Native populations: there are also the similar ''metis'' of French Canada and the mixed Scottish-Cherokee tribes of the Appalachian highlands, but no one ever describes Franco- or Scottish-Americans as being "brown." Though of course the French and the Scottish had smaller Native American gene pools with which to blend, and they also settled many places where Native Americans did ''not'' live (something that is much less true of the Spanish). Add to this the already dark skins of Spaniards (from living in a southerly climate) long before they settled the New World and the centuries-old perception of the Iberian peninsula as "exotic" due to invasion and conquest by Moors, and it's inevitable that a Latin American would be "brown" (no matter how pale compared to full-blooded Natives) while, say, a quarter-breed Cherokee with a Scottish last name would be "white."

This misperception can also apply to other AmbiguouslyBrown peoples. People from India, for example, are often assumed to be of a single race, when in fact the Indian subcontinent is home to at least ''three'' races and nearly three dozen ethnicities, some of whom are little to nothing like each other. One need only compare Bobby Jindal with Nikki Haley (although, ironically, both are Punjabi); this doesn't even include people of mixed European and Indian heritage, such as "white" British-American actress Nicolette Sheridan. The people of the Middle East are also often described as "brown", but that region is home to people of various stocks, including homelands as far-flung as North Africa and East Asia.

Related to PhenotypeStereotype and FacialProfiling (where people from a country are ''always'' depicted with coloring associated with that country), {{Spexico}} (where Hispanic Europeans are conflated with Latin Americans), LatinLand (especially when the trope portrays all Hispanic American countries as an uniform mass), TheCapitalOfBrazilIsBuenosAires (when LatinLand extends into Portuguese-speaking Brazil) and TheyJustDidntCare. Compare with InterchangeableAsianCultures. Since CulturalBlending is often involved, NotEvenBotheringWithTheAccent is very much expected in scenes featuring GratuitousSpanish.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Averted by Musca Dio in ''SaintSeiya'', who despite being from Mexico is very pale and has red (almost bordering on maroon) hair.
** Also Averted with Anime!Albiore, who while in the manga plays this trope straight, in the anime he's a handsome, blue eyed Argentinian.
* Averted with Pedro from ''Manga/KoeNoKatachi'', who is Afro Brazillian. His daughter Maria is half-Afro Brazillian and half-Japanese, and has dark skin and curly hair.
* Averted in ''Anime/MichikoToHatchin''. It takes place in a Brazil-like country. We have the blonde, pale Hatchin amongst the stereotypically SpicyLatina Michiko, and a lot of other characters from different ethnicities and backgrounds. Atsuko, another major character, is Afro Latina ([[DarkSkinnedBlonde with a blonde afro]]), as is a supporting character named Rita.
* Lara Gonzalez from ''Anime/SchoolRumble'' is Mexican and has black hair, dark eyes and dark skin.
* Played straight and subverted in ''Anime/TigerAndBunny.'' Hero Antonio Lopez has darker skin and dark brown hair (though his eyes are dark green.) Villain Jake Martinez on the other hand, has light skin, blue eyes and golden brown hair. The only Latino stereotype he seems to adhere to is being Catholic, though it's only hinted at and he's obviously not very devout.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Sunspot from the Comicbook/XMen and Comicbook/TheAvengers is Afro-Brazilian on his father's side (his mother is a white redhead), and in fact his very first appearance had him being victimized by a fellow Brazilian who mocked his black skin and facial features. Very rarely do artists reflect this, and instead tend to make him look like a generic American perception of what someone from Brazil would look like. [[DependingOnTheArtist Occasionally, you will see the rare artist who remembers to give him kinky hair and and a broad nose and lips]].
* Notably averted with Beatriz Dacosta, Fire from the ComicBook/JusticeLeagueInternational, who is Brazilian and white.
* Averted with Ginger Lopez from ''Franchise/ArchieComics'' and ''ComicBook/AfterlifeWithArchie''. She's latina and White. In fact she was created to replace Cheryl in rerun issues, as Cheryl was deemed too sexy and controversial, but eventually Cheryl was brought back and Ginger became her own normal character.
* Averted with Guero in ''Comicbook/AllNewGhostRider'', who has fair skin, blond hair, and freckles.
* Somewhat Averted with Sam Alexander in {{ComicBook/Nova}} due to being lighter skinned than his Latino mother and having blue eyes. However, it has most likely to do with inheriting from his Caucasian father.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* [[NationsAsPeople Spain]] from ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' is olive skinned, but loads of the fanart makes him [[RaceLift ridiculously dark-skinned]]. Rather noticeable in that [[AmbiguouslyBrown Seychelles]] [[DoubleStandard gets the total opposite]] [[ButNotTooBlack treatment]]. Similarly, South Italy is also olive skinned, but the fanart likes to make him as fair-skinned as his brother. Since he's Spain's [[{{Wimpification}} "uke"]], [[PaleFemalesDarkMales he needs to be pale]], according to some fangirls.

* In ''Film/CollateralDamage'', Gordon Brewer (Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger) looks to avenge his son's and wife's deaths at the hands of a guerrilla commando, by traveling to Choco, Colombia. Choco in real life is almost completely inhabited by black people. However, not a single black person appears in the film.
* In ''Film/LordOfWar'', a fair-skinned Colombian drug lord pays with six kilos of cocaine instead of cash. He and Yuri also use a lot of Mexican slang for no apparent reason.
* In ''Film/{{Machete}}'', a kid without Latino heritage has grown up in a Mexican-American neighborhood and become completely integrated there in spite of lacking any shared ethnic background with the community. The give-away is that he is a red-head, which causes people to question his presence. In reality, red-headed Mexicans do exist,[[note]]as in boxer Canelo Álvarez[[/note]] so the kid could have deep ties to Mexico for all anyone knew.
** Becomes a bit of a Hilarious In Hindsight moment when you realize the kid is played by Daryl Sabara who also starred as the latino Juni Cortez in Robert Rodriguez's Spy Kids franchise.
* ''Film/MacheteKills'':
** Charlie Sheen, credited with his overtly Latino birth name "Carlos Estevez," plays President Rathcock, who is not Latino.
** Amber Heard plays Blanca Vasquez, a blonde-haired, green-eyed and light-skinned secret agent who claims to be Mexican-American and whose name means "white." She [[spoiler:turns out to be a double agent, so maybe she wasn't really latina after all]].
* Ramon Estevez adopted the stage name Creator/MartinSheen in order to get more roles. Studios were unwilling to hire someone with the name "Estevez" as [[WhiteMaleLead a leading man]], but being of Galician and Irish ancestry he was too pale to play stereotypical Latino characters. Fortunately, acting had become a more flexible career by the time his younger son, Emilio Estevez, started his own career (although his older son Carlos mostly goes by his other name--see above)
* Olga Kurylenko (Ukrainian) used BrownFace to play Bolivian agent Camille Montes in ''Film/QuantumOfSolace''. The casting choice was {{handwaved}} as her mother being a Russian ballet dancer. They could have just made her a Bolivian of Ukrainian descent, which is not impossible: a number of eastern Europeans, mostly Jews, emigrated to Bolivia in the early 20th century, although never near the numbers of neighboring Chile, Argentina and Brazil.
* While still blonde, Elsa Pataky (Spanish actress of Romanian-Hungarian descent on her mother's side) is more tanned and has her hair darker than usual in her first Hollywood role, the passenger Maria in ''Film/SnakesOnAPlane''. This is completely avoided in her later role as Brazilian police officer Elena Neves in the ''TheFastAndTheFurious'' franchise.
* People raised a considerable stink over Creator/BenAffleck casting himself in ''Film/{{Argo}}'' as Tony Mendez, who has Mexican, Italian, French and Irish ancestry. Although Affleck darkened his hair to match Mendez's, people still accused him of not looking Latino enough.
* Subverted in ''Film/MoonOverParador'', where the small nation's history of being dominated by various foreign powers has led to a dictator named Alphonse Simms and a his Secret Police Head, Roberto Strausman (RaulJulia in pale makeup and a blonde wig).
* Averted in ''Disney/BigHero6'' with Honey Lemon, who is Latina by WordOfGod. She's also a very light skinned blonde.


* ''Literature/IfOnAWintersNightATraveler'' by Italo Calvino includes a short story about a population in Latin America where the indigenous people and the European people all look the same. This is implied to be a product of inbreeding.
* Averted in Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware novel ''When The Bow Breaks'', where one of the murder victims and her brothers are described as looking Hispanic while also having naturally blond hair, and Alex speculates that they probably had a Nordic ancestor somewhere in their family tree. Their mother and a friend of the family look much more stereotypically Mexican.
* Creator/JosephWambaugh provides two different in-universe examples:
** In ''The New Centurions'', beat cop Sergio Duran is Latino but not brown. He is Mexican, but he is tall and fair skinned, he speaks English without an accent because he was educated in America, and his surname doesn't end in -ez, so people assume that he is a white American. Eventually he gives up correcting people.
** Detective Mario Villalobos, from another novel, is brown but not Latino. He is an American with mostly Italian ancestry, but because of his name and his dark complexion, people assume that he is Mexican and can speak fluent Spanish. He isn't, and he can't. He names his sons Erik and Kyle.
* In ''Literature/RuledBritannia'', Creator/HarryTurtledove introduces Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain as "swarthy even for a Spaniard - to English eyes, she seemed not far from a Moor. The enormous, snowy-white ruff she wore only accented her dark skin." The real Isabella had red hair and green(ish) eyes, and if their couple portraits are anything to go by, [[PaleFemalesDarkMales she was paler than her husband]], Albert of Austria. Maybe we are supposed to take "to English eyes" as "compared to the cadaveric looking UsefulNotes/ElizabethI."

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', Carla is worried because Turk is placing too much emphasis on her daughter's “African heritage” and very little on her Dominican heritage. This really doesn’t make much sense since the Dominican Republic's population is mostly composed of descendants of African slaves, and Carla should have a lot of African heritage herself. This could be a case of RealityIsUnrealistic however. Black Dominicans in particular have historically [[TruthInTelevision downplayed their African ancestry]], calling themselves ''trigueños'' (mestizos) or even "Indians".
** In the MusicalEpisode, Turk had a RunningGag of confusing Carla's nationality for numerous other Latino ones, including Puerto Rican, who usually have a ''much'' lighter skin tone than a Dominican.
* In the 2012 revival of ''Series/{{Dallas}}'', both the young female leads are played by Latin American actresses. The dark-skinned, dark-haired, dark-eyed Jordana Brewster (Brazilian American) plays a Mexican character, while the lighter-skinned, brunette, green-eyed Julie Gonzalo (Argentinian) plays an Anglo character.
* ''Series/ModernFamily'': {{Averted}} with Gloria, but played straight with Manny and his father. Even with Gloria, the actress had to dye her hair brunette for the role as she is a natural blonde.
* ''Series/CougarTown'' has a big aversion with Andy Torres, who is Cuban but doesn't look or sound like one. This is lampshaded in at least one episode.
* Subverted for the sake of a joke in ''Series/DesperateHousewives''. Gabrielle is stopped speeding by a cop and tries to play the race card with the (fair complexioned) officer... but realizes that the name on his uniform reads 'Martinez'. Otherwise the show played this trope totally straight.
* ''Series/{{Grimm}}'': Averted. Fair-skinned, redhead Juliette is Spanish, bonus as she is fluent in the language as well.
** Probably 1/4 Spanish, as she mentions that her grandmother was Spanish, but doesn't say anything about the rest of her family.
** For reference, the actress is 1/2 Spanish and 1/2 Scottish.
* UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush once referred to some of his grandchildren (the children of Jeb, his second son and former Governor of Florida, and Columba Bush; Columba is Mexican-American, and she and her children look it) as his "little brown ones." ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' spoofed this statement by having Dana Carvey, portraying Bush, call Elian Gonzalez "the little brown one." Problem is, the Gonzalez family was from Cuba, and most Cuban-Americans (as opposed to Cubans who remained in Cuba) are of unmixed Spanish descent.
* Averted in ''ThatSeventiesShow'' with the character "Fez", played by Wilmer Valderrama (of Colombian and Venezuelan ancestry) but who [[TheUnreveal might or might not be Latin American at all]]. Languages spoken in his [[WhereTheHellIsSpringfield unnamed home country]] include Spanish, Dutch, English and an unspecified native language. In one episode he is visited by his "best friend from back home", Andrew Davis (Justin Long) who is paler, lighter haired and ''speaks with a British accent.'' Fez explains this as one being from the northern part of the country and the other from the south (without saying who). Common fan speculation is that Fez is from Guyana, Suriname or the Dutch Antilles.
* Averted in ''Series/LawAndOrderSVU''. Rafael Barba is a Cuban man, played by light-skinned Cuban Raúl Esparza.
* Also averted in an episode of ''Series/{{Leverage}},'' though with a twist. In North America, Italians, along with other people from the Mediterranean, have a lot of the same expectations of "brown" as Latinos. This didn't stop con woman Tara (played by blue-eyed blonde Jeri Ryan) from successfully pulling off a con as an Italian fashion designer named Caprina.
* Played with when it comes to ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace''. The Russo family are Mexican-Italian and Teresa - the Latina parent - is the darker-skinned one. However the children are all of notably different skin tones - showing how diverse Hispanics can be. Justin is pretty fair-skinned and his actor David Henrie is of Italian, French and English ancestry. Max is brown, like his mother - and Jake T Austin is Argentine, Puerto Rican, Spanish, Polish, Irish and English. Alex meanwhile is darker than Justin but fairer than Max - and Selena Gomez is Mexican-Italian like her character.
* Averted in ''Series/OnceUponATime'', to the point where creators had to confirm that Regina, like her actress, is Latina.
* {{Averted}} in ''Series/BreakingBad''. The members of the Mexican Cartel are mostly played by, well, Mexicans of the light-brown complexion that viewers typically think of when they think "Latino." The Chileans Gus Fring and Maximino Arciniega, on the other hand, are played by the dark-skinned, Danish-born half-African-American half-Italian Giancarlo Esposito and the very light-skinned James Martinez respectively.
* {{Played With}} in Series/SwitchedAtBirth Regina, Adriana, Natalie and other Latinos in East Riverside are dark skinned. Regina's daughter, Daphne, fair skinned, red haired, green eyed, is revealed to have been SwitchedAtBirth. Regina's biological daughter Bay, played by a white actress of Italian descent is very pale skinned. Becomes a plot point in one episode where Daphne applies for a Latina scholarship, every other candidate there is very stereotypical of a Latino. She laments to Regina that even though they think she's Latina, no one else sees it that way.
* These [[http://frikarte.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/etarras-intelligence-frikarte.jpg dark-skinned, black-haired Basque terrorists]] in ''{{Intelligence 2014}}'', who were mocked as "Maghrebi ''Etarras''" in at least one Basque newspaper.
* Jokingly averted in ''Series/BlackIsh''. While discussing the concept of NWordPrivileges, Charlie and Curtis mention that certain Latinos can say the word since they're black, while others obviously aren't black and thus cannot.
-->'''Charlie''': BigPun, Fat Joe? Okay. Mark Anthony, Ricky Martin? No bueno.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* When Dutch Mantel brought out "gifts" as "Santa Clause" at a WWC show, the crowd was immediately suspicious of him because of how pale he was. In this case [[ProperlyParanoid they're suspicions proved correct]] but there have been a few pale Puerto Ricans who have wrestled for them, such as [[IronicNickname Black Boy]].
* Averted by ring announcer Lilian Garcia [[StealthPun (whose first name is even a play on her whiteness!)]], a Spanish-American who has blonde hair and occasionally portrays a character who has trouble speaking Spanish (such as when introducing {{Fandango}}, although she does speak the language). However, she does have tan skin and an "ethnic"-looking nose.
* Shelly Martinez and Valentina have had several gimmicks that downplay or expunge any hints of Latina. However, Salinas (Martinez) was part of LAX in Wrestling/{{TNA}} - and in Wrestling/{{WWE}}, Martinez portrayed Ariel, a Gypsy-turned-vampire, who looked sort of Latina but of course had [[EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette the vampiric pale skin]]. Mexican America also had the rather pale Sarita (who wasn't Latina by blood but was only member who had residence in Mexico and was the most fluent in Spanish) and Anarquia.
* Avoided by [[Wrestling/{{Melina}} Kyra]], who was noticeably lighter than contemporary Latinas such as Caged Heat's Loca, Ayako Hamada, Lola Gonzales, Spanish Fly and Jungle Grrrl Erica Porter but only had her Latin heritage downplayed in CRUSH where she had an [[BraidsBeadsAndBuckskins Amerindian gimmick]], which isn't far removed considering that's who a great deal of Chicanas owe their "brown" to. In WWE, as Melina, she started fake tanning but stopped when she started openly dating, Irish-American [[Wrestling/JohnMorrison Johnny Nitro]] (who kept the fake tanning longer, as they were posing as vain, wannabe celebrities), then left her black hair undyed and wore less makeup when she broke up with Nitro and became Women's Champion (even wearing Aztec war-goddess regalia while competing at the 2010 ''[=SummerSlam=]'' in Los Angeles).
* Wrestling/{{Chavo Guerrero|Jr}} used makeup to turn his skin lighter when he renounced his Mexican heritage and renamed himself Kerwin White. Spending too much time under WWE's lights or wrestling would cause him to sweat it off and turn brown again. And even as Kerwin White, his accent was still lightly Latino; he merely spoke in a "privileged", slightly effeminate voice in order to sound stereotypically white.
* Downplayed by the fairly light skinned, blonde Sexy Juliette/Sofia Cortez, who to look "more Latina" dyed her ''hair'' brown as Wrestling/IvelisseVelez in the continental USA.
* {{Double subver|sion}}ted by La Familia stable of Westside Xtreme Wrestling (and other European Organizations), all of whom (Baca Loco, The Bull, Lazio Feé and Diego Latino) are obviously pale skinned even though they wear masks. But as it turns out, none of them are Latino.
* Zig-zagged when it comes to WWE Divas. Latina women have made up the majority of the Divas roster in recent years - all with varying skin tones. They tend to only give a SpicyLatina gimmick to those with browner skin - Rosa Mendes for example, who is Costa Rican (but then again likes to change her hair from brown to blonde at a whim). Supermodel Natalie Nelson (who is Mexican-Italian) was given the Hispanic sounding stage name Wrestling/EvaMarie but then had her change her hair to [[DarkSkinnedRedhead red]][[note]]Though this was Eva's own doing; management wanted her to be blonde but she balked at that[[/note]]. Likewise {{Wrestling/Lita}} (who had a Mexican grandparent) was brought in as a SpicyLatina but had (dyed!)red hair and eventually morphed into a punk-rock LadEtte. Nidia Guenard, who is Puerto Rican, initially reversed her ancestry and portrayed a Scots-Irish redneck from the DeepSouth alongside native West Virginian Jamie Noble (though was acknowledged as Latina after her HeelFaceTurn). Otherwise completely averted with Ivelisse (mentioned above) as she was given the Hispanic stage name Sofia Cortez and a reggaeton entrance theme - all the while WWE ''not'' letting her dye her hair from blonde to brown. Layla El is half Spanish and half Moroccan but her Spanish roots have never been addressed, sometimes being counted as a "black" Diva (even though Arabs/Berbers are not exactly African in the sense people often think); of course, Layla's English accent (which she is gradually losing) has her pegged as "the limey Diva" (make that the ''other'' limey Diva with respect to {{Paige}}) in many people's minds, especially when she was part of the [=LayCool=] heel faction and portrayed what could best be described as "a British ValleyGirl."
** On NXT it's played straight with {{Wrestling/Bayley}} (whose real last name is ''Martinez'' and is from San Jose) - who is fair-skinned and her character is presented almost as a TokenWhite. Likewise Wrestling/SashaBanks has Latina heritage but her character tends to lean more towards a black ghetto girl. Carmella meanwhile is a white girl from Boston but performs in {{Brownface}} to portray an Italian-American {{Joisey}} type.
* (Possibly) averted by Wrestling/ZackRyder, who is dark-blond and (lightly) tanned but whose real name is Matthew Cardona (although that surname could just as easily be Italian).
* Related. NXT Diva Jasmin Areebi had light brown hair when she was signed but dyed her hair black in order to look more Arab.
* The Wrestling/BellaTwins have Mexican heritage but their portrayal in WWE leans more towards their Italian roots - presumably because they are not dark enough to appear Latina. According to the twins, they wanted to form a SpicyLatina stable with {{Wrestling/Melina}} but management vetoed it. This could partly be because they were raised by their mother - who is the Italian parent. One episode of ''Series/TotalDivas'' does show Nikki trying to find out more about her Mexican heritage.

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* Creator/GabrielIglesias mentions in one routine how the first time he brought home his then-girlfriend (later wife) his mother, who like him fits this trope, turned to him and asked him in Spanish why he'd brought a white girl home. [[BilingualBackfire Said girlfriend then replied to his mother, in Spanish]], since while being very light skinned she was in fact Mexican.

* Many theatrical productions of Helen Hunt Jackson's novel ''Ramona'' (about a Spanish rancho in Southern California in the 19th century) cast a ''mestiza'' actress in the title role in order to be politically correct (especially since [[FakeMixedRace unambiguously white actresses were cast in the role in the past]]). But this consensus ignores what the book itself describes: Ramona Ortega had blue eyes, did not know about her Luiseno Indian heritage until she was a teenager, and in fact ''did not have a drop of Spanish blood in her'' (her father was Scottish). She was ''raised'' Spanish-Mexican, but that doesn't necessarily mean she looked like one.

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter'':
** Subverted with Sean, who seems half-Japanese and half-Black.
** Subverted with Laura from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterV'', who is a Brazilian newcomer and is light skinned.
** Played straight with the Mexican character, El Fuerte.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Main/ToddInTheShadows once mentioned that {{Music/Pitbull}} (full name Armando Christian Peréz), who's Cuban American, does not look Hispanic at all and just looks white. As mentioned above, most Cuban Americans in the United States are of unmixed Spanish descent and look exactly like him in terms of complexion.
* Bonita-senpai from the final episode of ''WebAnimation/NekoSugarGirls'' has brown skin and brown hair. Possibly averted with Koneko though as she uses a lot of GratuitousSpanish but is Asian.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Arthur}}'', Arthur's Ecuadorian neighbors have medium-brown "[[FurIsSkin skin]]"[[note]]they're some sort of unspecified humanoid animal like the rest of the cast, so theoretically their "skin" is actually some type of fur[[/note]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/XMenEvolution'', Magma was [[RaceLift Race Lifted]] into being a dark-skinned Brazilian, rather than a white Roman who lived in a secret city in Brazil ([[ItMakesSenseInContext it's complicated]]), like in the comics. However, someone with pale skin and blue eyes (which is how Magma looks in the comics) wouldn't be out of the ordinary in Brazil anyway, since a large portion of the country is technically white.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' had a lot of Hispanic characters with similar tanned skin and often black hair, the exception was a Maria Jiminez from the news station who possessed a lighter tan and dark brown hair.
* The episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' entitled "E-I-E-I-D'oh!" begins with the family going to a movie theater to see ''The Poke of Zorro'', a take-off on ''TheMaskOfZorro''. On the screen, the actors playing the characters based on Zorro and Elena are brown-skinned, even though their real-world portrayers (AntonioBanderas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, respectively) are both Europeans (albeit dark ones).
* [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012''--[[PsychoForHire Xever]] has a Spanish accent but is clearly black. (Well, [[BalefulPolymorph originally]].)
* On ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim,'' [[HeroAntagonist Dib]], [[CreepyChild Gaz]] and [[ReluctantMadScientist their dad]] are Mexican-American despite their incredibly pale skin, [[http://jhonenv.tumblr.com/post/127112021870/hey-jhonen-i-hope-this-isnt-too-personal-to-ask#notes according to]] [[WordOfGod Jhonen Vasquez]]. He specifically compares them to "my brother and his so-white-looking ''Film/VillageOfTheDamned'' children."
* ''WesternAnimation/TheProudFamily'' averts this trope - Felix Boulevardez (and his father) are rather fair-skinned, whereas Lacienega and Sunset are darker skinned.
* ''WesternAnimation/SofiaTheFirst'';
** Sofia is Latino by WordOfGod. This is far more noticeable in her mother, Sofia is as pale skinned as any of the other characters.
** Elena plays the trope straight. She is an upcoming character meant to appear in ''Sofia The First'' before getting her own cartoon. A lot of media outlits are referring to Elena as "Disney's first latina princess", completely ignoring Sofia.
* Raya from ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' is Mexican-American and her entire family has brown skin. When the band visits Mexico most characters have a similar skin tone. Rio averts it, as his name implies he has Latino (possibly Brazilian) heritage but he's only somewhat more darker than Jerrica.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'', Maria Hill is given a much browner complexion than her comic-book or live-action counterparts to play up her Latino heritage.
* Marco Diaz from ''WesternAnimatiom/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'' is at least half Mexican and has a darker complexion than characters like Star (who is a blonde, blue eyed [[HumanAliens human-looking girl]]) or his crush Jackie. Marco's father is a tall, muscular brown toned fellow with big BrownEyes and his mother is a SignificantGreenEyedRedhead (well, reddish-brown).
* Nicely subverted on an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' entitled "The Kid Is All Right", which features as its guest star a young Latina friend of Lisa's who is white (Argentinian), Jewish (albeit a secular one), and a conservative Republican. Even more impressive, the character is voiced by Eva Longoria, [[PlayingAgainstType who fits into none of the above three categories]].
* David is a ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' character introduced in season nineteen. His parents own a Mexican restaurant in town [[spoiler:and Kyle mistakes David's family as being from Mexico, when they are from Idaho.]] David and his family members have brown skin and dark hair.
* Flora in ''WesternAnimation/WinxClub'' presumably because of this trope has fans arguing over whether she's a light skinned black girl or a tanned Caucasian. WordOfGod says she was modelled after Music/JenniferLopez, so she's actually Latina. Her skin is notably lighter and more in line with this trope in the CGI animated films than it is in the hand-drawn animation in the series.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Aversion: Red-headed boxer Saúl "Canelo" Álvarez is Mexican through and through.
* Creator/LouisCK is also half Mexican, but he is very light-skinned and has orange hair.
* UsefulNotes/FidelCastro has a very light skin, since he's from Spaniard ancestry. Yet many cartoons depicting him tint him brown.
* Ditto with many Mexican presidents, especially the former president Vicente Fox, who, like Castro, has Spaniard ancestry.
* Creator/GinaTorres is Afro-Cuban, and very rarely plays Latino characters. In an interview, she even stated she usually plays African-Americans because Hollywood likes its Latinos to look like Italians (straight black hair, tan skin, ect.) rather than the diverse group they actually are.
** Ironically, Hollywood's idea of Italians is just as incorrect as that of Latinos since black hair and tan skin, while possible, are largely a stereotype.
* Few things show better how much this trope is off reality than Bolivia's president Evo Morales (full blooded Aymara) and his vice-president, Álvaro García (full blooded Spaniard, who [[RealityIsUnrealistic nevertheless had no trouble]] joining an [[TokenWhite indigenist group]] in the 80s).
* As noted in the ''Series/ModernFamily'' example, Colombian actress Sofia Vergara is naturally blonde. She had to [[DyeingForYourArt dye her hair brown]] because of RealityIsUnrealistic in order to get parts.
* Blue-eyed blonde Cameron Diaz is half Cuban.
* Creator/AlexisBledel has a Mexican mother, Argentinian father, and considers herself Latina, but is also white and typically plays white roles. When promoting ''TheSisterhoodOfTheTravelingPants'', America Ferrera (a Honduran-American) was surprised to hear Bledel speaking Spanish. Bledel also showed off some of her Spanish-speaking on ''Series/GilmoreGirls''.
* A lot of the racial controversy surrounding the shooting death of Trayvon Martin was complicated by news outlets fighting over what ethnicity George Zimmerman was. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic, and he has a very mixed ancestry including Afro-Peruvian and German-American family, but many early news reports just identified him as white.
** Which is RealityIsUnrealistic, as any Latino/a has dealt with first hand: the US Census Bureau considers Latinos of every ethnicity to be racially white, ethnically Hispanic/Latino, no matter what skin color. It's also the problem of MultiEthnicName: Zimmerman is not the last name one generally expects of a Latino, no matter if said Latino does not identify with the ethnicity of the name.
** Furthermore, there's a great deal of controversy over what, exactly, makes a person "white." Is it light skin? If so, then many North Asians (Japanese, Koreans, North Chinese) qualify (and in fact in the past many Asians in America were given "honorary white" status). Or is it facial features, irrespective of color (round eyes, long straight noses, thin lips, square jaws, straight or wavy hair, ability to grow thick mustaches and beards)? If so, then most Asian-Indians and Iranians and some Arabs qualify, despite not being European. Latinos, being AmbiguouslyBrown and occasionally displaying subtle African or Asiatic features, fall right smack into this confusion.
* Count every fictional portrayal of Catherine of Aragon. Now count how many of them depict her as pale skinned, blonde haired and blue eyed. The same goes for her mother, Isabella of Castile, as Catherine was among her children the one that resembled her the most.
* Lots of East Asian Latin Americans. Alberto Fujimori, a former president of Peru of Japanese descent, Bruce Chen, a Chinese-Panamanian major league baseball player, Jorge Cham, another Chinese-Panamian engineer-cartoonist famous for ''Webcomic/{{PHD}}'', and Franklin Chang-Diaz, a Chinese-Costa Rican-American astronaut and scientist.
* Averted to hell and back with Argentinian actors Facundo Arana, Juan Gil Navarro and Luciano Caceres. The first 2 are natural blondes, with Facundo being blue eyed, and very tall, Luciano while dark haired, has blue eyes, and Juan being brown eyed, but still pretty light skinned. Also, a lot of Argentinians are caucasian or whites, due most of them being of Spanish, Italian and of German origins.
* The blonde [[{{Music/Shakira}} Shakira]] is far from any Latin or Arabic stereotype... while being half-Spanish and half-''Arabic'' by ethnicity and speaking Arabic fluently.
* Brazilian models Gisele Bündchen[[note]]also notable to Americans as the wife of [[UsefulNotes/AmericanFootball New England Patriots]] quarterback Tom Brady[[/note]] and Anna Hickman, Argentine models Luisana Lopilato and Valeria Mazza, Chilean models Josefina Montane and Maite Orsini, Uruguayan model Laura Prieto. All of whom look very Northern European. Of course, all these countries took in huge numbers of immigrants from Northern Europe. (And there are enough Italians, Spaniards, and Greeks with Northern European features anyways, due to the migration of Nordic barbarian tribes into those areas at the time of the fall of the Roman Empire; Spain itself was ruled by the Scandinavian-descended Visigoths for over 200 years.)
* J. August Richards is of Afro-Panamanian descent: his birth name is Jaime Augusto Richards.
* While Spanish socialite and journalist Isabel Preysler has dark hair and tan skin, it should be noted that she was born in the Philippines and is of Filipino and Spanish descent. The last part also applies to her children, one of whom is {{Music/Enrique Iglesias}}.
* Most UsefulNotes/{{Uruguay}}ans are white Hispanics.
* It has been noted often in recent years that many Republican senators and governors in the U.S. are now "nonwhite", but the use of the term is pretty controversial. Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley are held up as being of (Asian) Indian descent - true enough, but Haley is light-skinned enough to pass for European, and Indians technically ''are'' white according to traditional racial definitions, as "white/Caucasian" does not necessarily equal "light skin." Referring to Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio as nonwhite (although most people use the term indirectly on this point) is even more controversial. Cruz and Rubio are both of Cuban extraction, and a sizable minority of Cubans - and, more to the point, the majority of Cubans who fled FidelCastro's regime for America - are of unmixed Spanish descent. Indeed, Cruz is quite pale, and Rubio, while possessing a complexion most would describe as "healthy", is still visibly pink. [[FridgeLogic So if being from a foreign country in one's own hemisphere and not speaking English as a first language is enough to make one "nonwhite", then the French-speaking people of Quebec are not white (which they most certainly are)!]]
* Averted in the U.S. state of California for about a century, between the admission of California to the Union and the late 1940s. Unlike, say, the Southern states, California had only piecemeal segregation, but interracial marriage was forbidden as it was in most other states. However, while whites were banned from marrying blacks and Asians, Latinos were counted as white (probably because [[AmbiguouslyBrown demographers couldn't think of anywhere else to put them]]); and by the same token, Latinos too were banned from marrying blacks and Asians! In fact, the ban on interracial marriage in California was brought about in 1948 by a successful court case brought by a mixed black/Latino couple. Now, of course, all Latinos in California are informally counted as nonwhite; but because interracial marriage is now permitted for everyone, the point is moot.
* GuillermoDelToro is in fact Mexican.
* Abi-Maria Gomes from multiple seasons of ''Series/{{Survivor}}'' is Brazilian, but is actually blonde.