Latina weather girls keep the forecast hot
Image: Video still of Jackie Guerrido on Univision’s “Primer Impacto” on May 23, 2013 © Univision
Back when I used to work for a multinational magazine, I used to meet with fellow editors from all over the world in an effort to share best business practices and drink copious amounts of booze on the companies’ dime. I distinctly remember the first words I exchanged with Ilya, my Russian counterpart, when he found out I was responsible for the Latin American version of our brand.
“Well, I’m not too familiar with Latin American culture,” he admitted between stereotypical drags of an unfiltered cigarette, “but there’s this person I know about …”
I leaned forward in anticipation, trying to come up with a convincing reaction that made me look a bit less stupid if this Eastern European character who looked like the bad guy in a Bruce Willis movie mentioned some obscure author or long-dead war hero. Please let it be someone who plays sports for a living, I wished. Then the name came out, in a heavy accent…
“Her name is Jackie… Guerrido? Is that how you pronounce it?”
Yup, close enough, Ilya. The warm feelings of relief brought back my confidence. We had common conversational ground, and the subject certainly enabled me to save face since my shortcomings about discussing Tolstoi or Dostoyevsky were evident at the time.
Latina weather girls. Our de facto cultural ambassadors. Who knew?
Nowadays it’s easier for Hispanics around the world to earn a name for themselves. We’ve made great strides in many different fields, and the Internet age has greatly enhanced mankind’s knowledge of foreign cultures. But up until a few years back (this conversation took place almost a decade ago), the shapely women that provided our weather reports were the easiest way to bridge the gap between nationalities in casual conversation.
Hey, at least that was the case among male specimens, as my exchange with Ilya proved.
The mere mention of Miss Guerrido caused other editors to join in the chat at that South Floridian hotel bar. No surprise there: The Puerto Rican beauty graced the weather segments on the local news channel and she had no trouble catching the eye of discerning gentlemen who turned on the TV set after checking into their respective rooms.
While I was vaguely aware of who she was and what her media credentials were, I had no inkling about the lasting impression she’d achieved among my colleagues.
Year after year, this pattern repeated itself: pasty foreigners from cold climates made the annual pilgrimage to balmy Miami for our annual meetings, and invariably felt the need to let me know as soon as we exchanged pleasantries that the shapely señoritas in charge of forecasting our sunny days were so much better than the portly meteorologists in ill-fitting suits that glumly warned them of impending snowstorms back home.
At first I thought they were mocking Latino TV. Hey, it’s easy to think that once you realize our version of a superhero isn’t a tough-as-nails Iron Man or Batman type, but some scrawny guy in a ridiculous red suit with bug antennae on top of his head, armed with a plastic mallet. Chapulin Colorado, you’re no Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne, let’s be honest.
Ah, but on the other hand, the women in charge of our weather reports don’t exactly fit the Al Roker mold, either. Heavens, no! Network after network, we find ourselves glued to our sets, staring at gorgeous Latinas in impossibly short skirts who smile at us as they try to explain cold fronts, doppler radars, and wind patterns. And we could care less about all that stuff, frankly, because all through their segment we’re trying to understand how can someone fashion an entire dress out of the fabric that makes up your standard restaurant napkin.
Sexist? Yeah, probably. Objectifying? Definitely. But let’s face it: Even in this day and age we’re still clueless about predicting the weather with accuracy. And we’re all too ready to complain whenever a rogue rainstorm lands on our freshly washed car. So if TV meteorologists are, basically, useless … Is there any harm in having them look like they just walked in from a beauty pageant?
I say no. Bring on the hotness to our forecasts, beautiful chicas del clima. Nowadays I find more and more stunning women emulating Jackie Guerrido and breaking into show business by using the weather segment as their platform. If you’re not sold on the idea, consider the alternative of them subjecting us to horrible singing and/or mediocre acting in their quest for fame and fortune. Scary, right? There you go: Weather reports are a harmless way of fostering nascent media talent, in this writer’s humble opinion.
Oh, by the way: Ilya ended up moving to the States a few years ago and marrying a Dominican lady. So who says there are no happy endings anymore, people?