Eva Mendes: ‘Esmeralda mostly speaks Spanglish right now, it’s really cute’

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Here are some photos of Eva Mendes launching her latest collection for New York & Co. Her latest collection includes a plus-sized extension, because that’s the new mass-market thing this year: brands finally understanding that there’s an untapped market for clothes larger than size 14. Anyway, to promote her latest collection, Eva chatted with several outlets about clothes and about her family. Eva is so quiet and undercover these days, this is the first time in months that she’s even granted an interview about anything. Apparently, she’s raising her two girls – Esmeralda Amada and Amada Lee Gosling – with a heavy emphasis on their Cuban roots. Some assorted quotes:

Creating a plus-sized line: “Being Cuban and being raised in a very typical Cuban household influences everything I do. My mom and two sisters — us 4 girls — all have completely different body types, and I love that about Latin culture. Under this beautiful umbrella of being Latin, are many shapes, colors, and sizes. I grew up with everyone looking so incredibly different from one another. It’s part of my heritage and culture to embrace all different kinds of body types.

Whether she’ll take her family to Cuba: “I can’t wait to go! I’m waiting on the OK from my mom. She’s the matriarch.

Whether she’s raising her kids in a Cuban household: “Oh, yeah. Esmeralda mostly speaks Spanglish right now. It’s really cute. She’s definitely bilingual, and it’s really important for us to make sure that she’s not only just familiar with the language, but also with the culture. My mom, who lives 15 minutes away, makes it is easy because she speaks to the girls in Spanish and cooks them Cuban food. And we’re always listening to Cuban music. It really is a big part of our way of life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My dad, who has been here for 45 years and still doesn’t speak English, is a real asset. It’s so cool because now that I’m trying to make sure that my girls speak Spanish, it’s like, ‘Ok, Dad, take them,’ because I know that all they’re going to speak with him is Spanish.

Her style tricks for busy moms: “For me, and it’s not just ‘cause I’m selling dresses (‘cause it doesn’t have to be my dress), but for me, it’s a dress because it’s simple. For me, jeans and a T-shirt are already too much. Those are two articles of clothing you have to get on with having two babies. That’s too much.”

Turbans & such: “I know it looks like a lot of work, but a turban saves me from washing my hair and from styling it,” she added. For me, it’s just an easy way to throw it up and just kind of like try to make it look like I’m kind of put-together.”

Working out: “I work out begrudgingly. Every time, I complain through it. I have a trainer…but I always try to talk her out of it.”

[From E! News and People]

It is still fascinating to me that Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling are together and raising their family this way. I think it was always going to be this way for Eva – she was always going to have babies and raise them in a Spanish-speaking household, within her Cuban-matriarchy framework. That doesn’t surprise me. What surprises me is that Ryan Gosling, a milquetoast Canadian dude, is like “cool, let’s raise our daughters that way.” Gosling is overrun by Cuban women and he loves it. Who knew? As for Esmeralda speaking Spanglish… I’m sure that will upset some people, but I think it’s awesome. Esmeralda and Amada are going to be bilingual, which is a great thing.

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Photos courtesy of Getty.

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62 Responses to “Eva Mendes: ‘Esmeralda mostly speaks Spanglish right now, it’s really cute’”

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  1. HeidiM says:

    FU with you’re milquetoast Canadian dude! Canada is not like the US, all cultures are welcome and celebrated.

    • Wow says:

      We love everyone in Canada 🇨🇦

    • lala says:

      Being bi-lingual or tri-lingual isn’t a huge deal in Canada. I’m tri-lingual and so is everyone in my entire large Italian Montreal family. Good on Eva and Ryan for embracing bilingualism for their daughters!

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      Hi, I’m also in Canada, we have racism – but as I tell outsiders, it’s more polite. ; )

      So glad that all cultures are officially celebrated, at least it sets the tone.

      The US can be a very welcoming place in between its dark periods of intense
      xenophobia. That’s the problem: The mood swings and violence. Canada
      is more stable.

      • Scotchy says:

        I too am also Canadian. Beige Canadian to be exact and yup racism is very very real, it’s polite in the cities, it’s awful in the small towns. I agree as an expat that the US is actually more welcoming on many levels than it is for me in my own country however it’s a roll of the dice down here whereas in Canada you know what you are gonna get depending on where you got. Now that being said, as a country we do allow anyone to retain and celebrate their culture. As for being bilingual well we are a bilingual country so this makes sense to me.

      • Littlestar says:

        Was it “polite” when Brayden Bushby murdered an indigenous First Nations woman by throwing a trailer hitch into her abdomen from a moving car in Ontario this year?

      • JackieJormpJomp says:

        @littlestar
        THANK YOU.
        I love that CAnada is more accepting than many places. But we can’t ride that perception into the sunset and pretend we aren’t racist.
        I want more people to look at and think about this case, and many others.
        Is there a lot of good her? Yes. But you aren’t as good as your best, you are as good as the standard you walk past. And I don’t want anyone in my country walking past this without horror, anger, and questions.
        http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/kentner-charges-1.4192554

    • HH says:

      Also, who wouldn’t just say yes to whatever Eva Mended wanted? She’s just so gorgeous and seems relatively low maintenance for a Hollywood celebrity.

    • reverie says:

      I think Americans are the only people on earth who see Canada as “America Lite” or “America Part Two.” I am Canadian and I have been all over the world, I have yet to find someone who sees us quite like Americans do. They see pretty distinct differences that Americans tend to perceive as us trying to be like them but not quite cutting it. And despite all my travels America is the only place I’ve experienced culture shock… which is probably my own fault for assuming America would be like us!

      All that said, Americans have been some of the most welcoming people I’ve encountered anywhere. Irish first, Kurdish second, then Americans.

    • Littlestar says:

      Nah, “FU” for sweeping Canada’s racism under the carpet. Canada is racist against its indigenous First Nations people, you know…the people it stole land from, forced onto reservations, tortured in residential schools, murders at a high rate (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, MMIW. Highway of Tears). Canada is a white supremacist colonial country just like the US.

    • meh says:

      +1 HeidiM

  2. Ytbtet says:

    She is not aging at ALL seriously you guys how is this fair?

    • ell says:

      i actually think she had work done, she looks puffy. i don’t blame her, it’s hard for women in hollywood so i never gang up on women for getting stuff done but… it always make me a bit sad that they all feel like they have to. i’m not against subtle injectables, but the moment you look puffy you’re already going overboard.

      • Don't kill me I am French says:

        +1 Her face is clearly different

      • Betsy says:

        She looks really jacked here, and I think that’s very sad. I kind of loved watching her face because she seemed so unmessed with (relative to some others in Hollywood). Her kind of puffery could well be steroids, though.

  3. Margo S. says:

    I love that she’s raising her daughter’s with both languages. Now as they get older, french, italian, Portuguese and Romanian will be super easy for them to learn! Im in Canada and started my boy in French immersion at 4 and he’s speaking it! They are little sponges at that age.

  4. Tiffany says:

    I keep forgetting that they are together with children. Wow, Eva really just went away. This bothers me. She was not the greatest dramatic actress was she was very good in comedies and I wish she would continue on with that.

  5. jenna says:

    Let the turban go…. And the belt. She is pretty, but her sense of fashion is bonkers.

    • Who ARE These People? says:

      It’s almost as if her looks are so spectacular she doesn’t know what to do with them.

    • G says:

      +1 Still can’t believe that she has her own line, given the outfits she puts together. I can’t recall the last time I saw her look truly stylish, or even just fashionable. I guess what she does have is her own ‘unique’ taste (and an incredible body), but most of the clothes I’ve seen from her line just look rather cheap and ‘basic’.

  6. SKF says:

    Teaching kids multiple languages as young as possible as the way to go. And if they are in an English-speaking culture, it’s best to only speak the other language/s to them at home because the English they will get at school, on tv, and everywhere else.

    I do side-eye people who spend 45 years in a country and don’t bother to learn the language though. That’s just…

    • mia girl says:

      Yeah, I agree that it is really important to have at the very least, a basic ability to understand/speak English if you are living in the U.S.

      But I can tell you that in most major U.S. cities, you can live your whole life in certain areas and only speak your native language. Here in Miami, I know a lot of people like Mendes’ father who only speak Spanish and have been in the U.S. for many years.

    • Elisa the I. says:

      Yep, I find that bizarre, too. Is Spanish an official language in the US? If not, what happens if you need to go to the authorities/public institutions – how do you manage if you don’t speak the language? IMO that’s not something to be proud of.

    • pf says:

      Why side-eye? Unless you know what it’s like to move to a foreign land and how hard it is to learn another language, then who are you to judge? My Polish grandfather lived in the U.S. for 50+ years and never learned English. Obviously it was easy for him to live in a place like Chicago, which has always had a large Polish-speaking community. America is a melting pot with no official language, so I don’t think anything is wrong with people not knowing English.

      • SKF says:

        Actually I’m an Australian who was born an ex-pat. My parents lived in Israel and Spain and worked really hard to learn Hebrew, some Arabic and Spanish. They’re fluent in Spanish and speak okay Hebrew (that one is tough to learn and Israelis just switch to English which makes it hard to practice). I’ve spent the last two years of my life moving from country to country for my job. I only spend 2-6 months in each country but I always make an effort to learn as many key phrases as possible. So I know exactly how hard it is and what I’m talking about. Languages are harder for some people than others, but if you move to a country where another language is spoken then you should make an effort to at least learn the basics of that language. It’s a part of integrating into the country and it shows respect.

    • magnoliarose says:

      One set of my grandparents are from Germany and Russia directly, but my grandmother knew English before she fled from Europe to America. She speaks several languages, but my grandfather had to learn English when he came, and it was hard for him. It didn’t help they spoke German and Yiddish at home, but like pf’s Polish grandpapa living in New York, he wasn’t forced to become fluent. Not everyone learns English easily when they older and if the alphabet is different it ‘s hard.

      What Eva is doing is important for her children. She wants to make sure to keep her culture and language alive with them. Once it is lost, it is gone forever.

    • JackieJormpJomp says:

      My Ukrainian grandmother moved to Canada at 2, raised 11 kids, oversaw 2 farms, and in her direct descendants can count 14 military veterans, two university professors, an airline executive, 3 doctors, 2 lawyers, 6 teachers and about a dozen business owners, and countless other successful offspring. She also rallied for universal healthcare in this country through arranging protests and petitions and ran a veterans centre in her hometown.

      She never spoke a word of English to me.

      So tell me again about your “side eye” in detail. I’d love to understand it. :) .

      • SKF says:

        She never spoke a word of English to you because she wanted to ensure you spoke Ukrainian well or she never spoke a word of English at all? Not one word? Not a few phrases?

        Yes, I think it’s ridiculous to move to another country and not learn even the basic rudiments of the major language/s spoken there. That said, there are some people who try and just cannot do it. But at least try!

        I also think maintaining cultures and languages in your family is important and the best way to do that is to only or mostly speak your original language at home to give your offspring the best language skills possible. They can pick up English everywhere else. I also think keeping cultural traditions etc. alive is wonderful too.

    • maria says:

      totally agree, I get it’s hard, but really? 45 years and not a word of English? I think that’s borderline disrespectful. when you move to a country, intending to stay there, you at least make an effort. and even people that have problems with languages are bound to become at least okay at it. (Russian speaking here, who’s fluent in Russian, German and English and that always complains about English speaking people not bothering to learn any other language)

  7. ell says:

    bilingual children have such an advantage.

  8. Electric Tuba says:

    That’s nice. I’m all for multicultural households. The world is your oyster, babies.

    I think the questioning of why her partner is with “her!?” is pretty disrespectful at this point and says more about the people asking that than it says about their so called questionable taste for each other. He loves a Cuban woman. So what? Good for him. Why he gotta be with a white woman? What are you really saying here man?

    That being said I can’t imagine having my specific crazy as hell mom up in my damn life telling me when and where I can go. No. There are good reasons why you cut the cord when children are born. I’m not an extension of my mom I’m and individual she birthed. But you know, that’s just my opinion.

    • mia girl says:

      To you last point re: Mendes’ comment “I can’t wait to go! I’m waiting on the OK from my mom. She’s the matriarch.”

      As a U.S. born Cuban (like Eva) I read this differently than you did. For many in our parents’ generation who were the first wave of Cubans who left everything behind and fled Cuba because of the Castro regime, the idea of visiting the island while the Castros are still in power is fraught with the deepest emotion and apprehension. Especially if you no longer have family there. In many ways, there is a large group of exiled Cubans of my parents’ generation who still have a cold war mentality of evil vs good and the Castros are evil. Many friends and family were tortured and killed by their regime. So going to visit, which provides money for the Castro government, is perceived as support.

      So like Eva, while I really want to visit, I would never do so unless my parents were ok with it. For everything they sacrificed, out of respect for loosing their homeland, I just couldn’t go and upset them that way. It would be disrespectful.

      I am sure others here might not really understand this, and I totally get why you may not, but that is the way it is for many U.S. born Cubans.

      • Skylark says:

        @mia girl – Thanks for that. I wondered about Eva’s comment and you’ve just shed sensitive and sad light upon it.

        I’ve been to Cuba (about 10 years ago) and it still remains one of the most extraordinarily beautiful and uplifting albeit heart-breaking travel experiences I’ve ever had.

      • mia girl says:

        Thanks @Skylark.

        Listen, @Electric Tuba could be right, and Eva’s comment could just be simply about her mom still having too much sway over Eva’s life (which is not unheard of in Cuban/Latino culture either!). But I related in the way I described and have to think there may be hints of that as well in the comment.

        As for your visit to Cuba, for my entire life, I have been hearing about the beauty of the island and deeply wish to one day experience it for myself. In terms of heart-breaking, I’m going to guess that is because of the living conditions and lack of freedom the Cuban people have. It’s so very sad.

      • magnoliarose says:

        Interesting. Thank you for explaining it makes sense to me now.

  9. Alex says:

    This is cute. And its great that they are going to grow up in a blended household. I don’t think its surprising that Ryan is cool with it…he seems like the type of guy that believes women rule the roost

  10. Skylark says:

    She is so stunningly beautiful!

  11. Narak says:

    My multi- lingual friend moved to China and married a multi-lingual woman and their three year old daughter now speaks English, French, Cantonese and is learning Mandarin and Dutch. Get ‘em while they’re young.
    Canada has two official languages, French and English so why not add Spanish?

  12. HelloSunshine says:

    I love that her children are totally enmeshed in Cuban culture. I think it’s really important for children to learn these things and to be apart of them and it can really help shape their identity.

    Btw, I loved what she said about wearing dresses. I feel exactly the same way, pants and a shirt are a lot of effort nowadays so I usually throw on a dress. Winter is coming though, so that won’t last too much longer :(

  13. Neelyo says:

    Never liked her as an actress, but I do love that she’s trying to bring back the turban.

  14. Chloeee says:

    I always tell people the Spanish language is one of the greatest gifts my grandparents ever gave me!

  15. perplexed says:

    There are a lot of inter-cultural marriages nowadays, and Ryan Gosling is in his 30s. I don’t think it’s strange for him to be “okay” with raising his kids in another culture. Most Western countries, whether they have multiculturalism as an official policy or not, have intercultural pairings.

  16. Happy21 says:

    I think it’s great her children are speaking Spanish and that are immersed in their mother’s culture. However, I have to wonder, are they also immersed in their father’s culture? This interview just seems so one sided like she is the one raising their children and she comes across as probably being very dominant in the relationship instead of being on equal footing. I could be totally off base there but that is how I’m reading the interview…

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I don’t know where they live (LA?) but I think this is actually not a real danger. If you grow up in a country, you’ll absorb the culture whether you want to or not. She’s talking about herself because they’re not interviewing them together (that’ll be the day LOL) so I get why it sounds like she’s a single mom or something but Gosling can disappear for long stretches of time during which I imagine he’s an involved dad.

      And I wish my dad had spoken his native language with us. I wiiiiish! Ugh, it was hard to learn later.

      • Ash says:

        My mom’s family is Croatian. Even though my grandmother knew Croatian, she and my grandfather never passed it down through their kids. I mean, my mom and her sisters understood the language because my paternal great-grandmother lived with their family and only spoke in Croatian. The reasoning for this was because my great-grandparents came to the US and wanted their children to be Americans and speak English, so there wasn’t any real emphasis on them speaking regularly in Croatian. I understand the mindset, to a degree, but it’s a bummer that the language wasn’t handed down with the rest of the culture.

    • perplexed says:

      Their father’s culture is the dominant culture. They’ll assimilate to his culture because it’s what they’re exposed to everyday on tv and in real life.

      • grumpy says:

        Is it his culture if they live in the US and he is Canadian? Even neighbouring countries that speak the same language can be very different culturally.

      • perplexed says:

        Canada is similar to the U.S in that Western white people values dominate, and everyone strives to assimilate to be like white people, and both countries are extremely young with non-ancient cultures (if you don’t count indigenous people). Canada is also similar to the U.S.A in that each region of the country can be quite different (Halifax is distinct somewhat from Toronto in the same way Boston is distinct from L.A.) The U.S claims “All men are created equal” in their constitution while Canada’s constitution claims that no one culture can predominate (whether either country lives up to these ideals is a different story).

        Last I heard, Ryan Gosling is not a Quebecer nor I have heard he’s a loyalist intent on keeping in touch with British colonialist traditions. And the U.S. has hockey, figure skating, kilts, and Molson Canadian beer. Multiculturalism is also a thing in the U.S. even though it may not be an official policy. Racism also exists in both countries. Last I heard, Americans are as amenable to the words “please” and “thank you” as Canadians are.

        I’m sure Ryan will make sure to let his kids know the words “touque” and “running shoes” exist.

        If she wants them to meet other Canadians, I’m sure there’s some location in L.A. where all of the Canadians meet up and live. The British and Australians probably do it. Why not the Canadians? If that doesn’t work, he can show up Jim Carrey’s or Mike Myer’s house.

        Their kids will be fine.

    • JackieJormpJomp says:

      Are they exposed enough to white, North American male culture, you are asking?

      *snicker*
      Yeah, I think they’ll keep touch with it.

  17. Chinoiserie says:

    Raising bilingual children is seen in good light here in Europe at least. But maybe since language education isn’t as common in US it feels odd to you.

  18. magnoliarose says:

    I just don’t like the turban. I tried, but I hate the whole outfit. She is beautiful even in something hideous.

    Eva is proud of her heritage and seems content in her life. I like their little family and hope they go the distance. They protect their relationship and children instead of using them to boost their image, and I give them major points for that.
    I followed my parent’s footsteps with my children and language. They speak Hebrew, English and begin French in what is considered prekindergarten. My husband is fluent in another language, and they are too, but I am not.

    • FHMom says:

      She looks like she’s channeling Ava Gardner. A low rent Ava Gardiner. Good for her and Ryan, though. They are very private and I respect that. I hope they last forever.

  19. nikzilla says:

    I love the fact that i can buy that dress she’s wearing for less than $100.

  20. Ravensdaughter says:

    So is the dress she’s wearing part of her fashion line? It looks kinda cheap…
    Love the turban, though. I live in (chilly) Seattle so my alternative is wearing a hoodie!

  21. Georgia says:

    I wouldn’t brag about having lived in a country for 45 years and not bothered to learn the language

  22. vesper nite says:

    I just came to comment….YUCK! Can’t stand her. Can’t ship her and Ryan….never will. LALA Land almost killed my love for Ryan. He’s hanging by a thread.

  23. meh says:

    She hardly even looks like herself in these pictures!

  24. la_maga says:

    My husband is Guatemalan and he took me there to meet his extended family. I speak Spanish, but I’m not Latina/Hispanic. One of his uncles who had lived in the US a lot pulled me aside and said, you know, your (then) boyfriend might have grown up in the US, but he will always be Guatemalan. I didn’t quite understand what that meant at the time… but by the end of the holiday I definitely did. Since getting engaged I can attest to the fact that his family’s culture is really really strong and influential. His parents–who speak English so-so–still look surprised when English comes out of my mouth despite having lived here for 20-something years. Also, in the US English is the default in a lot of situations, or assumed, so I get specifically refraining from using English when possible. From TV, to school, to going to the grocery store, kids will attain some level of English. I’m sure Eva’s father can actually understand a lot of English. Having lived in South Korea for a while, I can’t tell you how many Koreans would shyly explain to me in perfect English that their English isn’t as great as they wish it were so that’s part of why they’re communicating in Korean. In my husband’s and my household, we don’t even really speak English to our pets…I can imagine if we ever have kids we probably won’t speak to them in English, either.

  25. Coconut says:

    I like her and Ryan as they seem humble, low key, and real. I don’t think these HWeirds (as nice as they seem to be, they’re still HWeirds) are into marriage, so I’m not jumping to conclusions they’re not committed for life. Anyway, those turbans are atrocious, Eva. You’re a stunning woman without them.

  26. 77tuvi says:

    Smart, but she should focus on Spanish more. Far more difficult a language to learn and master than English. English she will learn as is, since she is fully surrounded by it. She lives in the US.

    Spanish, Italian, German, Russian and French need to be given to children when they are only babies. English is the language of the world – much easier and accessible to learn afterward.