‘The Rubita’: An English Girl In Spain

by Tilly Brogan

In 2010, a journalist recounted an experience she had while living in Andalucía.

At the beginning the constant staring didn’t bother me. I was foreign, I looked completely different. But when you’re trying to fit in and feel at home in a new place, standing out makes it difficult. On one occasion an old man approached me. I thought he was about to ask me the time – but no, he just shouted “Rubita!” very close to my face.

Below is a poem I wrote about the stereotype of the ‘Rubita’ in Spain. The word ‘Rubita‘ is a derogative term for a girl with blonde hair, usually associated with sexual provocation and promiscuity.

England’s child is fair of face, Rosy cheeks for a bonny race. Pearly pins in a tiny skirt, What a tease, the little flirt.

A blonde beauty barely dressed, Little shame of exposed breast. An easy girl that won’t say no, And loves to give a private show.

Stares as she walks down the street, Their favourite type of morning treat. The fantasy, la dolce vita. Such love for the sexy Rubita.

An English rose without the thorns, Spanish girls they fight with horns, So brash, so brazen, ugly traits. Fire burns; it does not elate.

English girls, the golden pearls, The perfect little showgirls. An exotic prize, foreign delights, Dancing in his dream tonight.