Because I was taught to stay away from certain styles because they were too “mexican”. With phrases like “the bigger the hoop, the bigger the hole” when I loved wearing big earrings. Being told that red hair against my brown skin looked “ghetto” instead of fierce and bold. Wearing stylish flannels like the pretty pastel haired girls on tumblr and being told I look like a “chola”. Working hard to get rid of my slang because society taught me that it was “unflattering”. That bright red lips were too much. That my natural intense brows are now a makeup “fad”. When in reality all this shit was made up by people that want to put us down for claiming our own identity.
Had the honor and great opportunity to be called upon and offer some perspective on #StyleAsResistance in this incredible photo spread on contemporary chicanx fashion and resistance for Vogue Magazines 125
(some ramblings but I’m trying to process this and explain my perspective)
So I was in middle school in the 90s….
The time that people are now emulating
And I admire the chola aesthetic….
but going to those 90s hood inspired events reminded me why I don’t and will never dress like a chola…
I saw all these girls dressed in the 90s chola style and all of the sudden I was transported back to my brace face self in middle school
I was a nerd. And by that I mean, I was like reading dr. Doolittle books by myself in the library sometimes
And it was the cholitas that would tell me I wasn’t Mexican because I did not dress like them. It was the cholitas that were mean to me for being a nerd. But on the other hand, I defended them when white students would say they were “chuntis” and “beaners” and I just felt like such a confused in between person…. that 90s aesthetic that is so cool right now reminds me of the time that our identities were ridged… a time that wearing hoops and dark lipstick was seen as the ONLY way to be Mexicana/chicana….. and if you weren’t that, you weren’t Mexicana, you were a “white girl”. It didn’t matter that I watched “Preciosa” and “Soñadoras” novelas or that I wore Beaded jewelry or that I spent summers in Mexico with my family…. I was a nerd and so that made me a “white girl”.
The thing is, there’s no one way to be a chicana.
And as I’ve said before I’m down for all types of chicanas for chicanxs, for xicanas, for xicanx skaters, punks, rockabillies… city chicanas, small town xicanas, artist chicanas, athlete chicanas, queer xicanxs, multiracial xicanas and of course nerd xicanas.
And so I’ll never dress like a chola most importantly because I’m not one.