Culture

An Instagram Influencer And Actress Threw A Mexican-Themed Birthday For Her Daughter And Her Fans Are Divided

Cultural appropriation is a touchy subject. It’s one of those topics that encourages fierce debate and is also very open to interpretation. For some cultures, to be embraced by those outside their communities in such a way is an honor to their customs and beliefs. For other cultures, it’s systematic of a problem that began thousands of years ago with European colonizers.

In other words, it’s a complicated and emotional topic that is impossible to definitively nail down but easy to grow angry over.

Which is why one Instagram influencer mom and the Mexican-themed party that she threw for her daughter’s birthday is getting so much attention.

Instagram / @happilyevereva

Writer, actress and blogger, Eva Amurri Martino recently posted pictures to her Instagram account of her daughter Marlowe’s fifth birthday. The party included her daughter wearing a Puebla dress and Day of the Dead Sugar Skull face paint, a “Cinco de Marlowe” cake, and a taco piñata. Along with the pics, Martino included a caption that explained the reason for the Mexican theme. Referencing her daughter’s upbringing by “incredible Latin women” and the child’s first language of Spanish, the actress expressed Marlowe’s love for the Mexican culture and the Disney movie “Coco.”

The caption reads:

“Anybody who knows Marlowe knows she is obsessed with Mexico- she has had incredible Latin women taking care of her from three weeks old, and one in particular from Mexico who would always call her “cinco de Marlowe” on May 5th. Spanish was actually Marlowe’s first language before English, which made me really proud that she was getting so much from another culture. We moved from Los Angeles, but when the movie Coco came out, Marlowe loved it and felt really connected to it because she had heard about a lot of the themes of the movie from people she cares about. She wanted all these things brought together for her fifth birthday since she was finally, actually turning “cinco”!”

Besides being fans of Mexican culture, Martino wanted to shed light on the issues at the border.

Instagram /  @happilyevereva

According to the the actress’ Instagram post, she has acknowledged the travesty at the border by writing about it, donating to worthy causes and calling her local representatives. She also included a link to her blog where she has written about family separation.

“From when this all first started, we have been donating to those affected- and I also wrote a blog post which I’m putting in my bio. (unfortunately, this has been going on a long time so the post is from a while ago. Please comment on it with additional charities you love). We also have been calling our senators.”

While she clearly explained the reasons for her theme of choice, many commentators on Twitter and Instagram were quick to call this a case of cultural appropriation.

Twitter / @thedealwithalex

This Twitter user attributed Martino’s later explanation of the party as “White” guilt. They also expressed their opinion that her comments amounted to little more than a fake apology.

This Tweet admitted that, though they didn’t know who Martino is, they felt as if she needed to stop.

Twitter / @_heyliz

We won’t argue that white people are one of the main perpetrators of cultural appropriation but remember that everyone can be guilty of this and all marginalized cultures can be appropriated from. That’s one of the reasons why cultural appropriation is so contentious.

This Insta comment expressed offense over the theme but appreciated the explanation attached to it.

Instagram / @molleeelizabeth

It seems like there would be a big difference between appreciation and appropriation but this is another gray area. One group’s version of appreciation can be offensive to the group being borrowed from. Perspective is what determines it in the end.

However, some found no problem with Martino’s party theme choice.

Instagram / @aylinesteck

This Insta user from Mexico expressed her appreciation for the party’s theme. As the comment says, it’s important to teach kids to respect and value other cultures as much as they do their own. If this party is able to accomplish that, then it’s a success.

Other Instagram users spoke to the sense of community and celebration that the Mexican culture has.

Instagram / @roady

Mexicans have a reputation for being family-oriented fans of a good time. So, naturally, a party honoring Mexican culture is a good way to pay tribute to this.

Still, while some Mexican descendants might feel honored by this party, others might be offended. Likewise, while some white people might say that it’s no big deal, some might call it out for cultural appropriation. That’s what’s difficult about cases like this. We won’t solve cultural appropriation today but let’s all agree to respect each other and extend an invite to the next big fiesta we throw.

 
 

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Entertainment

Pepe Aguilar Is Spreading Norteña Culture Across The US In Sold Out Venues And We Stan Hard

Pop music is far more complex and deeper than Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift (no offence, ladies). In a multicultural society like the United States, we have to rethink what we consider as mainstream. This term is generally used for artists whose work is consumed by Anglo audiences. Think about it, an African-American rapper “breaks into the mainstream” when white folk start paying attention, right? Otherwise, the artist is just “niche”. That is why we gotta reconsider what “mainstream” means when it comes to Latino artists and shows. 

Which brings us to Pepe Aguilar, perhaps one of the most popular singers in the planet and who is taking Mexico and the United States by storm with his Mexican rodeo extravaganza “Jaripeo Sin Fronteras”. The show brings together charreria, songs and a good doses of good old Mexican pride. 

So who is Pepe Aguilar? (as if you didn’t know, right?) 

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

His full name is José Antonio Aguilar Jiménez and he is Mexican-American as it comes. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, while his parents were on tour. He was raised in Zacatecas, where he first became a rock musician and had a band called Equs, which was influenced by the likes of Pink Floyd and The Who! Can you imagine that? Well, one thing led to another and he ended up going back to his Mexican roots and becoming one of the best-selling ranchera acts of all time. 

He is, of course, the son of the late great Tony Aguilar.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Pepe Aguilar has ranchera en la sangre. He is the son of Antonio Aguilar and Flor Silvestre, two legendary musicians in their own right. Tony Aguilar was also a strong presence in the Mexican film industry. Aguilar senior recorded over 150 albums, which sold over 25 million copies. Can you get more mainstream than that? Well, Pepe is making sure that the family legacy lives on. 

Introducing Jaripeo Sin Fronteras!

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

This amazing show has Pepe Aguilar as the lead, but includes acts by his kids Angela (what a voice on this lady!), Leonardo and Antonio Aguilar Jr. Marichis and rodeo acts are also included of course! The show is touring non-stop in 2019 in both sides of the border, bringing a message of unity. Just look at what they did in Mexico City.

Let’s not forget that for the Aguilar family showbiz is like second nature.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

The show just flows like the musical blood that runs through those Aguilar veins. This is Pepe with his brother, perhaps the only Aguilar not deep into showbiz! In an interview for CE Noticias Financieras, Guadalupe Pineda, the famous Mexican singer and Pepe’s cousin, says of him: “Pepe is a great dad, he’s doing the best for every one of his kids. As an aunt, you simply know and feel that we can all be wrong and that the boy is very young and has every right in the world to get ahead”. 

So, of course, the show includes the next generation of Aguilar talent!

Credit: Instagram. @angelicaguilar_mxfan

Angela Aguilar followed the family tradition of being born while on tour. She came into the world in Los Angeles while her mother was accompanying Pepe Aguilar on tour. And you can tell that musical talent is there. Her version of “Shallow” is enough to make anyone cry! And she had Lady Gaga’s blessing, as Angela said in the Mexican TV show Ventaneando: “Suddenly I’m playing the piano trying to practice and concentrate. Lady Gaga said yes, practice, you’re going to sing it. Oh, my God, I’m going to die! I mean, Lady Gaga knows who I am is like. wow!”.

The show includes all sorts of equine acts, and the horses are quite unique.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Some of the amazing horses in the show are shaved by the amazing Rob Ferrell, a barber who is so dexterous with the blade he is able to imprint a Mexican aguila y serpiente on the equine’s skin. You can look at his work (on human and horse surfaces!) here: https://www.instagram.com/robtheoriginal/  

The show has been a sold-out in localities North and South of the Border.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Look at the Honda Center in Anaheim: un lleno total, carajo! Pepe Aguilar is a consummate businessman and he knows that every city is slightly different. He explained the concept to Billboard: “It’s basically a modular concept, where you can change the pieces. The fundamental parts are the horse shows and the Mexican traditions. In some cities we’ll have special guests, in others, only the family is going to perform”. There are still some dates available this year: 

September 20 — Atlanta, Georgia @ Infinite Energy Center

September 22 — Chicago, Illinois @ Allstate Arena

September 27 — Tacoma, Washington @Tacoma Dome

Even if you are not a fan of ranchera culture, you have to admit the show is quite spectacular: the whole Aguilar family makes an appearance, look at Leonardo riding that horse.

Credit: YouTube. @STO

Leonardo is the latest success story in “La Dinastía Aguilar”. He has been nominated for two Latin Grammys despite his tender age: only 20 and he is already a great act. He released his first record when he was only 12-years-old, Nueva Tradición, a collaboration with his sister Angela.

And of course Pepe Aguilar has been super amazing with fans, because that is just who he is.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

You don’t get to be on top and stay on top without being an approachable and kind celebrity. Pepe Aguilar knows well who pays his wages: the millions of fans that love him and his multi talented family. 

And of course Mexican cities are embracing the show with sold out venues.

Credit: Instagram. @pepeaguilar_oficial

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has had a huge appeal in Mexico, which tells us that being “Mexican” goes beyond national borders. No one cares Pepe Aguilar was born in the United States: we share one identity and one heart. 

So can haters admit Mexican culture is mainstream now?

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Jaripeo sin Fronteras has performed in the main arenas of almost every major city in the United States. See what we meant with rethinking what mainstream means?

And yeah, those are some of the most beautiful caballitos we have ever seen.

Credit: YouTube / Los Angeles Times

Just look at those ojitos pispiretos, beautiful beasts. And as Billboard reports, no animals are harmed, so worry not: “Pepe, who rides several of his Andalusian horses in his own equestrian performance, also specifies that no animals are hurt during this tour”. 

Mexican Food Is Enjoyed Around The World But Not Much Of It Is Authentic As These Epic Food Fails Prove

Culture

Mexican Food Is Enjoyed Around The World But Not Much Of It Is Authentic As These Epic Food Fails Prove

MyRecipes.com

Ah, poor Mexican food. It often falls in las garras of unscrupulous gringos that wish to make the authentic thing, the real deal, but often end up coming up with dishes that make us go no mames instead of yummy. On other occasions these restaurants, people and brands just do a blatant and half-assed attempt to use some Mexican ingredients (or Tex-Mex!) and call that authentic Mexican. 

Here’s some of the most horrible but hilariously wrong attempts to recreate one of the most complex cuisines in the world, which has been recognized by the UNESCO as world heritage, as Herald Sun reported recently: “Mexican food is one of the more nuanced cuisines of the world. It’s also one of only two national cuisines to have been listed by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The other is French gastronomy”. So whenever someone damages the reputation of Mexican food, they are in fact conspiring against humanity as a whole! 

Oven fresh burritos = frozen atrocities.

Credit: Instagram. @tysonmitman

No disrespect to our British friends, but food is not their strongest suit. This atrocious sign is trying to hide the fact that perhaps the burritos they are selling come out of a freezer and probably have that plastic aftertaste so familiar for those who survive on microwave food. No, gracias. 

This hipster monstrosity that gives pumpkin a bad name.

Credit: Instagram. @bigblack1911

OMG! What on Earth is this? We have enough with pumpkin latte season for hipster companies to appropriate our venerable tortilla chip and turn it into this Thanksgiving nightmare. Seriously, dudes, pumpkin tortillas sound just kind of OKish, but adding cinnamon and nutmeg. Gua-ca-la. 

This bad translation, un poquito de esfuerzo mijos!

Credit: Instagram. @roymeyer

What do they take us for? Really, can’t you just do a better job and simply say “slow cooked pork meat” rather than “little meats”? You are not doing a very good job at selling your product, bro. 

We feel for this person whose burrito will just collapse.

Credit: Twitter. @cocoterito

Oh, my! Multiculturalism certainly brings joyful moments of pena ajena. Twitter user Susanita just witnessed her coworker commit the ultimate crime: eating a cold tortilla that will taste like cardboard and that will just crumble before the first bite. 

We can’t even… Seriously, ranch dressing as a hot sauce?

Credit: Instagram. @ArielleMartin

Seriously, who can even consider Ranch or Sriracha to be Mexican condiments? Well, to be honest Sriracha is kind of fine, but ranch dressing? Puaj. 

Crackers as salsa dipping snacks… what fresh hell is this?

Credit: Twitter. @LauraSievert

We can live with stale tortilla chips if the salsa is acceptable… but…. really… crackers? This is just an insult to overall good taste! 

No beans, no life, manitos.

Credit: Instagram. @mrshappyhomemaker

Come on, how can you call yourself a Mexican restaurant and have no refried beans! To see this is levantarse con el pie izquierdo. 

This San Antonio joint that gave Mex food a bad name (and possibly gave gastro to a few customers)

Earlier this year food inspectors shut down a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, as News4SA reports: “After finding dead roaches and dirty appliances, a traditional Mexican restaurant here in San Antonio fails its latest health inspection. Maria’s Cafe located off Nogalitos Street just south of downtown scored a 62, a failing score”. We can only say “Qué pinche asco“.

A frozen tamale with cheese? Nah! There’s limits that should never be crossed.

We thank the attempts to take Mexican cuisine to the supermarket aisle… but, and this is a big “but”, you gotta do it right. This bad attempt at authenticity is self-incriminatory in its official description: ” Amy’s Cheese Tamale Verde starts with corn masa made from organic white corn and blended with Monterey Jack Cheese, chiles and jalapeños. Then, it is topped off with our slow-simmered verde sauce and served with a side of Spanish rice and organic black beans”. Who on Earth blends masa with cheese? No one!

Please, just stop it with the cheese tamales!

And of course, these ones are presented over a bed of sweet corn… Very authentic…. NOT! This can really work if you want to get on a diet: we are guessing you won’t take a second bite. Well done, Lean Cuisine! 

This overpriced restaurant that doesn’t look like a fonda at all!

Credit: Photo by the author

Fonda Mexican is an Australian chain that claims to make authentic food from South of the Border. Problem is, it ends up being a weird fusion joint that pretends to be authentic. We would be OK with it if it wasn’t so damn pretentious! 

The place tries to look like a traditional family restaurant but ends up being un adefesio.

Credit: Photo by the author

The decor tries to imitate the look and feel of a traditional fonda, but it fails horribly. It all tastes like cultural appropriation, quite frankly. 

And just look at the price of those tacos! 

What? Chimichurri (which is Argentinian) on a taco? And aioli? And pepitas? Give us a break and stop gentrifying everything! 

This banana buñuelo in Tokyo that is just a deep fried tortilla.

At least we appreciate the honesty. Buñuelos are a tradition of Mexican street food. It is a huge sheet of deep fried pastry that is just crunchy and sweet and delicious. We are sure your abuelitas remember eating them after mass on Sundays, as buñuelos vendors usually congregate around churches. Well, the Chiles Mexican Grill in Tokyo serves this blasphemy: a deep fried tortilla with banana and walnut inside. Herejes

The Pancho Villa restaurant in Moscow is just otra cosa.

Credit: Google Maps. @Lora Versus

Reading through the menu of the Pancho Villa restaurant in Moscow is like witnessing a car crash. The squid salad is described as follows: “Squid from the grill, fresh veggies, Mariachi, fried corn  and a dressing of chipotle and mayo”. What do they mean by “Mariachi”? We hope this doesn’t involve some sort of cannibalistic practice!

And does this sound Mexican at all? “Ensalada de Pato. Juicy duck breast with lettuce, corn, pear and cherry tomatoes with a creamy honey dressing”. Damn, it does sound OKish but not Mexican like at all. And what about this atrocity? “Ensalada Yucateca. A traditional Mexican salad: fried ground beef, iceberg lettuce, corn, avocado, lime dressing and pico de gallo”. Really?  That just looks like nachos minus the tortilla chips! We mean, would you eat the weird looking thing in the picture? And who puts jalapeños and black olives together anyways? 

And the one we hate most of all: the abominable taco salad! 

This particular salad comes from the Habaneros Mexican Grill in Edmonton, Canada. This has NOTHING Mexican about it. It is just an overprices Taco Bell-like Tex-Mex… thing. 

We are probably being too harsh on the humble taco salad, but we have had nightmares since POTUS celebrated 5 de Mayo by eating one…

Credit: Giphy. Anonymous. 

We are so sorry for el susto.