Culture

11 Crucial Life Lessons I Learned, Not From My Parents, But From Telenovelas

There are a few things that were never discussed growing up: relationships, periods, sex. Probably in that order.

The only advice I ever got on love and relationships was from watching TV. But of course rated R movies were prohibited in our house, however, my parents had no issue with telenovelas.

From telenovelas, I learned it all: how to handle scandals, how to have passionate sex, romance, and how to deal with malditas who betray me. You could say that Univision and Televisa served as my sex-ed — and all of these lessons took me very far in life.

Topacio

This 1984 telenovela from Venezuela told the story of young Topacio. She is blind, poor, and very beautiful. She meets Jorge Luis who comes from a wealthy family. But here’s the catch, they were switched at birth!

Moral of story: your parents might not really be your parents. 

Baila Conmigo

If you think “High School Musical” or “Glee” changed your life, you haven’t watched “Baila Conmigo.” This 1992 novela dealt with many things that high schoolers go through like rejection, betrayal, and first loves. And the entire thing was a musical!

Before I had ever seen this novela, I didn’t know the term “bad boy.” After watching it, it definitely made me feel like I wanted to be with the “bad boy” because it was probably the best way to rebel. It took me YEARS to get that notion of wanting the bad boy out of my head. Sad but true.

Moral of the story: If you see a guy in a leather jacket, chances are he’s the bad guy. So stay away from him! (Even though you won’t.) 

Quinceañera

I didn’t have a quinceañera nor did I want one, but this novela really made me see what could have been. The theme song on its own is great, and it really deals with the hardships that girls go through.

The novela is actually more controversial than I realized at the time but I learned a lot about real issues that no one ever talked about in my family such as rape and drug use.

Moral of the story: Just because you had your big birthday party doesn’t mean your life will turn out for the better. 

Los Ricos Tambien Lloran

Growing up, I had no idea my family was poor. I suppose I had no gauge of understanding what poverty or wealth really was. But then I was introduced to “Los Ricos Tambien Lloran.” While I didn’t understand our financial situation, I knew we didn’t have the money problems that these people faced. In fact, the people in this novela were downright evil.

Moral of the story: Money isn’t everything. 

Dos Mujeres Dos Caminos

This novela is as porny as you can get, or at least that’s how I understood it to be as I was a kid. For starters, the main dude who’s stringing along two ladies, is the dude from Chips! It made no sense. However, this show made it seem like all men cheat. It wasn’t a positive way to see men, but then again they also glorified his actions on this show.

Moral of the story: Dump a dude if he seems sketchy or too good to be true. 

Cuna de Lobos

The funny thing about this telenovela is that I couldn’t really pay attention to the drama because the matriarch of the family was missing an eye! Throughout the series, this lady wore an eye patch – a really fancy patch, so it was hard to focus on other things.

Moral of the story: Make nice with family or else they will leave you out of their will. 

La Fea Mas Bella

This storyline, which has spawned similar novelas worldwide, is one of the very few that I could actually relate to. Letty, a simple girl with big aspirations, is career minded but also in dire need of love. This girl will stop at nothing to get to to the top and get to her man, who seems like he might be out of her league.

I was Letty in so many ways. I was the girl out of place, the girl looking for love, and the girl that wanted it all. Watching Letty climb the corporate ladder and defying all odds was really inspiring to me as a kid. It made me feel like I could do whatever I wanted, and it didn’t matter what I looked like because eventually the guy of my dreams would see the person inside.

Moral of the story: The awkward girl is more awesome than you think. 

Amor En Silencio

This novela is kinda bonkers but insanely good. The storyline revolves around Marisela and Fernando who, naturally, should not be together for a variety of reasons but it technically comes down to his mother. Either way, these two get together and shit goes down at the wedding. And that’s only the beginning!

Parents should be informed that you should never ever tell a child what they should or shouldn’t do because they’ll end up doing the opposite. The more my mother said to me: “you shouldn’t be with him,” the more I wanted to. But also, never hook up with your third cousin, that would be the talk of every family reunion.

Moral of the story: Be careful who you fall in love with because they might be your relative. 

Maria Mercedes

I really thought of my older sister as Maria Mercedes. They both had the same problems. She had to take care of her siblings and basically be the adult and could never live a proper life. In the novela, Maria’s life is turned upside down when a wealthy man takes her just because he feels sorry for her. While that never happened to my sister, it did make me feel like the only way out of a miserable situation is if a man got you out of it. Not true by the way, but try telling that to an impressionable kid, especially one that would like to look like Thalia.

Moral of the story: Men will not save you, only you can do that. 

Maria la del Barrio

Speaking of popular Thalia telenovelas, “Maria la del Barrio” is also a lesson on true life. This novela is very similar to “Los Ricos Tambien Lloran,” however, this one features the one and only Itatí Cantoral, which makes it even better.

One important teaching in this novela, like many others, is that just because your life sucks now doesn’t mean it won’t get better. Or perhaps I should say, just because you’re a gem living on the bad part of town doesn’t mean you can never end up a rich lady ruling her throne. For me, it was more like “good comes to those who wait.”

Moral of the story: Work as a maid with rich people and one day they might work for you! (Or go insane, one or the other.)

Rebelde

I could not relate to this telenovela at all, but that’s why I loved it even more. If you’d ever want to know what the other side lives like — you know, the rich, attractive, talented, and popular, these kids were it. “Rebelde” was my way of being part of the in-crowd without ever leaving my house

I really took notes from watching these characters because I really felt that one day I’d be put in the spotlight, or a cute guy would ask me out, or I’d get invited to hang out with the cool kids. And when those things happened, I’d know exactly what to do.

Moral of the story: Being beautiful and talented also comes with a heavy price so count your blessings.


READ: How “La Rosa De Guadalupe” Ruined What Was Supposed To Be The Best Years Of Your Life

Did you watch any of these telenovelas? Share this story and let us know in the comment section below. 

There Are Few Things Latinos Love In This World More Than Vaporú And There’s Good Reason For It

Culture

There Are Few Things Latinos Love In This World More Than Vaporú And There’s Good Reason For It

mitú

You know how *some* folks say there is no magic cure or magic pill you can take to ease life’s worries? They’re just missing out on the opioid for the Latinx masses: Vicks Vaporub (or, as our mamis call it, Vaporú). Just knowing that Vicks exists is a comfort to end all worries in our lives. Growing up Latino means being perpetually fear-mongered into thinking you’ll catch pneumonia if you leave the house without a sweater and doing it anyway because of Vicks.

All those memories of our abuelas and mamas rubbing Vicks on our bruises, mosquito bites and more are made more magical by the song they sang to us while they healed us: “Sana, sana, colita de rana.” Maybe the magic of Vicks is the “Sana, sana.” Who can say? All we know is that combined, it can cure anything. Hence, the idolization of medicine for Latinos:

1. Vicks can cure insomnia, so why not sleep on a Vicks-inspired pillow?

Credit: mitú

The Barrio Shop sells this multi-use pillow for just $24.99. Rub Vicks under your nose and fall asleep to the eucalyptus smell that has been proven to help with sleep in children. 

2. Vicks also cures all emotional pain. Going through a breakup? Apply Vicks to it and continue to cry into this pillow.

Credit: mitú

It comes with the pillow inside, but you can take off the case and wash it after a night of crying all over it. Todo bien.

3. Latinos have reliably used Vicks to induce crying for manipulative gain.

Credit: @AlvarezCa_ / Twitter

Vicks not only cures emotional pain, but it can also help you fake it. Everyone knows that novela stars would rub Vicks under their eyes before a dramatic scene because the fumes are so intense, it makes your eyes water. Everyone also knows that every Latino child has used the same method to fake a crying spell to get what we want. We’re evil geniuses like that, gracias a Vaporú.

4. We all know that just having Vicks on our person at all times is like the evil eye to injuries.

Credit: mitú

Making sure you have a tiny tube on hand helps ward off injuries. Plus, we’re ready for any bruise, blunt force trauma or freak accident, thanks to that tiny, pungent tube. Carrying mitú’s Sana Sana pin has the same warding-off properties.

5. Latinos also know not to go afuera during mosquito season without Vicks slathered all over our bodies.

Credit: @bzz_mosquitos / Twitter

Is it the smell that wards mosquitos away? We don’t know. All we know is if you get bit by a demonic mosquito that is unaffected by the holiness of Vicks, you can just rub Vicks on the bite, too, and it will cure it.

6. We also grew up laughing at expensive acne-clearing brands because Vicks could cure that anyway.

Credit: mitú

Doctors don’t advise it, but they actually don’t advise using Vicks for anything other than cough suppressant and aching joints. Puesss, what do they know?

7. Latinos grow up to be medical professionals that also swear by Vicks.

Credit: mitú

Honestly, as a patient, seeing that pin would just bestow approximately 1400 percent more trust in my medical provider. Like, I don’t want to hear about how Vicks is destroying my sense of smell or that I can’t rub it on my throat for a sore throat. 

8. Instead of being cranky about a cafecito-withdrawal headache, we make more cafecito and rub Vicks into our temples.

Credit: mitú

Latinos’ relationship with cafecito is a whole other story. Por cierto, blessing your forehead with the panacea of Vicks cures us of our headaches every time. And yes, we’re better for it.

9. Who needs an expensive podiatrist to cure foot fungus when we have Vicks?

Credit: @Gardenbella / Twitter

It’s hard to say whether we generally have fungus-free feet or not given that we’re never allowed to walk around barefoot, but the story goes that Vicks will cure toe fungus. The moms all say that the gel “suffocates” the fungus and it dies. Gross, but at least our feet smell great.

10. Vicks has also made Latina moms straight-up superheroes.

Credit: @ispeakcomedy / Twitter

Wow. It must be hard for other moms to not Latina-mom levels of confidence, sponsored by Vicks Vaporub. [This post is not sponsored by Vicks Vaporub].

11. Dare we say that Vicks offers, a menos, a placebo effect to our kind?

Credit: mitú

Doctors have come out warning the Latino community that Vicks can actually worsen sunburns, acne and open, bleeding wounds. All we know is that our people are suffering less with Vicks in our lives, and pinned to our jackets, and that’s got to make us more fun to be around. :’)

A Woman Threw A Lowrider-Themed Party For Her Son’s First Birthday And It’s Just Too Much For Our Hearts

Culture

A Woman Threw A Lowrider-Themed Party For Her Son’s First Birthday And It’s Just Too Much For Our Hearts

When it comes to maintaining and seeing our Latinidad flourish, instilling a sense of pride, excitement, and curiosity in our younger generations is key. Particularly when it comes to the past. One Twitter user’s recent birthday celebrations for her son, emphasized just how much teaching the old to the new is vital.

Way back before Twitter user @whoissd’s son Silas Cash C turned 1 year old, living in Southern California crafted a car style called “lowrider” that expressed pride in their culture and presence in the states. While the brightly painted, lowriding automobiles that were outfitted with special hydraulics that made them bounce up and down saw a peak in the 1970s, they remain a big part of Chicano culture, particularly in Los Angeles.

@whoissd’s son Silas is proving that he’ll be part of a generation that will not let the culture die out recently when he celebrated his first full year with a theme that was little more unique and closer to his family’s hearts.

For her son, Silas Cash’s, first birthday, SD threw an authentic lowrider party — complete with the recognizable cruisers in attendance.

Twitter / @whoissd

On July 27, SD shared pics of the big event with her Twitter followers. The post showed baby Silas Cash cruising in his own pint-sized orange lowrider. The party came complete with several lowriders and classic cars in attendance for party-goers to check out. Since posting the adorable pics on Twitter, the message has received more than 22.5k retweets and over 138k likes.

According to SD, Silas Cash developed a fascination with lowriders because of his dad. In an email to REMEZCLA, the mom explained the connection.

“[My son’s dad] started restoring two cars to continue a bond that he had shared with his own father throughout his childhood and it’s now something that the has been introduced to our son. The lowrider culture represents family, unity, and respect to us. It really is a beautiful thing.”

The one-year old’s mini lowrider had to be specially made in Japan just for his birthday party.

Twitter / @whoissd

Silas Cash’s mom explained the decision to have the tiny lowrider made for her kiddo.

“We originally thought about getting Silas his own lowrider because of the immediate attraction he has to his dad’s Impala. With enough searching, we were able to find someone who custom makes remote-controlled pedal cars, and we were sold… Silas and his dad have matching orange ’63 Impalas with the same candy paint hardtops to match.”

Twitter was quick to react to the simply adorable party and they couldn’t stop gushing over it.

Twitter / @cali_kalypso

As this tweet points out, this party is so authentically LA. Lowrider culture started in the streets of California in the mid-to-late 1940s and the post-war ’50s. Chicano youth would lower their car’s blocks, cut spring coils and alter auto frames in order to get the lowest and slowest ride possible. Back then, this was an act of rebellion against the Anglo authorities who suppressed Mexican-American culture.

This Snoop Dog meme says it all.

Twitter / @marissaa_cruzz

We’ve seen this meme make its rounds on the internet our fair share of times but this time it 100% applies. These pics of Baby Silas Cash and his mama are some of the cutest we’ve ever seen. The added bonus of the mini Impala makes this post almost too cute to handle.

A reminder that this little man is officially the coolest kid on the block.

Twitter / @devyn_the_lame

We can just see Baby Silas Cash pulling up to the playground in this custom low rider peddle cart and being the envy of all the other rugrats. There’s no doubt that he is the most chill kiddo at daycare.

*”Lowrider” plays in the distance*

Twitter / @JGar1105

We’re getting major “The George Lopez Show” flashbacks with all this lowrider talk. Don’t you think Silas Cash needs his own theme song? Obviously, there’s only one that is cool enough for the littlest lowrider.

Other tweets pointed out that it takes a fiercely cool mom to pull off this sort of party.

Twitter / @ismokemaryjuana

We’ve got to respect SD’s mom game. She really took her vision and went for it, resulting in a fun, unique and memorable party that her guests will never forget. Great job, mom; we hope Silas Cash grows up to realize how awesome his parents are.

 

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