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Why Most Latina Moms Won’t Let Their Daughters Leave The Hospital Without Earrings

Leaving the hospital already blinged out is a rite of passage for many  Latinas. It is a tradition that is so ingrained our culture that even our own tías learned the mastery of taking a needle and pushing it through the skin of our tender earlobes. While to Latinas it is very normal to have your ears pierced before you can even walk, non-Latinas have questioned whether this is child abuse. For us, this is just how we were brought up — our mamás just wanted us to enter pre-school looking fabulous and we cannot blame them for that.

So, first you are born.

Credit: CW

This is a pretty natural first step in human nature. By the time you are born, you know mamá already has three things ready for you. The first is your name, the second is your outfit and the third is all the bling you’re going to wear for your first introduction to the outside world.

The first thing you do is chillar, because ¡¿qué clase de carajo es todo esto?!

There are so many firsts to be had. Your first solid meal, first steps, first Instagram post — but all mamá can think about is the moment you’ll rock your first piece of gold jewelry.

You are whisked away to get your ears pierced basically while you’re still halfway stuck in your mom’s womb.

Credit: Bravo

We weren’t joking when we said many of us got our ears pierced before leaving the hospital. I had a neighbor who was a viejita that was nearly blind as a bat but she was always called on when there was a new birth. She’d bring a small sewing kit to the hospital, request ice to numb the ears y rápidito she would puncture the earlobe with a sewing needle. Chances are, we or our moms knew of a señora who would get the job done.

But why? What’s the rush? Good questions.

These questions have been asked by Latinos and non-Latinos alike, including this mom posting on a parenting message board:

I asked my sister what she thought about it. I was curious about her opinion because she’s been in the U.S. since she was about 5, got her college degree here, etc… and is basically well immersed into “American” culture. Well she basically had the same attitude as my mom! I was really surprised! She asked me if I was “wussing out” and if I was becoming a “gringa.” I was really surprised. I didn’t expect her to respond like that. (Which by the way, I’m the only one of all my siblings who actually speaks Spanish to her children and they are very fluent in it!)

Of course, there might be a slight thread of sexism running through the whole thing.

From the same poster as above:

We just had our first baby girl after having boys, and I’m a little torn on this. It seems to be big taboo in the Mexican community for a girl not to have earrings. I know that growing up, if I ever forgot eto put mine on, my aunt would say, “Hola Nino”, or “Hello Boy.”

Credit: Warner Bros.

Yup. It’s a statement that’s probably not new to any of us. One Twitter user also mentioned that even when she was wearing ruffles from head to toe, her mom would call her a boy when she would forget to wear her earrings.

Another Latina mom points out the tension this discussion can cause among moms of different cultures:

A lot of Anglo moms consider the practice barbaric and even borderline child abuse. Latina moms accuse Anglos of cultural insensitivity in the same breath that Anglo moms compare earlobe piercing to genital mutilation. There’s no winning this argument.

Comparing earlobe piercing to genital mutilation? Yikes.

Credit: Paramount Pictures

So how did this tradition even start? Legend has it that…

…Once upon a time, a baby Latina went out into the world without pierced ears and an evil dragon found her and said, “Oye, pareces niño.” And the little girl was all like…

As for whether it’s really child abuse, well…

A lot of us whose ears were pierced before the placenta was even wiped away will readily tell you that we literally do not remember the moment it happened, and also that the larger the hoop we wear now, the stronger our superpowers. But it’s ultimately up for parents to decide, ¿tú sabes?

In any case: Worry not, little former holey-eared babies. You’re not alone.

Credit: FOX

READ: 7 Celebrity Outfits From The ’90s That Are So Bad They’re Good

Did you get your ears pierced as a baby? Would you pierce your baby’s ears? We wanna know, because we’re metiches.

Shop our new I Got My Ears Pierced Before It Was Cool shirt now available in a toddler tee and a onsie!

Quarantine Is Raising Tie-Dye DIY From The Dead

Fierce

Quarantine Is Raising Tie-Dye DIY From The Dead

Jamie McCarthy / Getty

Si mi gente, the tie-dye craze of yesteryear are back again!

You might have thought you left your tie-dye fascination in some bath in 1997, but it turns out quarantine brings all kinds of things out from the cracks. The colorful dying technique has seen another resurgence giving everyone a chance to focus on something else while in quarantine. And it’s not just T-shirts, the new dying trend is coming for your nightgowns, slips, shoes, and headbands.

Check out all of the things people are tie-dying below!

Tie-Dye is coming for your tops.

Even when they’re made of velvet– which we wouldn’t have thought up our selves.

It’s also coming for your sets.

And your exercise gear.

Like look how cute the tie-dye trend will be during your isolation pilates class.

Love how bold and colorful this tie-dye is for the dresses we felt were old and out of date.

And they’ll work their magic on all of your headbands.

But tie-dye on your silk dresses is completely out of sight.

And look tie-dye with puns!

A Photographer Is Capturing New Mexico’s Chicanx Community Through Portraits

Culture

A Photographer Is Capturing New Mexico’s Chicanx Community Through Portraits

Courtesy of Frank Blazquez

Photographer Frank Blazquez is paying a loving homage to Chicanx culture in the Land of Enchantment. The photographer is showing the world what it looks like to be Chicanx in New Mexico to highlight the diversity in a shared experience.

Frank Blazquez wants to show the world what Chicanx culture looks like outside of California.

“I am an Illinois transplant, so I was fascinated, and eventually obsessed, with the differences in my ethnicity’s iconography,” Blazquez says about the inspiration behind his project “Barrios de Nuevo Mexico: Southwest Stories of Vindication.” “For example, in New Mexico, as opposed to the Midwest and East Coast, there is a strong connection to American geography. You’ll see Latinx people with New Mexico state symbols tattooed directly on their faces and skulls. But refreshing similarities such as hairstyle also struck me.”

The other reason Blazquez started to document these lives was because of the devastating and widespread impact of drug addiction.

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Sleepy with his Daughter

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Blazquez admits to once having a drug problem and eventually overcoming those struggles. Some of the people that he photographs are former drug users or others who have sought redemption.

“I started in 2016 just walking around Albuquerque’s Central Avenue in the War Zone earning my street photography badge. When I almost died a couple of times, I started to use my Instagram page more often to set up shoots and contact homies from my former days of opiate abuse,” Blazquez explains. “My friend Emilio created the random handle @and_frank13 and I kept it after he died in 2017 from drug complications; an event that made me work harder to present portraits of New Mexicans demonstrating faces of dignity, hence my project ‘Barrios de Nuevo Mexico: Southwest Stories of Vindication.'”

Photography was a passion for Blazquez that grew into something bigger than him as he learned.

Blazquez’s interest in photography and love of his culture combined to create a photo series celebrating the people in his life. Blazquez turned his lens to the people in his life to capture a beauty he saw in his own community that is often overlooked and ignored.

Blazquez is hoping to show people that Chicanx culture has spread farther than California because of an exodus.

“Homies escaping the three strikes law in California created an exodus in the ’90s that transferred new symbols from organizations, namely 18th Street, Sureños, and Norteños,” Blazquez explains about the Chicanx community in New Mexico. “As New Mexico is an expanse of serene beauty that attracts people to escape from former lives, in turn, symbols were exchanged such as black and gray tattoo and font styles with purist craft structure adhering to Southwest archetypes—fat ass cursive and serif fonts with ornate filigree stems.”

He acknowledges that California is known for its Chicanx and Latinx communities but there is so much more to teach people.

“LA fingers do not represent the millions of brown people outside of California and it certainly does not represent native-born New Mexicans,” Blazquez explains. “I learned the Latinx experience is entirely different in various locations—the California stereotype doesn’t carry itself across America. It’s enlightening to know that brown culture grows and adapts independently.”

The photographer also wants to teach people that the Latino community is vast and diverse.

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Homemade New Mexican Tattoos // #dukecity

A post shared by Frank Blazquez (@and_frank13) on

“That the Latin-spectrum in America is not pigeonholed to any sole category,” Blazquez says. “Knowing that the labels Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicanx (a/o), Latinx (a/o), Hispanic, Mexica (not Hispanic nor Latino), Indo-Latino, Afro-Latinx (a/o) are just several of the hundreds of labels available to classify my culture’s diaspora is important.”

“Duke City Diaries” is a mini-series on YouTube that Blazquez has produced to take you deeper into the lives of the people in his photos.

“I knew the profound faces from my 2010’s New Mexico experience would make great art and explain an important POC narrative at the same time,” Blazquez says. “Creating the short YouTube documentary series “Duke City Diaries” was also an offshoot from my portraiture and one that created distinct reception. The hateful and racist comments kept me moving forward to show a larger audience that racism still exists.”

Blazquez is currently working on a new photo series called Mexican Suburbs diving deeper into his themes of Chicanx culture and the opioid crisis.

READ: Photographer Diego Huerta Took An Update Photo Of The Most Beautiful Girl In Mexico