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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!

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Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

Culture

Nopales, The OG Ancestral Food We’ve Been Eating Since Waaaay Before Plant Based Foods Became Trendy

I can literally talk food until my babas drip. Don’t judge. The comelón life chose me and I’m not mad at it. Because growing up Latino meant breakfast wasn’t always cereal, and dinner wasn’t always mac and cheese. I grew up con más sabor en mis platillos than most Americans. And, at the time, I didn’t even realize that many of the foods my family was trying to get me to eat were ancestral foods. From chocolate to cocoa and chia to nopalitos, I blame los ancestros for my obsession with food and all the glorious ingredients that have been passed down for generations.

My knees already feel weak, fam, because today I’m gonna be talking nopalitos. Ya me estoy chupando los dedos, thinking back to how I grew up with these babies always in the refri in that Nopalitos jar, ready to be thrown into a sauce or encima de una carne asada. It turns out this soul-feeding food is one of the OG ancestral foods that have been used by our people for thousands of years. Ahí les va un poco de historia:

The Mexica introduced the world to the “fruit of the Earth.”

In Náhuatl, the word for nopal translates to “fruit of the Earth.” I don’t know what the Náhuatl word for “bomb-delicioso” is, but in my opinion, that should also be the name for nopales. And the Aztecs must have felt this way too because one of the most famous cities in the Aztec Empire – Tenochtitlán, the empire’s religious center – was named “prickly pear on a rock.” Iconic.

According to legend, the city was built after an Azteca priest spotted an eagle perched on a nopal plant, carrying a snake in its mouth. The priest, obviously extremadamente blown away by this, ran back to his village just so he could gather everyone to check out this crazy eagle with a snake in its mouth. As they watched, the cactus beneath the eagle grew into an island – eventually becoming Tenochtitlán. I’ll give you 3 seconds to just process that. 1…2…3. Please take more time if you need it. The image of the eagle carrying a snake, its golden talons perched on a nopal growing from a rock, can now be found on the Mexican flag.

Today, we know that the Mexica were right to call nopales the plant of life.

In Mexico, it’s still common to place a handful of nopal flowers in a bath to help relax achy muscles. And nopales are becoming more popular than ever in beauty treatments to help fight aging. But, y’all are too beautiful to be needing them for that, so let’s talk about what’s important — eating them.

There are so many ways you can mix this iconic ingredient into your meals.

We should all be eating our green foods. Your tía, your abuela, your primo, everyone…except your ex. Your ex can eat basura. I said what I said. But, nopalitos are especially important. These tenacious desert plants can be eaten raw, sautéed, pickled, grilled – they’re even used as pizza toppings. Though for some people, nopales – with their spines and texture – can be intimidating. After cutting off the spines and edges, and cutting them into slices, they will bleed a clear slime. But boiling for 20 minutes will take care of that. Or make it even easier on yourself and avoid espinas by buying them all ready-to-go from the brand we all know and love, DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos.

Check it out, I’m even gonna hook it up with that good-good, because if you’re looking for ways to enjoy your nopales, I got’chu with some starter links to recipes: Hibiscus and Nopal Tacos, Nopal Tostadas, Roasted Nopales con Mole, and Lentil Soup con Nopales.  One of my personal favorite ways to eat them is in a beautiful Cactus Salad, full of color and flavor. Trust. I rate these dishes 10 out of 10, guaranteed to make your babas drip, and when you eat this ensalada de nopalitos, you will remember even your ancestors were dripping babas over this waaay before it was cool to eat plant-based foods.

So let’s give the poderoso nopal the spotlight it deserves by adding it to our shopping lists more often.

Rich in history, mythology, and practical uses, the nopal’s enduring popularity is a testament to its versatility. It’s time to give this classic ingredient the respect it deserves and recognize just how chingon our ancestors are for making nopales fire before plantbase foods were even trending.

Next time you’re at the supermercado, do your ancestors proud and add nopales to your shopping cart by picking up a jar of DOÑA MARIA® Nopalitos. This easy-to-use food will definitely give you a major boost of pride in your roots. Viva los nopalitos bay-beh!

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Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

Entertainment

Maluma Teams Up With Luxury Brand Balmain For This Must-Have Fashion Collection

It’s 2021 and we have no shortage of epic collaborations between some of the world’s biggest Latino stars and top fashion brands. Everyone from J Balvin and Bad Bunny to Cardi B and now Maluma have entered the fashion industry to sell a lifestyle. And people are buying!

Maluma and French fashion house Balmain bring us a limited-edition collaboration.

Colombian superstar Maluma has partnered with French fashion house Balmain to launch a limited edition collection that will be available from April 12 through June 1 in all Balmain stores, including brick and mortar and online.

The collection, which includes sneakers, blazers, t-shirts, pants and other ready-to-wear clothing, will also be available at Saks Fifth Avenue as of April 15.

The Balmain + Maluma line marks the first time ever the brand has designed a line with a celebrity. And it seems like the brand’s creative designer is pretty excited about the collab. Through photos on his Instagram, Olivier Rousteing referred to the reggaetón singer as his inspiration, captioned with supportive laudatory messages about merging their cultures and joint design process.

“Maluma, more than him being an incredible singer,” Rousteing notes, “[brings] a lot to the fashion community with his joy and his happiness and the fact that he’s always playing up his style from different kinds of houses from around the world, mixing different cultures as well… I think the collaboration with Maluma is obviously giving to Balmain and pushing the aesthetic more internationally.”

Maluma also seems to be pumped for the opportunity!

Although Balmain has featured other celebrities in advertising campaigns and runway shows, it has never actually enlisted a celebrity to help design a full, name-branded line.

The brand’s high profile, along with the haute-couture retail price of the collection, underscores how entrenched Maluma is now in the global fashion world and how valuable his endorsement and name is perceived by high fashion.

“It’s been one of my goals to work with a respected fashion house on a collection, but this journey was more exciting, as Olivier pushed me to design with him and sketch looks that I personally will wear off the stage and showcase high couture with a bit of Papi Juancho,” says Maluma, referencing both his album name and alter ego.

But if you want a piece of the collection be prepared to drop those coins.

Credit: Phraa / Balmain

Items in the Balmain + Maluma collection range from a black cotton T-shirt that retails for $495, to $1,500 high top sneakers to a $2,555 multi-color print bomber jacket.

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