Bilingual is Better
Oct
23
2009

Not very Latina-like…

Posted by:  |  Category: Traditions + Culture

13
Photo by Teresa

Photo by "T"eresa

One of the biggest disagreements my mother and I have had over the years is the amount – or lack thereof – of makeup I wear. Whenever she sees me getting ready to go out – no importa donde – her comment is always the same: “Hijita, ¿no te vas a maquillar un poquito?” Thing is, I have put makeup on, just not tons of it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t like making myself up, but I don’t go all out just to drop-off my daughter at preschool or to pick a gallon of milk at the grocery store before the next big snow storm. But I come from a family of Latina women who wouldn’t be caught dead without makeup or a few canas sin teñir at the corner drugstore. I don’t ever remember seeing mi abuelita, who is 94 years old, without lipstick. She owns one in every hue of pink and she puts it on every single day of her life – even if she’s staying home watching her favorite novelas from her rocking chair because “nunca sabes quien puede venir.”

I guess I’m not very Latina in that sense – and I haven’t even started talking about hair and my inadequacies when it comes to styling it. I have the kind of hair that’s neither straight nor curly. It’s just in between. To be honest, upon moving to Colorado, nothing made me happier than realizing I would no longer need to worry about my hair. After years of suffering in Miami’s horrendously humid weather, I can now wash my hair, apply some gel and go on my merry way – and actually get away with it!

So, imagine my horror when I found out I had given birth to a baby girl three years ago. (It was a surprise. I didn’t want to find out until birth and I was pretty convinced I was having a boy thanks to my so-called ‘maternal instinct’ – so much for that!) I immediately worried about how I would style her hair, especially because she was born with a full set of dark black hair which needed to be trimmed a few weeks after she was born.

My poor daughter pretty much looks the same all the time: a single ponytail or two pigtails using all her hair or part of her hair or – my favorite – no style at all. Unfortunately, this last look usually means her hair is all over the place because she has knots I can’t get near for fear she will start wailing non-stop.

I recently realized just how clumsy I am at all things related to little girl’s hairstyles and how things have not gotten better as my daughter’s hair has gotten longer, as many suggested. We were getting ready to go to a birthday party and I decided I’d go all out and blow dry her hair thinking to myself: “how hard can that possibly be?” After all, unlike me, she has very little, thin hair. Well, I’m embarrassed to say I pretty much failed and she ended up with her hair in a ponytail. (I did manage to put on a nice red bow, at least.)

I actually envy those little girls whose hair looks like an elaborate maze full of vibrant bows and ribbons. Vanessa owns a gazillion of these, but they’re mostly for show.

This topic is pretty trivial, I know, but I hate to think that my daughter looks like an unkept child (because it has nothing to do with that but with her mom’s ineptness). I guess I can’t get away from “el que dirán” – now, that’s VERY Latina-like, don’t you think?

Don’t forget to enter our latest giveaway over at our new sister site, SpanglishBabyFinds, where we review the coolest products made with Latino and/or bilingual kids in mind. Go here for your chance to win one of two copies of ¡Al Galope!, a super cool book your kids will surely love! Deadline is Sunday at midnight EST.

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