So the thing that most non Hispanic/Latino people associate Chicana women with is the pin up style. It’s a beautiful style that Chicanos started in the 1940s, but it seems to be the only style that we’re solely recognized for. There are many different types of Chicana women that are not just from one era or style. Many come from the punk movement, Chola movement, Latina feminist movement, pinup era, and so on. All these styles and movements have one major thing in common, and that is kick ass chicane women behind them. And you can be a badass Chicana women, with just 5 easy steps.
Step 1: Don’t Give a F**k What Anyone Tells You
It’s easier said than done, but this tip is probably the most important one out of the five. We as women have to go through the pressures of social norms and even cultural norms from our families, but we shouldn’t be obligated to follow what our Chicano/Latino/Hispanic families want out of us. Not all of us want to be stay at home moms and raise a family, not all of us are even straight, and not all of us want a traditional life to follow.
Some of us just want to be single and have pink hair with tattoos, that cover our arms. Some of us aren’t into being girly and having to put on makeup and do our hair every day. Some of us just want to wear whatever we want without having the conversation be “Who are you trying to impress?” or even “¿Para quién estás buscando lucir bien?” (Who are you trying to look pretty for?)
Sometimes we just want to look the way we do because it’s for us and not for our “novios(as)“ (boy/girlfriends). Sometimes, we don’t want what our family has or even wants from us. Your tia might be salty and has been telling you that you should have a family by the age of 20, because that’s what she did. Or that you should be at least married by now because the longer you wait it’s going to affect your chances of finding a husband. Lo siento tia (I’m sorry aunt..) but some of us don’t want what you had at my age. Lo siento mama pero (I’m sorry mom but..) I’m gay and have a novia (girlfriend) not a novio (boyfriend). Lo siento papa (I’m sorry dad) but the grandkids aren’t going to happen from me. I’m sorry tio but I like my blue hair and boys/girls don’t think it’s weird.
Don’t give a f**k what anyone and I mean ANYONE tells you; that especially includes your family whether traditional or not, because it’s what you like and want at the end of the day. And even if you want to be a mother, do it! Just make sure it’s what you want and you alone. No one’s input is more important than your own!
Step 2: Don’t Apologize For Being You
Sometimes we’re categorized under a certain stereotype, but even sometimes we don’t actually fit it at all. Sometimes you want to be the girl that listens to rock music instead of banda. Or maybe you’re the girl who listens to banda but doesn’t look like she does because of your personal fashion style. Maybe the only Spanish songs that you listen to are from Selena Quintanilla or maybe you don’t even know who that is. Maybe you’re the type of girl who doesn’t watch novelas with their grandma on the weekends, or maybe you are but you don’t fully understand because you don’t speak/know a lot of Spanish.
Regardless if you do or do not, you’re just as much of a chicana as your mom and tias. Don’t apologize for not knowing Spanish or not liking certain things from your Mexican culture. Don’t apologize or even feel guilty, because you can’t communicate with your relatives who only know Spanish. Don’t apologize for growing up only knowing English first and then Spanish. And certainly, don’t apologize for not knowing who Los Tigres del Norte are and not liking mariachi music.
You grew up in the United States and embraced what was in front of you. You lived a double life; English at school, Spanish at home. You grew up learning twice as many things from both ends than most non hispanic/latino households. Don’t apologize if you “sound white” to other chicanos, or like to do “white things”. Don’t apologize because you’re in a mariachi club and do folklorico after school. Don’t apologize for doing things you like to do. Don’t apologize for your hair, skin, eyes, likes, dislikes, preferences, and tastes. Don’t apologize for being you, because you’re a badass chicana whether you do those things or not!
Step 3: Do What Makes You Happy
If singing in your room to Paulina Rubio or even Diana Ross gives you life, do it. If reading the Harry Potter series makes you happy, do it. Nothing should be stopping you from doing the things that you like to do. Whether you like to dance to trap, salsa, ballet, or whatever style makes you happy, do it!
Life is too short not to have fun in your own skin, so do the things you want to do and make sure you’re happy. Nothing is more badass than being a happy badass chicana who likes to do the things that she wants/likes to do!
Step 4: Don’t Let Anyone Try You
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not Mexican enough, or even too Mexicana. Don’t let someone try to make you any less than what you already are. You’re a chicana, and you’ll celebrate that whichever way you want. Don’t let anyone try to play you like that and say you’re not anything less than that. Don’t let somebody’s ignorance of what you are be a defining moment for you.
You’re chicana whether pale, dark, blonde, black, or even pink hair. Whether you’re a pinup girl, chola, punk or just an overall simple woman, you’re chicana and you’re a badass one at that!
Step 5: Be You To The Absolute Fullest
Now we’ve come to the final step: Being you. Being chicana is more than just a label or style. It’s more than just being American-Mexican or even Mexican-American. It’s having pride within your cultures and being your absolute self afterward. Whether you do “white things” or “Mexican things”, you still are who you are. You’re a chicana with a beautiful culture and a beautiful history. You are just as Mexican as that girl who said you weren’t or even the family member that said you weren’t. You can do and be whatever the hell you want. You can dress however the hell you want. You talk, walk, act however the hell you want but you’re a badass chicana, and no one can take that away from you! Be you to the absolute fullest!
Now you know how to be a badass chicana. Hopefully these 5 easy steps helped you. Now go out there and be the most badass chicana out there!