Are Mexican Women Uninhibited?
Dear Mexican: I am an Anglo intruder in New Mexico. When I moved to Albuquerque from Virginia, I fell in love with Mexican culture. I was impressed at what I called "Southwestern hospitality." To me, the words "laid back" or "easy going" describe perfectly the people I've met, in New Mexico. My question has to do with being laid back. As I have read a little about the history of the women in this state, I have come to appreciate that they had a role, sometimes bigger than the males, in making this state what it is today. They were ranch owners, healers and keepers of the faith. They also had a lot of freedom that today's women may envy.
What I want to know is how come Mexican women are so comfortable with their bodies? I think one of the reasons for New Mexican women's uninhibited nature is the fact that it was women who ran things, and they only had each other to talk to and seek help. So, it translated to women who now are untrammeled by silly hang-ups. Am I reading too much into things?
—Curious in Albuquerque
Dear Gabacho: You're a modern-day Charles Fletcher Lummis, you are! Short response: mujeres no son that uninhibited — check out usage rates of tampons versus maxi pads between mexicanas and gabachas. Long response: Catholicism.
My wife is a gabacha and she frequently asks me why hefty, older Mexican women seem to wear crudely sewn printed bed sheets for dresses. Is it true? Does la comadre Concha have to make a tent dress out of flower-print bed sheets bought at the 99 Cent Only store because dresses from Walmart will not fit her?
Dear Sleepy Wab: Tell your esposa gabacha to stop hating, save your ass some cash and make like all good Mexi woman and start to coser y tejer her own dresses. While I'm glad that hipster chicks have gotten into sewing, crafting and that whole Etsy chingadera over the past couple of years, it's old sombrero for Mexican mujeres. Can't tell you how many quinceañera dresses my tías made from materials bought at textile stores, or how many torn jeans my mami patched up over the years, or cuffs on khakis she created when cuffs were cool, and took off when they weren't. Oh, and the dress type you're referring to is most likely the huipil, the long, flowery dresses from southern Mexico.
Get the Weekly Newsletter
Our weekly feature stories, movie reviews, calendar picks and more - minus the newsprint and sent directly to your inbox.