I have always been the kind of person who has friends from all different walks of life, but it wasn’t until I moved to New York City and learned what it was like to have Latina friends that I felt like I found my people. It’s not that I don’t have many friends from different cultures, but there are some things that only my Latina friends can truly understand.
I admit that we’re a pretty diverse bunch, but there are certain things that most of us have experienced and that’s what ties us so closely together. From recognizing why my nameplate necklace means SO much to me to laughing about all of the family drama that Latinxs have, here are 20 things that only your Latina friends will understand.
1. Why I’m still a bit scared of the chancla.
I mean, aren’t you? My mami’s chancla was definitely a very common occurrence in my childhood and one that I do NOT want to repeat. So, yes, I’m still a bit scared…
2. That my nameplate necklace means a lot to me.
I have had a nameplate necklace ever since my teens and I absolutely love it. Although my original necklace was stolen when I was in my early 20s, I have had my newest one since the year after and I still love it.
3. That it’s practically impossible to shop for skincare products.
There’s a lot of great skincare products out there that are made for our very complicated skin, but they’re still sometimes hard to find. For me, the biggest issue is that I have very oily foreheads but dry cheeks. And only my Latina friends truly understand WHY this is such a pain.
4. And beauty products for that matter.
Until recently, there weren’t a whole lot of beauty products that were made specifically for different skintones. The truth is that Latinas come in many different shades and colors, and this has been a struggle for us.
5. How much I love red lipstick.
Seriously, red lipstick is the bomb. I know that this one is technically a beauty stereotype for Latinas but it’s one that I find to be true… at least for me. And, yes, a lot of my Latina friends love red lipstick, too.
6. Why Sundays at the salon are the best.
Didn’t you spend many a Sunday at the salon with your mami? I certainly did. Sure, it wasn’t every Sunday and it wasn’t always consistent, but it was definitely a joy and it’s how I learned about beauty initially.
7. And, really, why Self-Care Sunday was a thing to us before it was a trend.
In fact, I would say that Self-Care Sunday was a thing in the Latinx community long before it became a trend on Instagram. Taking care of our beauty and relaxing was just how we always spent the end of our week.
8. That mami can drive us crazy but we still love her.
I can say this over and over again to my Latina friends and it never stops being true. Sure, my non-Latinx friends have moms that drive them crazy too but there’s just something special about the way a Latina mami behaves that only my Latina friends can understand.
9. How annoying it is to answer all those baby questions at family parties.
Every single party I’ve ever gone to, somebody is sure to ask about two things: My love life and when I am planning to have kids. Now that I am married, the question is all about kids, over and over and over again.
10. Why our big (and small) families can be full of drama.
Admittedly, my Cuban family is pretty small but that doesn’t mean that it is any less filled with drama. I’ve heard from many of my Latina friends that it gets even worse when you have dozens of first and second cousins to contend with.
11. How dating can often be complicated.
Dating has always been complicated for me. To be honest, my first two relationships were with Latino men and that brought on a set of unique problems (mostly related to machismo). And I am just NOT a fan of that bull, so I didn’t stand for it in the long run.
12. Especially if you date non-Latinx peoples.
Before I met my husband, I mostly dated non-Latinx men. This was also difficult because, although I wasn’t dealing with machismo, I was frequently dealing with a LOT of stereotypes that they had about what it’s like to be with a Latina (i.e. the whole “fiery” thing, gross). It was pretty horrible, to be honest.
13. That dancing is the very best.
I love to go dancing and my Latina friends are the ones I usually love to dance with. The beauty of this is that they, like me, grew up with dance in their lives so we can always connect on this. It’s pretty special every time we do it.
14. And so is eating out with your amigxs.
Most of my friends love food, whether they are Latina or not. In fact, that’s probably a big basis for my friendships: A love of food. But only my Latina friends truly understand how important food is to me and we L-O-V-E going out to dinner.
15. Why it’s so difficult to find quality hair care products.
That whole “pelo malo” thing that many Latinas grew up with is real. It’s pretty scary and annoying, to be honest, and one that many of us have to deal with in one way or another. Frizzy hair? Yeah, ALWAYS an issue.
16. How annoying it is when nobody can pronounce or spell your name.
I love Starbucks but it’s really funny (and a bit frustrating) that they can never seem to spell my name correctly. It basically hapepns every time that I go there or anywhere else, so I’m used to it by now.
17. That speaking Spanish isn’t a requirement to be a Latina.
I grew up speaking Spanish, but not every Latina does. In fact, I would say that the majority of my Latina friends don’t… And you know what? That’s okay. It’s one of the thing that makes us different.
18. Why you always play salsa music when cleaning on a Saturday. ALWAYS.
Just like we know where Self-Care Sunday really came from, we also have a big tradition in our house growing up: Playing salsa music loudly when cleaning every single Saturday. It’s tradition and it’s one that I still love.
19. That we are all diverse and beautiful.
Just look at all of these powerful and diverse Latinas! We’re a pretty incredible bunch, you have to admit. And the best part of being a Latina and having Latina friends is acknowledging that we are a pretty awesome, diverse bunch.
20. And that nobody can understand you quite like your Latina friends.
One of the reasons that my Latina friends are so special to me is because they understand me better than anyone else. Even though we all grew up in different homes and with different cultural backgrounds, there are many things that make us all the same. And I love that.
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