Everyday Runway

I Cut My Hair Down To Two Inches And Was Reminded How Much My Family Believes In Gender Norms

Up until I was 16, my hair was always longer than shoulder length. Even though I wanted to cut my hair short, it was my mom’s rule that I wait until after my quinceañera because she was afraid I wouldn’t look pretty in the pictures.

So, like an obedient daughter, I respected her and asked her to book my hair appointment after my quinceañera. However, what my mom didn’t know was how short I was planning to cut my hair.

Just a few months after my quince my mom took me to get my haircut. Instead of cutting off only 3 inches like she expected, I cut it like this:

CREDIT: JESSICA V. GARCIA

As I was getting my haircut, the hairstylist kept asking me if I was sure that I wanted her to keep going shorter.

Julie Weingard via Giphy

She was probably more nervous than I was. She kept reminding me that it would take months for my hair to grow back and that once she cut it there was no going back. Despite her hesitation, I told her I was positive about the haircut and she proceeded.

My mom’s first reaction was, “Oh no, está muy corto,” which was then followed by my dad’s remark: “Pareces niño.”

CREDIT: JESSICA V. GARCIA

My parents, along with my grandparents, began to joke around that I looked like my brother. They would call me by my brother’s name to tease me and would tell me, “Pareces niño” every chance they got.

These types of comments were also made toward my brother every time he let his hair grow out. I kept hearing them tell him, “Córtate el pelo porque te pareces a una niña.” Although this was only a joke in the eyes of my family, the repetition of this phrase reinforced rigid gender norms, specifically in regard to hair.

To my family it was the norm for women to have long hair in order to look beautiful and for men to have short hair in order to appear masculine.

Although my family didn’t find my haircut to be feminine and beautiful, I owned it and I even went shorter.

CREDIT: JESSICA V. GARCIA

At the time I was the only girl in my family to have hair that short, but now my younger cousins are getting short haircuts too and they love it. Perhaps to them I looked like a “niño,” but I felt good — as every girl should with long or short or even no hair.

Just do you, boo. ??✨


READ: This Afro-Latina Artist Is Inspired By Her Daughter To Create Art That Shows The Beauty Of Black Women


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Here Are 20 Things That Will Make A Latino Dad Cry Every Time

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Here Are 20 Things That Will Make A Latino Dad Cry Every Time

Like a lot of Latino dads, mine always kept a tough exterior. He was raised to be impenetrable, just as his father had been raised and so on. But that doesn’t mean he never shed a few tears.

There’s something about seeing your dad cry that simultaneously breaks your heart and freaks you out, and in some cases makes you laugh. Here are 20 things that bring a tough dad to tears, without fail.

1. Mariachi music

monterreysmyrna / Instagram

It’s over the second the strings start on “Amor Eterno,” also known as the most beautiful and heartbreaking song ever invented. It causes immediate weeping into a bottle of Pacífico.

2. Seeing his baby or grandbaby for the first time

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Nothing like a tiny angelic baby made of his own blood to reduce a grown man to tears.

3. His fútbol team losing

Muchachitas/Televisa

Yup. The second the goal-winning score went to the other team it was the 7 stages of grief. “Noooo! No puede ser!” inevitably leads to light sobbing ,and then “estos cabrones siempre te dejan decepcionados.”

4. His fútbol team winning

Tears happen in agony and ecstasy. And seeing his beloved team win a major match always brings on the happy tears. It’s pretty cute.

5. A particularly heartfelt round of saying what you’re thankful for during Thanksgiving dinner

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The second the words “I’m thankful for my children and wife” come out of him, bye. Gone. Olvídalo. He loses it, and it’s really sweet because it shows his tender side.

6. His baby graduating

yahhmeelii / Instagram

This. Right. Here. Seeing your dad sob almost uncontrollably just because he’s so happy for you is the greatest, most freakiest thing ever. Everyone is gonna be crying. You accomplished something major that will bring you opportunities that maybe he didn’t have. He’s proud and he’s not afraid to show it.

7. Your Mom

Maria la del Barrio/Televisa

Whether he loves her or hates her, or even a little bit of both, the passion is there and he’ll cry angry tears, sad tears and/or happy tears when he gets started on her. Your mom has a lot of power of his tear ducts. And yeah, tequila is usually involved.

8. His mom

Muchachitas/Televisa

It doesn’t matter how old he is. Latino dads are always and forever a mama’s boy, and your abuelita, whether she is alive or passed, will always set him crying. He may be remembering her, or perhaps he’s disappointed her in some way. Whatever the case, abuelita and your mom can make a dad cry real quick.

9. His dad.

Un Hombre Llamado EL Diablo/Producciones Matouk

Whether they have a close bond or have a very strained relationship, his dad has a way of reducing your tough papi into the little boy he once was. Something about a grandfather’s words has a way of cutting into your dad deep.

10. His parents showing you love.

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Sometimes parents raise their kids in a way that feels cold and too harsh. It can be a pretty old school way of raising kids, to not say I love you, show physical affection, or spend quality time. So when your dad sees his parents give you, the grandbaby, lots of love and hugs it has a way of making him cry with both happiness and sadness.

11. Tequila

MexMoonshine / Instagram

Tequila brings out all the feelings. All of them. Any alcohol really. Alcohol gets all the dads weeping over something. That something can be any of the above, or something totally different. But the song “Tragos de Amargo Licor” was created for a reason, and that reason is because dads cry when they’re drunk.

12. During a speech

Amores Perros/Lionsgate

Good luck trying to get a few sweet words outta that guy without his voice starting to warble or full on tears coming out. It doesn’t matter the occasion. When he raises a glass, it’s countdown to tears o’clock.

13. Making his little girl’s dream come true

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When a dad works hard, maybe a multiple jobs, just to support his family, so when you land that great job or get into your dream school it will reach him all the way in the heart,

14. The Notebook

dopest90s / Instagram

No one – NO ONE – can make it through this stupid tearjerker of a movie without shedding a tear. I’ve seen the most badass of tios fall to pieces seeing Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams fall in love, and then their older counterparts pass away.

15. A particularly thoughtful gift

You work hard, and have had opportunities to do well in life because of all the hard work and sacrifices your parents gave you. So when you’re finally able to spoil them and give them a sweet present, dad isn’t going to make it. He’s gonna fall apart, in the best way possible.

16. Seeing you all dressed up for something special

0ss0m / Twitter

Whether it’s your wedding day, a school dance, or another special occasion, seeing you in your beautiful dress, hair and makeup it reminds him that his little girl is growing up. And that will cause a few tears.

17. Buying you the thing you didn’t think he could afford

Dos Mujeres Un Camino/Canal de las Estrellas

Your mami and papi’s hard work didn’t always mean a house full of luxuries. They had to support their family, which means nice extras might not be easy to come by. But when he knows how much it means to you, dad (and mami too, of course!) will somehow make it happen. And seeing the joy in your face will drive him to tears.

18. When you get married

Julie Graham Photography / Abbey Ramirez-Bodley / Facebook

Oh girl, it is over. Walking you done the aisle and doing the father/daughter dance will leave him wrecked.

19. Seeing you suffer

Dos Mujeres Un Camino/Canal de las Estrellas

Our dads want to protect us from everything, so when things go wrong in our lives, whether we’ve been hurt, get really sick, or something else bad happens, they feel like they’ve failed you. Even though it’s not their fault. But that will make a daddy hurt for his baby.

20. Coco

Disney Pixar Coco

It isn’t just “The Notebook” that’ll do it. “Coco” makes us all a weepy mess, and that includes out dads who might relate to the story in some way. “Coco” will make us all lose it, but seeing your dad cry too especially strikes a chord.

Whatever the reason, seeing your dad cry is something you never forget. Latino dads catch the feels hard, and luckily you’re there to give him a hug when he needs it.


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20 Conversations That I Wish My Parents Would Have Had With Me

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20 Conversations That I Wish My Parents Would Have Had With Me

It’s tough being the child of Latinx parents. Because of cultural stigmas, gendered belief systems, machismo, and other reasons, our parents and other family members weren’t super open about discussing some things openly with us. And then we were forced to find out shady second-hand information from friends or others. Some of us had to turn to teachers, folks at Planned Parenthood and other organizations, people we trust, or the Internet to learn about stuff. Let’s hope with the changing of the times we can open up more because doing so has huge effects on our health, safety, and happiness.

Here are 20 conversations that I wish my parents would have had with me…and probably would have saved me some embarrassing moments.

1. A legit, non-judgmental sex talk.

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When I would try to ask my mom about sex, well, I could barely have any talk with her at all. She just wouldn’t have it. My dad? I was too scared to even try asking. So my questions about sex went unanswered.

2. A talk about the health of my sexual organs.

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Like, I wasn’t even having sex at all. I was just wondering about pap smears. When I asked my mom thinking it’d be okay since it wasn’t really about sex, she answered with “Por que quieres saber? Andas de cabrona?” I couldn’t even ask about anything in the general region of my vagina without it becoming a super judgmental and potentially scary conversation. My male friends had similar experiences though their’s were way less sexist. As in, they weren’t immediately bad kids for asking whereas my women friends definitely were seen that way.

3. A talk about racism that doesn’t go off the rails.

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Speaking to my parents about the deeply ingrained racism in our culture has never been easy. They don’t quite get how some of the things they say or believe are steeped in racist beliefs. It’s hard to get them to open their eyes to that. But little by little I have worked on it, and they’re getting there. The road has been hard and long, but we’re getting there.

4. Teaching me to do “boy” things

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Because I’m a woman, my parents wouldn’t teach me what they considered “boy” things, like how to change the oil on my car on my own, how to build or fix things, how to throw a baseball or cross someone on the soccer field. No, I was expected to like “girl” things, like dolls, makeup, and princess dresses. And I did! I liked makeup, and also liked sports. They were okay with it but I was still called a tomboy or a lesbian as if that was a bad thing.

5. What’s happening with their personal lives.

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I understand that parents don’t want to burden their children with the realities of running a home, but I would have been more appreciative if I understood honestly what their struggles were. I would have tried harder to help them out or give them someone to talk to. But they were too proud or didn’t want to worry us.

6. Machismo.

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Machismo is very real in the culture, and our fathers, brothers, male cousins, and uncles benefitted from it. So that means talking to them about machismo can often infuriate them or make them very defensive. It doesn’t make for a very open or safe conversation where women, gay men, trans men and women, and others can confront the real issues with machismo and toxic masculinity with their parents and make some real changes in a family’s relationship.

7. Chores

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Chores are the worst, but we all have to help to keep the house clean and stuff. Oh but wait, some people in the house don’t have to help with the chores as much. Sure the boys will take the trash out, but too often the bulk of the household chores are left to the women. Because that’s their jobs. There are lots of families that don’t subscribe to this. All hands are on deck for cooking and cleaning. But the work is still considered women’s work, and that’s a problem.

8. Being sad.

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I don’t know about you but when I was upset about a boy, school, or work, my mom seemed to have a hard time knowing how to console me. She has when I’m sick or in pain down pat. But when it came to certain areas, she would just look at me and say, “Este vale madre. Tu mereces mas, asi que deja de chillar.” That didn’t always make me feel great but I understood later that she was trying to make me tougher.

9. Periods.

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I never got the talk about my period from my mom. My dad didn’t broach the subject at all. It’s a totally normal part of growing up but periods signaled something that freaked my parents out. However, any time I wanted money from my dad all I had to say was it was for “feminine protection products.”

10. Harassment.

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Because harassment often comes coupled with shame and embarrassment, we don’t necessarily run to our parents for help. Especially if you feel you’ll somehow be blamed for it for wearing shorts or a tank top.

11. Weight and body positivity.

Jenny Lorenzo

Moms and dads love calling you gorda or criticize everything you eat, all while putting more food on your plate. Finally telling my mom that constantly pushing fajas and diets onme, and making me feel bad about my body, had really negative effects on my physical and mental health, was a big step. But the work is still ongoing.

12. Family history.

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Some families talk a lot about their history, stories, and family members. But others don’t for a variety of reasons. Perhaps shame or embarrassment, perhaps from not knowing, perhaps because of crimes committed. Who knows. While it’s understandable, it still sucks. I want to know about my family history and all the stories that it includes. And when it comes to medical history, it can be life-saving to know what family has dealt with in the past. Knowing there’s family history with certain illnesses or diseases can help you take better care of yourself.

13. Depression or mental illness.

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It sounds terrible to say, but I’m fortunate to be able to talk to my mom about depression and mental health because she struggles with the same issues. She always encourages therapy. However, not all families are the same. The stigmas surrounding mental health are still rampant. And for many, it’s a privilege to be even able to acknowledge your mental health when you have so many other responsibilities on your shoulders. Still, it’s important to have those conversations.

14. Religion. Or choosing not to have a religion.

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I’m not religious. I never had a first communion or confirmation. I chose not to continue with the Catholic faith I was brought up in. While my parents have come around to it, it’s still a sore subject. My mom once tearfully told me she’s afraid I’ll end up in hell. I felt bad, but my beliefs are my own. It’s tough having talks about religion with parents who are deeply religious, or at least believe in God when you might not.

15. College.

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Again, I was very lucky that my parents supported my decision to go to college, and helped pay for it. But it wasn’t necessarily instilled in me from a young age. For many, college and higher education was not something they could discuss with their parents if their families relied on them for help. Working and helping your family is more important. It’s tough. That’s why we’re so inspired and proud seeing Latinos graduate from college, excel in their jobs, or hold it down for their families.

16. Their stories of coming to the U.S.

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It’s important to me to hear what they went through to come to the U.S. so I can understand what my parents sacrificed to give me more opportunities.

17. When to have a baby is our choice.

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Latinx parents love telling us when to have babies. Whether it’s when we’re young and they go off on us about not having a baby, without giving us any information on how to avoid that, or when we’re older and they’re begging for grandchildren, our parents seem to think they can choose when we start families. I’d like to tell my parents in a polite and respectful way to let me decide. And to stop putting the pressure on me.

18. LGBTQ+ issues.

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This is always a tough discussion. In my house, my parents support the equal rights of LGBTQ people. However, they’ll still use language that is offensive to that community. Some families reject their LGBTQ children completely and that’s just awful. While we’ve had many conversations about this, we still need more.

19. Inequity in general.

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My parents are still of the belief system that if you work hard you can achieve anything. While they’re right in theory and made huge strides in their own lives by working hard, they don’t often realize how much society works against them. Perhaps they don’t want to believe, because they were sold on the American dream. But talking to them about how it’s harder for me to own a house than it was for them always goes awry because explaining the housing market and student loan debt and a million other issues become a lot.

20. How much you love them, or they love you.

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Love is sometimes a weird topic. I love being able to tell my parents I love them, and having them say it back means the world. For my friends who don’t have that, who’ve never heard their dad say I love you to them, it’s heartbreaking and traumatic. Even if they did love them, they just wouldn’t say it. And then there are those parents who just aren’t around or give children love. It’s terrible. If you have love with your family, whatever that looks like, let them know.

Here’s hoping that we can start having these important talks with family and become more open with them.


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