When I was growing up, I remember hearing all of the stories of how my abuela made it a point to always wear heels and make sure that she had a full face of make-up while she was working. My other abuelita was the same and, to this day, tells me that I should make sure to wear makeup in order to look good in front of my husband. Like any feminist, though, I have to sometimes remind her that my husband loves me whether or not I am wearing eyeshadow. Even so, I do love makeup.
I grew up surrounded by it, in fact. Although my mami was never quite the makeup type (funnily enough), she did teach me that a woman must always be presumida. To her, that meant that we always had to be presentable and done up. Once I began to develop my own interest in beauty, she taught me what that meant and, between her and the Latinas I saw on TV, my standards of beauty were formed — heavily influenced by my Latinidad. And I know I’m not the only one to have this experience, which is why I am sharing the 20 ways that my Latinidad influenced my understanding of beauty norms. Although I’ve learned a lot in the years since (including that Latinas come in all shapes, sizes, skin colors, and hair types), a lot of these experiences of growing up still hold true to today.