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  • Writer's pictureAlvinita Gonzales

Latina Power | Interview - Issue #3

Updated: Mar 1, 2023



- Jasmine, Jay, Brianna, Jazlyn -



Which culture or sub-culture did you grow up in? More Traditional Indigenous, Traditional Mexican, Chicano/Lowrider, Reservation, or More American-esque? Or a different culture/sub-culture?

Jasmine: I was born and raised in the USA, while both my parents were born in Mexico, making me a first generation Chicana. I grew up in a very traditional Mexican household and i was very much around the Chicana sub-culture while with my friends and older cousins. Jay: Mexican and Honduran culture and a little bit of Chicano culture. Brianna: Traditional Mexican household raised in an Americanesque white town. Jazlyn: Chicana culture.

What are your favorite parts of that culture and community?

Jasmine: The culture, music, food, fashion, and family. Jay: Family, respect, food, loyalty, music. Brianna: My favorite parts of my culture would be rich history everything has as it leads back to our indigenous ancestors and I really enjoy how vibrant we are as a community with our works of art, our homes, and our overall styles. Jazlyn: I love the Latina culture and community simply for the love and background that our name really carries. The weight. The respect, & love for one another. From growing up struggling and not having new things , to eating frijoles for days on end. Wondering what the kids would think when I didn’t have the latest shoes in style . To sadly not even having electricity in our house at one point in my life. I seen my bloodline and family come together to make it happen. Our culture and the strength we carry truly shows that we get through every struggle and endeavor we come upon . When we don’t have it we come together in unity and empowerment to make sure one another has it. Our bloodline runs deep . And it truly shows because la podemos hacer.

How did growing up in that culture effect your current style, and point of view of life?

Jasmine: It shaped everything about who I am today. I grew up watching my cousins put on make up and wear hoop earrings, while listening to oldies and hip hop, then they'd go to the mall to get their pictures taken. I also grew up around family who pushed me to excel in education and take advantage of the opportunities I had in this country as a first generation Latina. Now, I am a Professional makeup artist with my own eyelash/beauty brand called Presumida Beauty, I model periodically, and I also have a Bachelor's Degree in Administration of Justice. Jay: Knowing where I came from makes me part of who I am today. How I see life is about honor and respect. I am proud of who I am and where my parents came from. They did everything in their power for me to get education. when I was younger, I use to complain so much about school, and now that I'm more grown, I understand the hustle and struggle my parents went through and it amazes me each day. I am Chicana this is my culture and I love it so much. Brianna: Growing up in my culture effects, my current style by persuading me to include pieces in my clothing, or in my art that represent my culture for example, my very first song Mira Ya Te Dije was written in spanish. My culture allowed me to tap into my creative and artistic side within my ethnicity and embrace what I know. Jazlyn: Growing up in this lifestyle effected me because I seen my bloodline of females go through blood sweat and tears to make shit happen. There was never limits to the lengths they would go through to provide things we needed. We came together and struggled together before we let one another go through it alone. Giving up wasn’t an option, it NEVER WAS & that is exactly how I love my daily life now, no matter the obstacles that come my way giving up isn’t an option and that’s something that forever will be instilled in me.


As an adult now, have you learned about other Indigenous or Mexican sub-cultures?

Jasmine: I believe I grew up around many sub-cultures as a first generation Chicana, which is why I believe my music taste is so versatile, as well as my many different interests and fashion styles. My parents introduced me to Gloria Trevi, Selena Madonna, and the Bee Gees, while my older cousins had the radio playing the Art Laboe station, as well as Eminem, The Spice Girls, or Britney Spears. Growing up, I also had family playing KROQ and Power 106. I believe this lead to my other influences, such as fashion, friends, hobbies, etc. I'd say that I was raised in a very traditional Mexican home and as I got older, I was exposed to more of the Chicana sub-culture. Jay: Honestly as of right now I am taking a Chicano studies course and every class I attend; I learn about my culture. Where I grew up was a f***ed as community no one had respect for no body. As a Chicana I love to talk about culture get to know more than I know now. I love to greet people and help out my community and it's hard because not everyone thinks the same & tries to help our community. I love when I actually come across people that try to do good and help out the community because we are all human beings, we all came from somewhere. Our parents struggled to get us to succeed, and we acknowledge the hustle. so, we can do the same and help others. Brianna: I grew up more traditional Mexican, but going to college I experienced more Chicano culture which wasn’t a shock but different than the style that I was brought up in. Jazlyn: Sadly, as much I want to be involved in other cultures life just gets in the way and has stopped me from it . But definitely something I need to look into!

What are your favorite parts of that culture and community?

Jasmine: I would say the art (clothes, makeup, hair, photography, cars, etc), the community (friendly, funny, Hard-working, family-oriented), the versatile tastes in music, and the food of course. Jay: The music, dress code, food and events, being united with one another; getting together and learning from one another. Brianna: A huge favorite of mine is the abundance of creative and delicious foods we are known for. Another part of our community I enjoy is how giving we all are and how we try to help people in need regardless of our situation because we know what gratitude is.

How has it effected your style and point of view of life now?

Jasmine: It has affected my style and point of view on life today greatly. People can assume my ethnicity by just looking at me or when I begin to speak. My sense of style in clothes, music, and makeup also play a huge role. My beliefs and outlook on life come from what I grew up around, the family members who were part of my upbringing, as well as the friends I grew up around as a kid. Jay: Now in life I try to make a change. Help out Raza because that's the best thing I can do. Help out our own people even if they can't see the good. Brianna: Community is really big to me it’s important to help out one another and create contacts and connections with people and I learned that through my parents and how they always said hello to everyone in a room and made everyone feel special because they genuinely listened so I follow by example.


Please tell us about the work that you do within your culture(s)'s community. Or the work that you are doing to continue educating yourself or others about your culture(s).

Jasmine: Every year that I went to college, I took Latin American art and history classes. I also took alot of Criminal Justice classes. My dream going into college was to one day become a Youth Probation officer. I took these classes, because I knew that going into this type of field, I'd be working with many children of color and my goal was to help educate and guide the best to my abilities. At one point in my life, I worked as a child care worker in 2 different types of group homes, one type housing children who were taken from their homes due to unfit homes/parents, etc and the other housing "illegal alien children" who came from other, mostly Hispanic, countries to America and were captured by authorities. This job definitely was my favorite, as it was bittersweet, but also the most rewarding. Jay: The work I do right now is just going to school so I can gain more knowledge and help others in the future. Brianna: I currently am a Mexican American artist with my first spanish song out now on all platforms and I recently graduated with my bachelors in psychology at CSU Channel Islands where I was exposed to the truth about our history and our culture through required courses. Jazlyn: I educate my daughter on the way I was raised and brought up and hope to instill these same things, if not more into her.


The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace. - Carlos Santana



 








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Credits

Models and Interviewees - > Jasmine V. | @jas_twinn >Jay | @jay.to.the.low >Brianna | @briannaochoa.x >Jazlyn | @lilmamma_1503 MUA: Lindsey | @linlovve Editor in Chief - Alvinita Gonzales Photography and Videography - Alvinita Gonzales



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