Mexican-American Culture

Dear Readers,

It's not just questions and racist rants that invade the Mexican's mailbox — your feedback sneaks under my digital fence, también. Let's start with Lean Like a K Street Chola, a former gangbanger-turned-lobbyist who wrote in a couple of weeks back wondering how she could explain to quizzical pals why Mexican women use lip-liner. The Mexican responded that such coloring "attracts men"; here's her response:

I LOVE my new moniker! I must get new business cards made. Just one thing, muchacho: not all women are interested in attracting hombres. Probably safer to not assume in the future. I've been pura lesbiana since before I was even a chola. I will grant that [using lip-liner] is probably to attract the mujeres machas. But a friend said she read somewhere that Latinas apply lipstick even more than non-Latinas, so perhaps it's just genetic!


Mexican Good Samaritans

Lean like a K Street Chola

Muchas apologies, K Street Chola, but what did you expect from a macho Mexican man? I don't know about your amiga's assertion, but a study this year published by the NDP Group found that "Hispanic" women were more likely to use mascara, blush, eyeliner and lipstick than any other ethnic group. Maybe the genetic part is right — or maybe Mexican women (of all sexual persuasions!) just like to look better for their homeboys and heinas than gabachas.

The following is a general com­mentary to keep in mind whenever corpulent Know Nothings compare Mexicans to Al Qaeda:

During the opening night of The Simpsons Movie, my friend and I were surprised to find that the young group of Mexicans sitting behind us had dropped a loaded .45 ACP clip under our seat. Shocked and vowing to never frequent that Phoenix theater again, I left with a further disappointment in Mexicans. On the flip side, I ran out of gas on the freeway a week later. While walking alongside the freeway, a Mexican gentleman stopped, drove me 30 miles round-trip to get gas and would only accept my name and deepest gratitude as payment. If it wasn't for his generosity I would've been royally screwed. I'm writing this as a plea for people not to judge a group of people just because of a few bad tamales and to show my appreciation for my Hispanic hero.

Grateful Gringo

Gracias for your story, gabacho. I concur: love the good Mexicans, nuke the cholos — except K Street Chola, of course. And now, on to this week's question:

Dear Mexican,

Can you give me a good response when people ask me (often rudely), "What ARE you, anyway?" My mother is Mexican, my father is white. I look sort of vaguely ethnic — hence, the question. I like "White-xican," but is there some better answer out there?

Brown-Skinned Girl

Dear Half-Wab,

I don't care if it's gabachos calling American citizens "anchor babies" or Mexican nationalists insisting someone must be born in Mexico to call themselves a Mexican; as I've written before, national character is never static. That's why I love it when half-breeds create new terms to describe their dual heritages. "White-xican" is fine, but dig further into your gabacho papi's past to create something better. My favorites are leprecano (half-Mexican, half-Irish), beaner-wiener (half-Mex, half-Kraut), Puerto Nortalian (quarter-Puerto Rican, quarter-Italian, half-Norwegian) and Korexican, the child of a Korean and Mexican marriage. Got any more, gentle readers? The Mexican will publish the best ones in the coming weeks!

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