I often feel like I am one person, or, por lo menos, one side of my personality, in Spanish, and another one in English…and have for as long as I can remember. In Spanish, I feel more intuitive, and more relaxed, and usually come off as more divertida y cariñosa. In English, I feel more multi-tasking, high achieving, and usually come off as someone who is (lo bueno y lo malo de) a Type A personality. And though I think I’m getting much better recently with integrating the two mes, the one as yet-un-integrated frontera is style. (With the exception of my use of earrings) I have little idea how to combine the different aspects of my culturas into a look that will result in a fitting first impression.
My birthday is at the end of the month and, in addition to running in my first 5K, I’m also going to treat myself to a makeover. An attempt at stepping up my fashion, now that my kids are getting bigger and the drudgier aspects of mamihood are diminishing. A new hairstyle, some new makeup, a new outfit. Cual es el problema? Hair.
When looking at pictures of different haircuts, for example, I like completely opposing styles. Trust me, I have googled copiously for celebrity examples both Anglo and Latin. Here’s an illustration.
On the one hand, I love Shaki’s unruly curls and dark blonde highlights (see below); the long, loose, natural hair (bueno, Shaki’s may not be naturally curly, but mine is) appeals totally to my Spanish side.
On the other, I love Mandy Moore’s more polished hairstyle and rich-looking color (see below); the more managable length and the highly styled cut is totally my American side.
Que hacer? Uno o el otro? Or is there a compromise of the two I have not yet google imaged?
Over my adult years, I’ve had both of these hair colors before (my natural is smack between the two) and similar lengths, and yet I am still going back and forth constantly in the days preceeding my salon appointment. And overthinking the legacies of belleza I think so many of us Latinas grew up with and surrounded by, I’m sure.
I have already asked my husband, and each of my kids, (and they have all answered though they have not agreed with each other (2 vs. 2)!) so feel free to opinar and help me decide! Also, I’m curious, is it just me? How has your culture, or your bicultural-ness, shaped your styling decisions?
*top photo by Joe Lencioni