Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cholo Style

OMG! It is
Sandra Bullock!
"Cholo" style is today's subject, as some of the characters in my mystery novel fall into the Latino gangster category. According to one online source, cholo style was an outgrowth of the pachuco style of the '50s. Living in New Mexico, we've actually been exposed to a good deal of that. We may not have recognized it for what it was, but in hindsight, yeah, fooz.

Point in fact, in recent years, many (particularly, young) Latinas have worn a certain makeup style that would nicely fall into the "chola" category. Sometimes these women will actually shave off their eyebrows and paint them back on, as one YouTube source suggests, "so that you look angry all the time." There's also a lot of white eyeshadow, black eyeliner that goes up in little wings at the outer corners of the eyes, sometimes a little teardrop or heart drawn on under one eye. The other major characteristic of this makeup style is heavy outlining of the lips, which are then filled in with a lighter color of lipstick or worn without lipstick.

The hair is the finishing touch. A pompadour may be prominent, or some other point of interest at the top of the head. Locally, there was a time when the bangs were worn with so much hairspray in them that they stood up for three inches or so all by themselves.

A NM cholo, one of the
characters in my book
The clothing worn is often baggie khakis, sneakers of certain brands (Nike, Converse), white T-shirts, and flannel shirts with only the very top button fastened. Check out Sandra Bullock's makeover on the George Lopez show. This is available on YouTube.

The male version is shaved heads or very short haircuts (according to one source, this was more popular in the '90s and 2000s, but it takes everything a little longer to get to New Mexico, so, they're still doing it here). Tattoos are popular for both men and women. Guys tend to wear certain styles of black sunglasses. Baggy Dickies pants are popular, as well as "wifebeater" undershirts, and again, oversized flannel shirts (long or short-sleeved) with the top button fastened. Some men, particularly in California, wear sports attire associated with certain football teams, especially those of Los Angeles Raiders. Bandanas seems to be ubiquitous, and are usually worn folded and tied low around the forehead, sometimes with the point sticking up or down.

We'll go into some related matters in another post. This is getting long. However, I want to thank a certain Estonian friend (you know who you are) for assisting me with some of the technological details of using blogger (they don't explain everything).

© Beth Morgan