Welcome to WEEK 10 of #ChingonaFest Fridays on Aspiring Mama!
If you’re new to the blog, here’s the link to the my Latina Dimelo column that sparked the conversation that’s still going strong. The premise is this: I want to raise my daughter to be a Chingona — on purpose, Las Tias and cultural backlash be damned. If you like the column, I’d love for you to share with your social media circles, leave a comment on the link, or whip up a happy lil’ Letter to the Editor telling them how you feel and send it off to Editor@Latina.com. You may not think that kind of thing makes a difference, but trust me when I tell you it does.
Have you checked out my past #ChingonaFest ladies? Juliana Maulanda and Lisann Valentin were two of the most recently featured wonder women. Each week, I’m featuring one fabulous Latina who’s moving mountains and raising hell because their stories are worth telling. Twenty questions will be presented to each and 15 will be answered and presented here to you in a Q&A format, like the fancy features in magazines, only with more typos and less airbrushing.
Today’s featured Chingona is ….me.
Yes, I realize this smacks of All Things Self-Centered and Self-Serving, but if I tell you that it’s my kid’s birthday week and that her party was today and I decided to say Sure, Princess! when she asked for homemade coloring books as her party favor, and that The Husband and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning manning the two-person hole-punch & ribbon line while the cupcakes cooled enough to frost, you’ll understand the reasoning behind turning this week’s Chingonafest into a dual anniversary celebration for my role as Latina Magazine’s #Dimelo advice columnist. You’ll also pretend to not notice I’m posting a regular Friday feature on a Saturday night because, yaknow, Motherhood. It’s either now or never, which is also why I’m mentioning the Speaking at BlogHer ’14 Thing for the first time on the blog. It’s time-management at it’s finest.
My mad self-promotional skillz are mind-boggling, I know.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t buy me a present. I didn’t even know I missed it until LinkedIn started sending me congratulatory notifications from friends with better observational skills than my own. I probably owe myself flowers.
After I put out, that is. For now, though, let’s get to that Talking to Myself thing.
Pauline Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?
Aspiring Mama: Chocolate if it’s a shake. Vanilla if it’s ice-cream.
PC: Neurotic much? Wait, don’t answer that. Describe yourself in third person instead.
AM: Pauline Campos is neurotic, has a weird thing with ice-cream, including the need to chew it even if it’s plain vanilla, and thoroughly enjoys arguing with her DNA over her love of snow-shoeing. She’s also the founder of #chingonafest and ha that column where she tells people what to do on life, sex, and cultural drama topics. to Oh, and her favorite days are the ones where she gets paid to give solicited advice from the comforts of her couch without ever having put a bra on.
PC: Weirdest. Mexican. Ever. It’s like Freaky Friday but with better dialogue. You do realize there’s a poor Swedish guy somewhere trying to figure out why he felt smug about knowing who Ricky Martin was before General Hospital served as his crossover to mainstream, right? No, don’t answer that one, either. Do you dream in color or black and white?
AM: Color. I don’t remember most of them, but when I do, it’s all kinds of High-Def in there. Also? Re-read your last question to me. Now who’s the neurotic one? *blinks* Wait, never mind.
PC: You see my dilemma, then. Carrying on…Do you feel Latina enough”?
AM: I’m allergic to eggs, dairy, corn, yeast, gluten, and a bunch of other crazy stuff. What do Mexicans eat for breakfast? Whatever we had for dinner last night scrambled with eggs, wrapped in a corn tortilla, and washed down with Cafe con (a fucking-lot of) Leche. This makes me allergic to my childhood and probably the world’s worst Mexican.
Of course I feel Latina enough.
PC: Let’s play word association. I say CHINGONA and you say…?
PC: Do you consider yourself a feminist?
AM: Only if I don’t have to burn my bra. Triple D’s take precedence over social and political ideals.
PC: I’ll second that. Do you think in English, Spanish, or Spanglish?
AM: I’m English-dominant now, but as a kid I know I wasn’t aware of when I switched between languages. Now? I’m so concerned I’ll pronounce something wrong in Spanish while sober that I think I’d benefit from an AA meeting and a sponsor prior to any events where my Spanish-speaking skills are a requirement. Also? Spanglish is my national language.
PC: Do you chew your ice cream? (Or is that just a Me thing?)
PC: Okay then. Moving on. Favorite book and why…
AM: Right now it’s Rick Najera’s Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood. It’s so much more than an exploration of Latinos and how we are represented in the media. I’ve been recommending it to writing friends of all backgrounds…because it pertains, dammit. And no, I wasn’t paid to say that.
PC: You don’t get paid for a lot of shit on this blog. But following up to your last answer, how do you feel about Latinas and how we are represented in the media?
AM: It’s equal parts a bullshit and wake-up call. I grew up watching telenovelas at my tias house and all the rich and beautiful were portrayed by the blonde and blue-eyed. If you looked like me, you were the help or the poor villager. While that needs to change — because it’s still an issue — we can’t bitch if we think our job is done simply because we complained.
PC: Opinion much? Who inspires you?
AM: Anybody who has the courage to say what they think and stand up for themselves and what they believe in.
PC: Who is it you hope to inspire?
AM: My daughter, Eliana, is my number one. Right now, she is everything I wish I was growing up; feisty, independent, strong-willed, and confident as hell. Everything I say and do comes from that place where motherhood takes us and the realization that my todays are building the foundation for her tomorrows.
PC: You have the chance to eat dinner and drink wine with one person, living or dead. Who is it, what do you eat, what kind of wine, AND WHY THAT PARTICULAR PERSON?
AM: My dad, I don’t care, I’m allergic, and because I miss him.
PC: One childhood memory that has stuck with you…
AM: My mom and me sitting on the front porch in the middle of the night during sticky summers without central air. We’d tiptoe outside and talk for hours, ignoring the mosquito bites, while the house slept. I can’t tell you one thing we talked about, but I’ll always remember the laughter.
PC: Quick! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they’ve grown and flown the nest…
AM: That it’s always perfectly acceptable to leave the house in red cowboy boots, a blue tutu, and a super-hero cape, public opinion be damned.
And there ya have it. To nominate a Latina for a future #ChingonaFest Friday feature, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me with the hashtag #ChingonaFest. And don’t forget to check out my latest Dimelo Advice column on Latina Magazine. A non-Latina wants to know how to navigate cultural differences with her employees.
Oh! And be sure to send me your questions to email@example.com.
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