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On Makeup and Authenticity

On Makeup and Authenticity

Last week, I photographed my friends Sara and Tatiana going through the steps of their makeup routine, and documented each step.

I’m not going to even pretend that I understood the intricacies of what they were doing. All that I knew was that, by the time they were done, they’d used a host of products (19 for Sara), each with a very specific function. The three of us have been friends since our freshman year of high school, yet I’d never witnessed this ritual of theirs. They came to school every day with poreless skin and well-defined cheekbones, but I never gave it much of a thought.

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Becoming Fridíta

Becoming Fridíta

The first time I felt Latina was in sixth grade. It didn’t happen when my dad would make Salvadoran rice and beans or pan con chumpe or the chicken soup my abuelita used to make. It didn’t happen when I sang Caballito Blanco at our school’s multicultural day, when I wore my El Salvador shirt and the necklaces my dad had brought back for me during his last visit. It didn’t even happen when I went to El Salvador with my family the summer after fifth grade. 

It was when my sixth-grade seat partner told me that he was going to buy me a razor for my birthday so I’d be able to shave my upper lip.

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