Cholo with defined Eyebrows by Manuel Acevedo

Cholo with defined Eyebrows by Manuel Acevedo

Art has always been a mode of expression which allows the artist themselves to create a world which they wish to exist. If i don’t see something in my universe that i believe should be there I will boldly and beautifully create it through any medium necessary. Artists are escapists and they create their own universe of beauty where they see fit-they bring light to the darkness, as well as beauty to where there is distortion. Not only does art create a world which does not necessarily exist, but it also brings to the foreground that which is hidden in the shadows. Art is a conveyer of controversial messages allowing the viewer to openly interpret a piece how they see fit.

In the case of Queer Chol@s art is a major form of expression. As Chican@s artistic ability runs through our veins and is the fuel which pumps through our heart. We have been creating art since the beginning of time whether through dance, song, or physical manifestations. Art is ancient in us. From the 1st artists who chiseled Quetzalcoatl on the temple walls, to the Mexica muralists in Tenochtitlan, to Zuni elders working turquoise into squash blossoms. Genetic memory is transmitted through today-vestiges of our artistic memory found in Xican@ pop-culture, Lowrider Arte, prison tattoos, local murals, and many other forms of craft including an artist by the name od Manuel Acevedo who will be featured in one of my next blogs.

Queer Chol@s today embrace art either conciously or sub-conciously. Art has been a primary piece in chol@ culture. Art is found in Tattooing, creating nurals or drawings, care for lowrider cars or bikes, DJing being a form of technological art, and dance whether old skool popping or “side to side” lean. Many Cholos today, like their Chol@ ancestors embrace a certain artistic ability which in some circles could be considered a “non-masculine” tendecy, and this is regarding style.  Many cholos today continue the legacy of a clean cut and pressed look which is a part of the pride present in cholo culture. This is all the way from the care in perfecting a pachuc@ pompadour to creasing our t-shirts and pants. On top of these “clean cut” attributes today we see many cholos embracing the shaped/tweezed/plucked/threaded eyebrow.

Eyebrows are big in Chol@ culture today. They are similar to our indigenous tribal facial tattoos which have always been immediate signifiers of status. We see this in more extreme cases such as the MS 13 gangs. When a mujer with defined eyebrows is seen, she may more than likely be identified as a chola. The men more recently have embraced their eyebrows like their Chola counterparts by defining their eyebrows. In this artistic move they counter traditional cholo masculinities by stepping out of constructed boxes of defined identity-all through their artistic tool in this case the pinsas, not the paintbrush.


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

One response »

  1. Raquel says:

    That was insightful and completely brought a different perspective to the clean/trimmed eyebrows of chol@ culture (that put my eyebrows to shame)! Good job Damian! Keep up the good work, artista!

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