What I Learned About Beauty From My Hispanic Family

Alina Gonzalez
by Alina Gonzalez
PHOTO:

Original Illustration by Stephanie DeAngelis

Here at Byrdie, we know that beauty is way more than braid tutorials and mascara reviews. Beauty is identity. Our hair, our facial features, our bodies: They can reflect culture, sexuality, race, even politics. We needed somewhere on Byrdie to talk about this stuff, so... welcome to The Flipside (as in the flipside of beauty, of course!), a dedicated place for unique, personal, and unexpected stories that challenge our society's definition of "beauty." Here, you'll find cool interviews with LGBTQ+ celebrities, vulnerable essays about beauty standards and cultural identity, feminist meditations on everything from thigh brows to eyebrows, and more. The ideas our writers are exploring here are new, so we'd love for you, our savvy readers, to participate in the conversation, too. Be sure to comment your thoughts (and share them on social media with the hashtag #TheFlipsideOfBeauty). Because here, on The Flipside, everybody gets to be heard.

One of the beautiful parts about growing up is learning from the women in your family—cousins, aunts, grandma—who have come before you and serve as powerful role models. Especially in a Latina family where the female component is strong, we come of age with extended mother figures in the form of our many aunts (and great-aunts), who teach us lifelong lessons even without realizing it just by being themselves. I love my inspiring tias who taught me things about beauty that are integral to the person I am, and helped form and shape my entire outlook on personal grooming and both outer and inner beauty from a very young age. Ahead, the lessons I learned. 

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