Ask a Mexican! What exactly is a huipil?

Oct 18, 2012 at 4:00 am

Dear Mexican: As a college educated Mexican-American, I had my fair share of Chicanas in college...all of which my jefita considered putas with books. But now that I graduated, I'm going out with a gabacha for the first time. She's nice, bilingual, tall, skinny, educated and a liberal with liberal gabacho parents so they accept my brownness. I finally found a woman that doesn't want to control me a su manera or hacerme pendejo and my jefita is STILL against it. How can I get my jefa to accept my lil' snow bunny?
Coco Deez Nuts

Dear Gabacho: ALL Mexican moms are going to initially consider ANY mujer who's going out with their son a puta — it's that whole Madonna/whore complex that continues to sully Mexican feminine relations. But the good thing with mamis is that they're ultimately looking out for their mijo — if any woman is going to be their eventual nuera, they better be a good one (you should've seen the desmadre my madre put my mick gal through after she quebro my heart yet wanted to get back with me), and her son better be in the right state of mind to settle down rather than put said woman through cheating hell. You obviously didn't care for those Chicanas as anything else than butt sluts, and your mother knew that — hence, the hate. And the fact that you're calling your current chica a "snow bunny" is further proof you're not ready to settle down — hence, the hate. But trust me: your mother will sense the moment you're ready to be serious, and will then subject your beloved to a lifetime of suegra pettiness.

Dear Mexican: I'm a Spanish teacher for young children. I've seen a white lacey headdress called a huipil and I have also seen a type of colorful blouse called a huipil. Which is it?
La Maestra Gabacha

Dear Gabacha Teacher: We're hablando about two different clothing items here. The "lacey headdress" you're referring to is the resplandor, and it's native to the state of Oaxaca, specifically to the Zapotec tribe, and specifically to the tehuanas, the legendary women who pertain to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec and even more specifically to the women vendors of Santo Domingo Tehuantepec. They're renowned for their morena beauty, independence, and colorful sartorial stylings (related aside, gentle readers: do yourself a favor and YouTube the song "Tehuantepec" — it's the most-famous song of the son istmeño genre native to the region and is the equivalent of "Girl from the North Country" on marimba). Frida Kahlo made the resplandor famous in her 1948 self-portrait, highlighting the headdress' frilly awesomeness. The huipil, on el other hand, is the default blouse of central and southern Mexico and Guatemala since before the Conquest, the colorful counterpart to the suave guayabera. Unfortunately, the huipil has been cheapened by Mexican restaurants that make their female workers dress in cheaply made versions and by gabachas who went backpacking and think wearing them at rallies confers authenticity. Doesn't matter: a huipil makes any woman who wears it into an automatic goddess — I mean, more so than usual. But the woman who can pull off the resplandor ain't just a goddess — she's heaven incarnate. In other words, a tehuana.

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