If there is one thing we can all expect from a Latina mom, it’s that she will always tell you the truth. She’s not the type to sugarcoat things for you to make you feel better. This can cause a lot of conflict between her and her daughter(s) if it's a touchy subject matter. That brings me to a conversation I recently had with my mom regarding my appearance. It went a little something like this:
Mom: “You should do your makeup and dress up more often. Like a nice young lady.”
Me: “There’s no need for me to put on a full face of makeup. My job requires me to be in workout clothes all day, and I haven’t had a reason to dress up lately.”
Mom: “Yeah, but you look more presentable when you are all done up than when you aren’t.”
Gee, THANKS, mom. Just as I'm starting to get more comfortable in my skin, you tell me that I'm an ogre. Leave it to mami to bring you back to reality. After discussing my annoyance with another Latina friend, I found out that I wasn’t the only one who was critiqued by their mother in a similar fashion. Which is why you'll probably relate to the common things Latina mothers say in the quotes below. Prepare to cringe!
“You aren’t eating enough. I never see you eating!”
If I had a dollar for every time I heard my mother or another female relative in my family say this to me, I’d be rich. Just because you don’t see us eat every single meal in front of you doesn’t mean we aren’t eating. In fact, we probably eat too much, which leads me to the next quote . . .
“You’re getting gordita. Time to go on a diet”
Leave it to mom to notice if you've put on a
few pounds. She is also the only person to make that weight gain sound super dramatic. What if you’re happy
being five pounds heavier?!
“A lady should never leave the house without makeup on.”
I don’t know if it’s our generation, but a lot of my girlfriends are comfortable running errands barefaced. Do that in a Latino household and you’ll get critiqued by mom AND abuela. Even if they are just stepping out to do food shopping, they’ll make sure to put on a full face of makeup. If they’re pressed for time, they at least apply some lipstick and mascara on.
“Make sure you bundle up before you go out. Hace un frío del diablo!”
You already know mami is like your personal meteorologist because she’ll tell you the weather and how you should dress that day. Even if you know that it's 20 degrees out, she will always remind you to pack on the layers.
“Don’t let yourself go. Otherwise [Insert boyfriend's name] will lose interest in you."
I don’t know what it is about Latina moms and their old-school mentality that women mainly dress up for men. Many times, if we doll ourselves up, it’s simply because it makes us feel good. And in my experience, most men I’ve met say they like the no-makeup look on their significant others. Hey, if your guy is okay with your low-maintenance style, why fix something if it isn’t broke?
“I’m going to the supermarket to do food shopping. What does [Insert boyfriend’s name] like to eat?”
If I could count the number of times my mother asked what my boyfriend’s favorite foods were, you’d think she was HIS mother. She always has the house stocked up with his favorite foods and makes sure that he is served first alongside my dad at dinnertime. She doesn’t even spoil me that way!
“There’s too much basura in this house!”
My favorite complaint is when my mom points out that there are too many things taking up space in the house. She'll insist that it NEEDS to be thrown out, but yet has a hard time parting with it. She'll justify keeping said item by explaining that it may come in handy “someday.” Can you say #HoarderProblems?
“Have you called your abuela?”
As soon as your mom asks if you called your abuela or another elderly relative, you know a guilt trip is coming. She’ll remind you that we don’t know how much “time” abuela has left and how badly you will feel that you didn’t call to check on her one last time.