Girl Power (And Not in the Spice Girls Kind of Way)

by carrielaven

These ladies are pretty much who I want to be.  I know, I know, I say that all of the time– but a lot of things inspire me, okay?  And three of those things are: Los Angeles, the 1930s, and badass ladies of color.  Cue, the pachuca— a type of woman who knew how to look glamorous in red lipstick and victory rolls, but also hid razor blades in her perfectly-coiffed bouffant (and was not afraid to use them).  
The type of woman who had to take a lot of shit in late 1930s- early 1940s California.  Not only was she female, and therefore seen as less competent/intelligent/powerful as men, but also Chicana, and subject to racial profiling and sometimes violent attacks by police.The type of woman who shook things up by dressing in tailored men’s zoot suits, and forming all-girl gangs to fight back against racial oppression.  The type of woman who celebrated being tough and girly and sexy and sharp all at the same time, who dared to be complex during a time when she was seen as one-dimensional.I’ve always been interested in pachucas (and their later equivalent, cholas) for these exact reasons.  And after seeing the pic above, I can’t wait to celebrate that interest by stepping out in high-waisted wide leg pants, huaraches with socks (might have to wait a few months for this one… it’s freezing here in NYC!), and a white v-neck tee or sweater.  These ladies knew how to do fierceness.  These ladies are pretty much who I want to be.

Images via: Duke University Press, Of Another Fashion