In many cultures, women’s beauty and youth have an imaginary shelf life. Aging, pregnancy and weight gain are the made-up expiration dates.Latinos can be real metiches! I frequently hear comments like, “mírala, no le pasan los años!” Or the classic post-partum comments, “Que esbelta te vez, te estas cuidando verdad? ” In the Latino community, we readily compliment women’s looks on: beauty, weight, and youth. Let me clarify for those who might not know: inquiring about and commenting on a woman’s body is not cool! Doing so fosters the status quo that it’s ok to evaluate her on her looks.
Now, I’m all for empowering one another; honoring the intricate, multifaceted and unique individuals that we are. With flaws, imperfections and yes—beauty! We can be young and beautiful at any age and weight. Don’t stop complimenting her after a certain age. Compliment the strength she’s gained, not just the weight she lost. If you know her past sorrows and joys, I encourage you to compliment her on how beautiful her inner strength is as well. How enlightening her wisdom is. Or, how fierce her resiliency is! Compliment her, but don’t be a metiche—don’t just mindlessly point out attractive features of her body.
Beauty doesn’t have a shelf life. Aging, pregnancy and extra fat are not expiration dates, rather they are natural processes of life—sometimes we love them and sometimes we hate them! So, next time la vecina mindlessly says, “Ay, mijita, que cinturita tienes!” Feel free to respond with, “Ay, señora, y usted que metiche es!
Seriously, though, STOP BEING A METICHE!”