Getty, Illustration/Design: Sarah Maiden, HelloGiggles
There are so many colorful aspects of Latinx culture—one of them being our vibrant, unapologetic approach to beauty. We come from generations of passed down secrets and insider tips, but as the world changes, so does the way we view makeup, skincare, hair, and more. Here's how we're mixing things up and bringing fuego to Latinx beauty today.
Latinx culture is vibrant, diverse, colorful, and lively. Sure, maybe as a Latina, I'm biased, but you can't deny it's a culture filled with so many races, beliefs, and histories. Despite the variety of cultures under the umbrella of "Latinx," there are some similar traditions shared throughout our communities. For example, the existence of conventional, harrowing gender roles. Within Latinx culture, there are widespread beliefs that men are the machismo leaders of the household while women are expected to be "niñas buenas"—"good girls" who are submissive and the homemakers. Unfortunately, these outdated views have perpetuated limiting stereotypes that affect many Latinx families, especially women.
Becky G, a Mexican-American singer known for her top hits "Mayores" and "Sin Pijama," tells HelloGiggles that growing up, she was fortunate not to feel the burden of expectations for Latinx women at home. The star explains that her parents, high school sweethearts who had four children by 23, didn't keep the same values as their more traditional parents, which is why they never conformed to Latinx gender roles and stereotypes.
"Fortunately, my parents weren't the type that would say because I'm a girl, I can't do this, or tell my brothers because you're a boy, you can't do what Becky does," the 24-year-old recalls. "It was always a very embracing household where they believed as long as you put in the hard work and persevered, you can do anything."
Still, Becky did face stereotypical gender expectations from others, including her grandmother. "Where I did experience this in the household was with my abuelitas, specifically on my mom's side, because she's very old school," says the singer. She remembers showing her grandmother a video of herself recreating Jay-Z and Kanye West's song, "Otis", in an abandoned warehouse, dancing, breaking things, and rapping about her life. Her grandmother's first reaction was to question why Becky was so angry, scold her, and say she shouldn't perform music like that. All to which Becky responded, "Grandma, I got shit to say. I don't know what else to tell you," she jokes now.
This experience led to one of the many talks that Becky would have with her grandma explaining why stereotypical Latinx expectations wouldn't dictate how she lived her life. "It was always very loving conversations because the reality is, she wasn't taught anything different," the star says. "I think a lot of those stereotypes have continued because there aren't enough loving and educational conversations happening."
Still, Becky took comfort in her parents' more open-minded way of thinking, which she say helped her handle difficult situations as a Latina singer and rapper in the reggaeton music world, a male-dominated industry. In 2019, she released "Sin Pijama," a track with Natti Natasha, another reggaeton artist, that she hoped would inspire more female artists to create and collaborate, despite society's attempts to pit women against each other in the industry.
Looking back, Becky explains that she chose to release the song because she values fostering positive relationships between female artists. "We aren't taught to work together. We're compared to one another—who has a bigger butt, who has prettier hair, who's skinnier, who's more curvalicious," she says. "A lot of the stereotypes have to do with what we were taught, and now we have to unlearn those things and relearn better versions, and it starts with ourselves."
Despite all of the stereotypes and expectations instilled in Latinx culture, though, Becky says she is beyond proud to be a second-generation Mexican-American. Her favorite part of the culture? The food, of course. "My grandmas took care of me, so I cooked with them in the kitchen making tamales, posoles, and learning their salsa recipes," she says. The singer also loves some tequila, saying, "Being from Jalisco, where tequila originated from, I'm definitely a tequilera."
The star's unwavering love for Mexican food and culture is always at the forefront of her mind in all of her life's ventures, including her beauty brand, Treslucé which launched this year. Becky says she's always loved makeup and believes it was just a matter of time before she created her line. "If I wasn't a musical artist, I'd be a makeup artist because I freaking love makeup and I always have," she says. The inspiration for her brand didn't just come from her love of makeup, though, but also her desire for representation. "I wanted to create a beauty platform for our artists made by us, for us, that invites other communities to learn more about us in a way that isn't so stereotypical, but authentic," she explains.
The collection includes a range of under-$35 makeup brushes, lashes, and an eyeshadow palette, all created from the traditions passed down from Becky's grandmothers. The eyeshadow palette, which features artwork by Latinx artist Monica Loya, is formulated with blue agave from Mexico, which Becky reveals was inspired by her grandmother's farm and love of natural ingredients.
"She had her garden, she had her different herbs that were part of her different magic potions, and she would always infuse that into everything she did, so I wanted to do that with our eyeshadow formula and infuse blue agave from Jalisco, Mexico," she says. "Not only does it have beauty benefits, but it's a way to root my brand to where it all started."
Similar to the eyeshadows, the Mi Tesoro Lash Case is a direct result of her grandmother's all too relatable habit of repurposing old Tupperwares and jars. "We all know what it's like when our grandmas use the butter Tupperware, but instead of it being for butter, it's for frijoles or salsa later on," Becky laughs. "I don't think they [grandmothers] realize how inspirational they are to us. There are so many things that I think about that I'm just so thankful came from them."
So, what's next for this Latina powerhouse? To continue telling the story of her family and the Mexican culture that shaped her through beauty, music, and by being her authentic and unapologetic self. Her newest project is a song with another female artist, Maria Becerra, called "Wow Wow," which released on all streaming services on August 26th. "My community is always at the forefront of everything I do and always will be," Becky says. "Understand that the cultural pressures that everyone puts on us is just noise. Listen to your heart, because that's the most important."