The Regulation of the Brown Xicana Body

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Dolor by Crystal Galindo
Dolor by Crystal Galindo , a Yaqui Chicana contemporary painter who specializes in portraits.

The other day as I listened to “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen while engaged in my deep cleaning routine, my body broke out into an unexpected dance and damn it felt so good to just go with it.

As I danced in my kitchen in complete freedom, a thought crept into my mind – that of the years of the unnecessary regulation of my own Brown Xicana body, a disorder I most certainly picked up as a result of society’s skewed body politic and my own distorted sense of how I should and should not act in the public eye. This of course coupled with unconscious and conscious notions of beauty.

But now, at the ripe age of forty-something, I am finally wanting to say a la super chingada with this relentless and debilitating regulation of the body.

I’ve grown so tired and frustrated with this nonstop examination of what I should and should not look like and who I am aiming to please and not please.

As I think more about this unsavory condition, I realize that we work as agents of the machine by acting as major perpetrators in the spreading of this hyped body regulation disorder.

Many useless memories of girls pointing out what they perceived to be defects of my body enter the canvas of my mind. Acts that did not stop at childhood for they have continued into my adult life.

I’ll never forget the day when I was sitting among a large group of Chicanas and one in particular made it a point to body-shame me in front of the others. As she proceeded to insult me and point out my ‘big ass’ to the other womxn, I sat there motionless with what must have been the most ridiculous deer-caught-in-headlights face that a moment later turned into the sharpest ‘f#@! you’ face I could give her. I continue to reflect, even years later, on the absolute anger and pain this event imprinted on my being.

You see my point. We do this to ourselves, to our daughters and sons, a todxs.

Much of this is connected to the sad reality that most of us have bought into White Westernized notions of perfection that continue to haunt us, ideologies that bleed into the abyss of the mind and thoroughly mess us up. God damned Barbie dolls and their straight Blonde hair, flat butts, and devil blue eyes. Yes, el diablo has blue eyes, didn’t you know?

A sudden flashback to my younger days when I would hear “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix A lot and I would cringe and try to suck in the behind I inherited from my divine ethnic roots. Call me a bad mama but as a form of my own healing and resistance, I played that song for my kids and now it’s one of the household anthems.

But (no pun intended, okay maybe a bit), today, at this middle age, I think I am finally ready to accept my body, my being, my brain, and all of my imperfections that make me unique and not a deviation or an aberration.

Today, I will not feel shame. Today, I will not regulate. Today, I will not control.

Today, I promise that I will not impose upon myself unnecessary and unhealthy body regulations and that I will work to break the cycle by not participating in the body-shaming of any of my hermanxs.

#babys-got-back-y-que!  #laxicana

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