Eric Sapps Jessica Furth
From the second a baby is born, whether to be considered a boy or a girl by the body part in between their legs, one is forced to be flourished in a dull sky blue, or a light pink shade, ranging from blankets, to toys, to ultimately a lifestyle. In the United states of America and other countries alone across the world, newborns are predetermined by their body parts to be over injected with a ton of testosterone and or estrogen in the body. As one gets older, whether it be a male or female, a transition from childhood to adulthood is necessary. Latin american countries all around the world, day in and day out, celebrate this passage of a young woman into womanhood. This celebration, often referred to as a Quinceañero, Quinceañera or just
“Quince, recognizes and highlights fifteen year old latin american woman as they travel through their journey from childhood to maturity. With a vast variety of different opinions, stereotypes, and proven arguments involved with Quinceañera’s, Julia Alvarez touches on various aspects of the quinceañera in her 2007 book “Once upon a Quinceañera” which demonstrates the pro’s and cons of quinceañea’s while actively comparing the two with an abundant amount of evidence. The tradition of the “Quinceañera” limits the development and growth of a young girl’s identity due to the fact that it forcefully sets a standard for young latin american woman to be held to, while also putting a restriction on normal lifestyle decisions that one isn’t proven mentally and or emotionally ready to make at such a young age in life.
Widely celebrated in Latin American countries, ranging from Mexico to Puerto Rico, all the way to Cuba, Quinceañero’s recognize and celebrate young latin american woman as they mature and prosper into womanhood. With a variety of different traditions, customs, and historical context behind Quinceañero’s, Latin american countries take this gathering very seriously as many young woman look forward to their “quince” their whole childhood. As a chance to dress like a queen, shine like a diamond, and become the center of attention for your whole community to drool over, who wouldn’t want a quince? But is it really all it’s cracked up to be? In tradition, Quinceañero’s usually begin with a ceremony in which the young female is escorted into the hall and or church with her “court” chosen by the young woman and her family, not too far fetch from your typical modern way wedding. Dressed in flats, the young woman’s father must place heels on their daughter, as a physical sign of passage from childhood to womanhood. Father’s playing a huge role in the quince, the female must perform her first dance with her father, also comparable to a wedding. With a religious aspect coming into play throughout the quinceanera, prayers, blessings, and readings usually take place. With big shoes to fill and high standards to reach, the young woman are expected to practice chastity, with other promises to their religious figure(s) to remain faithful and true to. As if the celebration seems to go on and on, often times gifts are given as a sign of appreciation and respect. Most importantly, a porcelain doll dressed just like the young woman, often referred to as a “last doll”, is passed off to a younger female of the same family, in which she will pass off at her quince in order to retain the flow of tradition. Being such a special day, with so much preparation, expenses, overflowing emotions, and rapid flowing events, a quinceanera truly is a huge concept to those of the hispanic culture.
All in all, a young woman’s Quinceañera is essentially advertised as a huge self esteem boost, along with a positive self intervention method. As stated on page 48 of “Selections from
Once upon a Quinceanera” “Being fifteen, let’s face it, it’s a tough age. Your body is all over the