Middle-Class Latinas, and the Gabachos Who Won't Believe Them
In "Latina Spaces: Middle-Class Ethnic Capital and Professional Associations in the Latino Community," Agius profiles a national Latina business group with an OC chapter. Everyone gets pseudonyms to protect individuals from some of the chismes told (like older members looking askance at a younger Latina who's a bit too ghetto for their tastes) but the stories of their struggle to be taken seriously in Orange County are legion: discrimination at a local golf course (also gets a nickname) which thought the group "was not the caliber of people to bring to the golf course," a gabacha telling Agius during a business mixer, "Good for you Mexicans. Usually, people take over countries with wars but you Mexicans are doing it by having a lot of babies," and--most hilariously--a Laguna Beach cosmetic surgeon who didn't want to deal with Agius during Orange County's Largest Mixer because "your members are[n't] my caliber of people. I usually deal with the Newport Beach type of ladies."
You pendejo--don't you know successful Latinas all get permanent blonde hair and other surgeries to look more white? We kid--we know a lot of rich prietas. I've begged Agius to reveal the name of the surgeon, but she's too professional to budge. Good luck trying to find her paper online (damn academics and their paywall!), but congrats on an article well done. A profe to watch...
Academics: doing research on Orange County and its sundry issues? Dissertations, papers, and the like? Send them my way at GArellano@ocweekly.com so more than 50 eggheads will know of your work!