[82/100 Strangers] : Raquel, Dia de Los Muertos 2015

Sometimes, you reach an event with so many diverse and wonderful people, you want the light to last forever, for everyone asked to be photographed to say “YES,” and for the photographs to be high-five worthy. Here,  I scored all of them.

Raquel-4491-SMALL-flickr

[82/100 Strangers]: Raquel | Flickr Explore- 2015-12-18

At the entrance to the Westside Community Center complex, a bottle neck formed of people who were passing through the gate in both directions. We were entering the park area for the Dia de los Muertos celebration following the Marigold parade.

Raquel, my 82/100 strangers, is what I would describe as ‘rock-a-chola.’ Her style of personal self-expression evolved out of the Chicana (Mexican American) Feminist movement. For women who grow up in the Catholic tradition, this is a subversive punk aesthetic. Around her neck is a large cross and beneath that, a red corset worn over her tank top. On this occasion she was glammed-up as a calavera with makeup depicting life and death simultaneously. Like many of the women at the event, she was wearing a headpiece made with fabric flowers.

Her friend Linda, my next stranger, did most of the talking. She explained that they stand for equal respect for everyone, with special concern for young girls who should be able to grow up confident and self-empowered.

The black sleeveless tank top had black cursive letters: “P-M-M.” Raquel said that stands for Pink Mink Mafia; a clothing brand that unapologetically embraces the ferocity of woman. By wearing the shirt, Raquel was showing solidarity with all women who wish to express their individuality, own their own bodies and sexuality, and not be judged for it. She is a latina who is beautiful, intelligent, strong and self-assured; who wishes to be accepted for her substance no matter her appearance.

The quality of the afternoon light was warm, and she posed for me looking off into the distance, at the festivities that were just beyond us.  Bonita.

2 responses to “[82/100 Strangers] : Raquel, Dia de Los Muertos 2015

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