a woman's story: laura: magro

‘Celebrating Los Quince (15th Birthday) is a popular tradition in most parts of Latin America. It is celebrated with a lavish ritual that is supposed to mark the transition into a woman. This tradition came from the Spanish colonial times, when bourgeoisie who were settling down in the continent needed an event to present the female members of the family into society. Thus, the flamboyant dresses and tiaras. But nowadays, it has become a core ritual for most Latin American female identifying individuals, no matter the social background. Some families even open savings accounts for their  daughters’ Quinces. That being said, it is still a controversial ritual that arises debates on gender politics and colonial history. I remember my Quinces as a strange time in my life. On the one hand, I was excited because I had been dreaming about this moment since I could remember. I was particularly looking forward wearing the dress, the make up (I wasn’t  aloud until that moment)  and, most of all, the photoshoot. I also wanted to feel closer to my Cuban heritage, and thought partaking in this tradition could certainly help me recover a certain sense of belonging. However, another side of me was ashamed. I was raised in Spain and this kinds of rituals are often deemed as extravagant and outdated. I felt like if I shared this with my school peers back in Madrid they would probably make fun of me. And I was right. But I did it regardless.’ - Laura Magro