#ChingonaFest (Reboot): Veronica Arreola

It’s WEEK THIRTY-SIX for the Aspiring Mama #Chingonafest Fridays. Today, the Fabulous continues with proud feminist Veronica Arreola sitting in the hot seat once again in honor of the 365FeministSelfie con going on right now in Columbus, Ohio. I am honored to have been asked to speak to this great group of ladies tomorrow and my session is entitled Body Image: Our Children & Ourselves. The topic is on point and so is Veronica, as per her feminist awesomeness. 

Veronica is a a force to be reckoned with. She's a writer, professional feminist, current change-mer, and future historical figure. She's also a contributor in the newly released Love Her, Love Her Not: The Hillary Paradox, which is making waves. Buy it, read it, and then LEAVE A REVIEW. I'm kinda big on those now. Go figure, huh? Oh, and that #365feministselfie thing the entire internet is talking about? Yeah, Veronica founded that, too.(Of course, I’m posting the daily selfies because I like words that start with the letter “F”.)

And on to the interview!

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Pauline M. Campos: Chocolate or vanilla?

Veronica Arreola: Vanilla bean.

PMC: So you’re a rebel and don’t like boxes, then. *nods head* Can you tell me what favorite book is and why?

VA: This is like asking me to choose my favorite child! Oh wait, I only have one. Damn…still, you can’t ask a bookworm this.

PMC: I should have seen that one coming. Okay, let’s go three for three. What’s your favorite quote?

VA:  “Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor. It is for a woman schlemiel to get as quickly promoted as a male schlemiel.” Bella Abzug

 PMC: Alrighty then. Um, and now for the obvious. Do you consider yourself a feminist?

VA: OF COURSE!

PMC: Good. You had me worried there for a minute. Let’s talk about who you hope to inspire. 

VA: My daughter. She is everything that I had hoped to have as a daughter. Smart, witty, strong, athletic, caring and with an eye on justice. It is an honor to be her mom. Watch out world!

PMC: Sweet. When she’s old enough to say Chingona without getting grounded, send her my way, will ya? But back to you…do you dream in color or black and white?

VA: Technicolor. When I was a kid, I often got dreams and real life mixed up. I’d swear things happened and my mom would have to explain that I dreamt it.

PMC: Why am I not surprised? Okay, so, let’s play word association. I say CHINGONA and you say…?

VA: VIVA!

PMC: How do you feel about Latinas and how we are represented in the media?

VA:  Hijole! The sad thing is that I think of the awful representations first. SNL’s Cecily Strong’s continuing to play the ditzy Latina, Sofía Vergara’s Gloria on “Modern Family” is like a Latina Peg Bundy without Peg’s sharp wit and then there’s a new Latina character on “The Walking Dead” who looks to be drawn by a 13-year-old boy. ENOUGH! But then we go to the news part of the media and we see Latinas like Maria Hinojosa and Soledad O’Brien, who show our intelligent side. Thank goodness for America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson making movies with strong and intelligent Latina characters..or at least not a stereotype of a Latina which the rest of us have to dispel over and over.

PMC: hmm..I see your point, but I also loved Peg Bundy. But it was probably the sharp wit thing. Anyway, NEXT! One takeaway you want your children to hold onto after they’ve grown and flown the nest…

VA: To keep exploring the world.

PMC: One childhood memory that has stuck with you…

VA: Hard to choose just one! Why do you do this to me, Pauline? OK, so my dad always had pick up trucks when we were kids. I loved riding in the back, especially when he didn’t have a cap on the back. It was heaven. I vividly remember my girlfriends & I tagging along while he want to the auto-part store. We piled in with my boombox, turned up the music and sang all the way there and back.

PMC: Oh that makes me think of my Guelo’s station wagon and the seats that flipped up and telephone poles with signs with phone numbers for the “Yunk Yard.” *sighs wistfully* Do you think in English, Spanish, or Spanglish?

VA: English

PMC: Yeah, unless I’m drunk (and I mean like College Frat Party levels), I think in English, too. So what’s your favorite dish? Why?

VA: Cheese enchiladas con mole. My mom use to make the best enchiladas. When I moved out of my parents’ home, I started my now 20+ years of trying to replicate her recipe. No canned mole for my mom’s enchiladas. And since she died 11 years ago, my quest for that perfect recipe so my daughter has the same memories keeps me going. BTW – Anyone know where I can get some California Chile powder?

PMC: Going out on a limb here, but California sounds like a good place to look. What? The door..it was RIGHT THERE. You can glare at me later. For now, I wanna know if you feel “Latina enough”?

VA: Not really.

PMC: WHAT? You so NO and leave us hanging? That was just mean. Let’s see what you do with this one: Describe your perfect day.

VA: A warm day, full of sunshine, cool breeze, then climbing up a tree. I’ll find a comfy nook, then settle in to read a good book. These perfect days happened almost every day when I was a kid. Now I substitute biking to a park with my family. Still toting a book along.

HT: That we’re family orientated.

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Who likes pretty pictures? Today, and in honor of believing in loving ourselves as we are because that's the whole point, I'm sponsoring my own damned #chingonafest. (Don't worry, next week is still open for a sponsor spot. Email me at aspiringmamna@gmail.com for details). 

Check out my etsy shop for original art, doodled quote mugs, and postcard sets featuring the design pictured here. It reads "Yes She Can" in Spanish and is a play on the phrase "Si Se Puede" and I love it. 

Oh! And don't forget! You can now order signed copies of #Babyfat by clicking RIGHT HERE!

Happy Weekend, y'all. Now, go be happy you are you.