Interviews in Catalonia: Maria Rosa – Part 2

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Have have your ideas about beauty changed over the years?

 Now I go to the hairdresser. I dress in cheerful clothes (because then you wore black dresses). We have changed a lot. Now all women are equal, modern, athletic. Now there’s not much difference from German or French women. Before, a Spanish woman was immediately recognized. Not fixed up, nothing flirty she wore any old thing. Now it’s different. The woman who doesn’t go to a professional does makeup at home. I am 82 years old. In the past, I would have to wear black, be gloomy all day and pray the rosary.

 My maternal grandmother died at 72. She always wore all black. Also, if someone died you had to dress in black for 3 years. After that, you could wear something lighter….black with white polka dots for example. This was around the 1940s. When my grandmother died, I did this. I was 12 years old and wore black. The men would wear a black jacket or armband. Today people no longer mourn like this.

 Why do you think your ideas of beauty have changed?

 I’ve always been a rebel and thought that the things that they told me weren’t always true. They couldn’t be. I feel more comfortable with the modern way of thinking. Before a woman could not work. She had to “be home with the broken leg”. This was a saying that meant “with crutches” to keep her at home. Look at how crazy this is, I would say. But you have such liberal ideas, I would hear. I used to say that if a woman didn’t feel good with her husband, they should separate. People would tell me nothing in the world should make this happen. See now how many divorces there are now? I find it fantastic. Today I feel very comfortable with life.

Maria Rosa, 82

Pla de l’Estany, Catalonia

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