Emma

What was the importance of beauty when you were in your 20s?

When I was young I liked to dress up and go out—I felt so young! I felt very happy. I was always a happy person. I don’t feel old now. I liked dancing very much. My dad gave me many dresses, boots and shoes. Since the age of twelve I put make up on. I lived in Colima, Guadalajara (Mexico). My parents had a jewelry shop. They both worked in the jewelry shop, and we had many employees. My mom was French. She was very beautiful and my dad liked her very much. He was handsome and liked dancing very much. My mom was very serious and only danced waltzes. But my dad liked to dance anything and put on hats.

I married in Colima to a Guatemalan man, a good husband. I married at 26 and he was 15 years older. He was a good husband and bought me a house for our three children.

I came to San Francisco at 25. I met my husband here and stayed. He died of a heart attack; he worked very much. I asked him why he worked so hard, and he said he wanted to provide for the family.

What is the importance of beauty for you now?

I always like to dress up. I always go the beauty parlor. One should always dress up, primp up. I dance salsa. I have admirers…there is one (now) a year older than I. But we are just friends.

If different, why have your ideas changed?

It is the same, because thanks to God I have always liked to dress up. My children help me; they love me very much. I am very friendly. When I get upset I go for a walk.

¿Qué significó para Ud. la belleza cuando tenía 20-29 años?

Cuando era joven, me gustaba vestirme, salir, me sentía tan joven! Me sentía muy contenta siempre estuve contenta. Yo no me siento vieja. Me gustaba mucho bailar. Mi papa me daba muchos vestidos y botas y zapatos. Desde los doce años usaba maquillaje. Vivía en Colima Guadalajara. Mis papas tenían una joyería. Mi mamá era francesa, los dos trabajaban en la joyería y teníamos muchos empleados. Mi mamá era muy bonita y a mi papá le gustaba era muy guapo y le gustaba mucho bailar. Mi mamá era muy seria y bailaba vals nada mas en cambio mi papá le gustaba bailar y ponerse sombreros.

Yo me case en Colima con un señor de Guatemala, muy buen esposo. Me case a los 26 años y el me llevaba quince años. Era buen esposo el me compro la casa y para nuestros tres hijos.

Yo vine a los 25 años a San Francisco. Conocí a mi marido y me quedé. El falleció del corazón, trabajaba mucho. Yo le decía porque trabajas tanto y el quería mantener a la familia.

¿Qué significa para Ud. la belleza ahora?

A mi me gusta siempre arreglarme. Siempre voy al salón de belleza. Siempre hay que vestirse, arreglarse. Voy a bailar salsa. Tengo enamorados, hay uno que tiene un año mas que yo. Pero somos amigos.

Si es diferente, ¿por qué han cambiado con los años sus ideas sobre la belleza?

Emma making me a special Colima lunch

Es igual, porque gracias a dios siempre me quise arreglar. Mis hijos me ayudan me quieren mucho.

Soy muy amiguera. Cuando estoy enfadada salgo a caminar.

Emma, 83

San Francisco

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beauty is all about personality…

What did beauty mean to you when you were in your 20s?

In my 20s I thought that beauty was all about being thin.  It didn’t matter how people got thin or kept themselves thin, but having a good body was definitely the most important component of beauty.  I also thought that beauty was about wearing cool clothes and being self confident.  

What does beauty mean to you now?

In my 30s beauty is about being healthy in mind, body and soul.  I find beauty in people who enjoy life, who laugh and who are genuinely happy on a regular basis.

If different, why have your ideas about beauty  changed over the years?

My perception of beauty probably was shaped most by what I thought men were attracted to.  Everyone knows that men are attracted to women in magazines, so in my 20s, that’s what I wanted to look like.  As I got older I realized that, more than anything, men are attracted to people they enjoy being around.  In my 30s, I realized that everyone is attracted to people they enjoy being around, men and woman.  It took me 30 years to realize that beauty is all about personality.

Martha, 32

Chicago area


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