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018. nalgas: cuban booty standards

This transcript is automated, so please mind the typos & inaccuracies!

[00:00:00] Carmen: hello,

[00:00:10] Fryda: this is take it easy. And here is a warning. This episode is going to be too cool for school. It's about butts. Carmen meet me my energy level, because you're out here, you all right, I'm going to get it. I'm going to get it all for an opportunity. You have no idea. Carmen was out here playing really loud music and singing songs about booties and everything.

And now I start this episode and she's like, yes, it's about butts. Anyway, here you go, Carmen. Yes.

[00:00:42] Carmen: Listen. We are going to get down and dirty. Okay. We're going to talk today about. Cubans and ass. And specifically like as, as a part of the brand, as in society, as in culture, as in history and all of its other bigger societal implications, I will eventually get into a list of alternative names to refer to the.

I don't think we have that in English. This is not important. Asses like I'll need language. Yeah. It's a whole thing. So you're welcome for the ass episode. I am Fryda and I

[00:01:18] Fryda: am Carmen. We're ready to dig into this time. We're ready. Okay. So

[00:01:26] Carmen: the buns that are going to

[00:01:26] Fryda: happen, so why a booty episode, what's wrong with us?


[00:01:32] Carmen: things, freedom, anything. But specifically, I remember that I went to go watch a comedy show and Alexis ghettos did this whole bit about his hemorrhoids. And by the way, this was a Cuban cultural comedy show. So Alexis ghettos gets up on the stage and starts talking about his hemorrhoids. And I thought there's absolutely nothing more Cuban than getting up on stage and talking about your own.

Like I was inspired. And so here we are, this is how we got here, Carmen

[00:01:59] Fryda: and I have also endured a lot of judgment and praise and focus on our booties, including from a entirely too young age. And so we're going to be able to dive into, you know, the silly parts. I mean hemorrhoids suck, but also how it's affected our own body images.

Oh yeah. So what is in, let's say quote, unquote, ideal Cuban body. It is definitely

[00:02:31] Carmen: big booty for sure. And it has to be like our glass shaped though. It's not that you can't just be fat. You can't have like a big. That's not the attractive one when it's

[00:02:41] Fryda: like shapely, right? This might sound entirely normal and common to anyone who's brought up.

Let's say in this general, like in this more recent generation, because in popular culture. Actually pretty mainstream now to want to have a big butt, but let's rewind to like the nineties.

[00:03:01] Carmen: Oh God. Yeah. When the beauty standard was like Kate Moss and

[00:03:05] Fryda: she's like tiny, I remember watching American, uh, let's say just like American mainstream TV.

And there was always a comment that woman would say like, does this make my butt look big?

[00:03:16] Carmen: I know. And I would always think like, why is she asking doesn't she want that?

[00:03:19] Fryda: I know exactly. I would think the same thing too. And that's the thing, the standard of having this really big booty has been a standard within our culture for such a long time.

What I mean by our culture, it isn't just Cubans. It's people of color, Latino people and all that. So this standard for as long as I can remember has also always been associated with blackness. And it's interesting because having a big butt and now also having bigger lips is a feature that's somewhat considered desired.

And yet other features that are considered black, like black hair. Not desirable apparently in our culture, black, darker skin, not desirable, but the booty is desirable. So it's like you have to pick and choose things that are more considered to be coming from black culture or black jeans.

[00:04:12] Carmen: Right. How many times have you heard?

Oh, you have a big, but that must you have, you must have some black and you, I mean, I've heard. And it's, it's just, it's a weird thing to hear because it's racist and weird and shitty, but also that's totally a normal thing.

[00:04:28] Fryda: It's both braces and it's also super fetishizing as well. You feel so much fetishize.

And then if you're a very light-skinned. What do you, what are you saying about my whole overall appearance and where you think I should be from or am from?

[00:04:43] Carmen: And it's not like you're going up to, you know, black Cubans and being like, oh wow, you have a great, but you must have black in you. Like, that's not like a normal thing to say to like blanket anybody.

That's just a weird thing. And it's very contradictory too, because as we've said, Kind of assigned this undesirability to all of these other arbitrary features that are attributed to being black. And, but sometime we value the butt and other it's it's contradictory. It doesn't make any sense. And let's

[00:05:14] Fryda: say where this contradiction comes from and where all of these, uh, issues come from.

A lot of it is colonialism. It is. The colonial beauty standards of having whites, colonizing people of color, black people and indigenous folks, and having those features that belong to people of color and black people be less desirable. So it's interesting that the booty beauty standard came through, even though you could say,

[00:05:41] Carmen: you can also apply this to a sort of fetishizing of, um, the being where kind of like this idea of you want a lady.

Streets. And then the frequent sheets kind of thing, where like you should present white, but like also have these like sexual qualities about you that are, you know, also more black than anything. It it's weird. And so shitty.

[00:06:03] Fryda: One thing that I've thought about is that Kim Kardashian is a white woman and being in the mainstream, she's been able as a white woman to bring.

The standard that has been so long, a standard among people of color among Latinos, among black people, and then suddenly make it acceptable, popular, and appealing for everyone. When this wasn't always true in the mainstream. So, I mean, in general, I wish that there was less pressure to have any beauty standard at all, but it feels interesting and a little exploitative to see a beauty standard become a mainstream in our society.

Previously not so appreciated when it was, uh, people of color Latinas, black people. Well, and that's frustrating. Yeah,

[00:06:48] Carmen: definitely. And especially within the case of, of what it really means to have this, this body type in is sort of mainstream market. And when we're saying mainstream, I want to specify that we're talking about the U S and Western beauty standards, um, that, that sort of shapely body really didn't become.

Fashionable or attractive until Kim Kardashian on that level. But, you know, meanwhile, on, on our side of things, we've had, like, we've had the likes of Selena with which Selena had a beautiful body and she was also very, you know, what you would maybe stereotype as having a really rough. Um, idealistic, but also we've had J-Lo we've, you know, we've had many figures across history that have had this beauty standard that now Kim Kardashian is making more popular.

Celia Cruz also had a donka donk. She was very shapely indeed. Um, but back to what I'm trying to say is that a lot of. Figures when they be, when they came to the stage of mainstream media, they were the crossovers kind of, they weren't really fitting into the beauty standard that mainstream media had, which was very, very Twiggy, very sort of Kate Moss in the nineties.

A lot of these figures sort of stood in their own lane and in their own light and stood out for that. But they weren't necessarily fitting in to mainstream media.

[00:08:08] Fryda: I like how you point that out because. These are two particular cases, the case of Selena and the case of J-Lo because with the case of Selena, she definitely was accepted and appreciated and heard her in her own.

Right. And, and as a Chicano artist. And, and then, and then of course she crossed over, as you say, but J lo was so long fetishized for her bio a hundred percent. Like the only thing I remember hearing about Jayla growing up. But, but that, but, and it was something that she specifically had that she had like the biggest button Hollywood.

So even though it was appreciated and sexualized, it was also, um, othered. It was an other thing. It was, it was a thing that she had as a spicy Latina and that other people don't have.

[00:08:55] Carmen: And, you know, okay. Not, not to be making comparisons or anything here, but the interesting thing now is that in, in the era of Kim Kardashians types, J-Lo, doesn't even look that, you know, exaggerated or other as, you know, as maybe she used to be seen before, but that is very true.

But you know, also that that sort of Kim Kardashians shape is. Really plastic surgery so,

[00:09:18] Fryda: yeah, it means a very, very tight midsection and somehow a huge, huge, but which like is really hard to come by and not on the genetic lottery. Like if you're going to have a big, but especially like that, you're usually going to have fat elsewhere in your

[00:09:36] Carmen: body.

I mean, it's really, you have to have thighs and legs to be able to hold it otherwise, you know,

[00:09:42] Fryda: No, it does. So it makes it extra realistic for people who are shapely and for people who are bigger than like a size two or whatever, um, to fit into this, uh, very hourglassy hourglass form has

[00:09:55] Carmen: to fit function.

Moving on, but you know, Frieda and I are very blessed with, you know, nice butts. So there's that. So we've been

[00:10:05] Fryda: told this weird ass stuff, this weird space asset stuff, a little

[00:10:11] Carmen: too much, but also, you know, I want to bring up as well. Um, In Cuban society and Cuban culture being curvy or being like good data.

Right. It's a good thing because it means that you are eating. It means that you have

[00:10:25] Fryda: food. Even our grandparents to stay, they would want us to be a little more rounded out than not rounded out.

[00:10:32] Carmen: And, but don't get too fat because. You'll never hear the

[00:10:34] Fryda: end of it. We're personally connected with this topic.

How young were you, Carmen, when anyone talked about your butt for the first time?

[00:10:43] Carmen: Oh my God. I'm sure that we've been talking about my bus since I was born.

[00:10:46] Fryda: I was told that I was born and that I was a little stick with two round balls. And that is how I was described as a child, because even as an infant, like the size of my booty was partly.

My identity as, as an infant. And that just. That's weird. It's weird. Let's take many steps back and look at, look at that. I knew that that was a part of my identity, and that was something that was also desirable when you're being described by a feature of your body, rather than a feature of your personality or of your face.

It really starts becoming really internalized the booty being so important. Makes like little girls grow up too fast in our society, you know? Yeah.

[00:11:42] Carmen: I would agree with that. I mean, at this point, this has become a more mainstream thing. And I think that aside from the Cuban experience, now a lot more women and girls are still experiencing.

But lifts are now on the rise, but that body type and that specific image has become a lot more popular in the past few years, but lifts are on the rise and it's now considered very attractive to have that sort of round shapey shapely, but Allah Kim Kardashian, I think we can attribute a little bit of that to her, uh, bringing that body type into the mainstream a bit more.


[00:12:15] Fryda: commentary that I always thought was really clever is how Kim Kardashians as a white woman has been able to bring this standard that has been so long, a standard among people of color Latinos and black people and make it popular. For everyone, when it comes to creating a beauty standard, I wish there was less pressure to have any beauty standard at all, but it also feels kind of interesting to see when does a beauty standard become mainstream in our society.

I remember being in middle school, the Brazilian pans, holla. Yeah, Carmen Brazilian pans. And around that time, Brazilian pants, plus boys with their hormones. I wore some Brazilian pants and I was seen as like a walking, but for some time and I hated it. It was just hard to deal with, but that was definitely what we wore.

So that

[00:13:07] Carmen: was middle school. Aha.

[00:13:10] Fryda: Boom.

[00:13:12] Carmen: No, but really though. And then there were all the Chung guys, as we knew them, there's a whole stereotype. So like,

[00:13:18] Fryda: All the chonga is where you not a chonga. I actually truly

[00:13:21] Carmen: wasn't a chonga I I'm so sad to disappoint. I kind of wish I could look back and say that I was a chonga, but I, at the time thought it was very cool to be into Marilyn Manson and Slipknot

[00:13:34] Fryda: and corn or what I was at some point I was.

A, at some point I was like a rocker chonga cause I would go back and forth between being like a rock, like a chonga and then some days you couldn't just say, okay, let's go, let's go back over and say, what the heck are we saying? What is a chonga and why are we bringing up in this context? A chonga is a sub culture of like Cuban and Miami society.

Pretty equivalent to the chola in a Chicano culture.

[00:14:03] Carmen: There's a whole song about it made by two Miami girls. It's called Changa

[00:14:11] Fryda: definition. Arch my eyebrows high. They

[00:14:14] Carmen: always Seren at my booty and my panty line could see

[00:14:18] Fryda: me. They want an award in the same year that I was competing for that same award. We were both seniors and they won.

They deserve. Yeah, but the award wasn't even a drama award. I think they deserved it, but the word was, I got community service award, but I think they were also the chongalicious girls were also really good at community service freedom.

[00:14:36] Carmen: Anyway, chongalicious was a community service.

[00:14:41] Fryda: All right. Folks, maybe we put this in the.

We bring everyone back to chongalicious, which was a satire kind of making fun of the chonga, but also solidarity with the chonga. So what are some features of being a chonga and why does it have to do with the booty? So they wore Brazilian pants,

[00:14:56] Carmen: tight pants, very, very tight pants that were made of like a stretchy material.

So they fully hugged every tiny curve and

[00:15:05] Fryda: leggings were acceptable. I

[00:15:06] Carmen: just want to say one thing, our, our middle school and high school uniforms were khaki. Pants and all of us, little, little like chunky malicious girls went to.

and we would buy the Brazilian pants there and they had to be khaki, which made us look like we were fucking

[00:15:28] Fryda: naked, which is why you were, which is why you were a chonga Carmen. You didn't know it. You thought you weren't a chonga, but you were because you, because we all wore the Brazilian pants. We all jelled our hair far, far back.

[00:15:42] Carmen: Thank God that has happened in a stage of my life when there was not a drop of cellulite on my body, because actually I would still rock

[00:15:49] Fryda: that, whatever. Fuck it. Yeah. And so the whole Chonga ethos is to really, really like. Enjoy your body wear something tight, but also wear something kind of grungy. Shout out


[00:16:02] Carmen: the chongas for taking a sort of stereotype that is seen as not very refined, not very, you know, lady like, or, you know, taking something a little bit more nitty gritty and completely owning it.

And not only that, but something that's highly sexualized. Um, that's taken from more of a male gaze and then immediately turning it back on its head and being like, we're going to own this now. We're .

[00:16:25] Fryda: I think that is, that is the special thing. Being a chonga was about subversion and about owning that. And, um, and I guess in a culture that so focuses on your, but it was just going to say, yeah, I've got a bow or whatever size, and I'm going to work for us at Liam pants in it, and I'm going to love it.

Okay. I'm going to love it. And what use,

[00:16:45] Carmen: what you have to say and what you think, whether or not you like my ass and these pans does not matter to me instead, this is just what you're getting the. Yeah,

[00:16:54] Fryda: the end. Anyway, back to

[00:16:57] Carmen: Alexis gets up on stage and he started talking about his hemorrhoids and, and, you know, then he made an entire bit about, but the part that struck me that was the most Cuban about this whole situation is the amount of openness that I feel comes from Cubans.

When they're talking about everything. Related like my parents will hesitate to tell no one about whether or not they need to shit this instant or how their shit was this morning.

[00:17:25] Fryda: You know what? I think that a lot of it also comes from many decades of poor eating and many decades with problems with like food supply has made.

What your poop is like and what your digestive system is like a big part of our com like a big part of our conversation. You can joke about being constipated. You can joke about having runny diarrhea and like, I mean, sure. Anything like disgusting is usually funny, culturally, among many, many people, but the amount of times that like digestive problems comes up in our Cuban comedy, I think.

It relates to our comfort with booty and, but related things, but also to just how many digestive incidents one can have when we have the history that we've had. Both my parents have some digestive problems as well. I'm bringing this up because I honest, I think that like Cubans have way too many problems caused by like, I don't know, not eating for a very long time.

And then eating just absolute, terrible food while being in Cuba. There we go. So I feel like I'm glad my mom can talk about all the weird little poops she has and stuff. So.

Oh my God.

[00:18:44] Carmen: Yeah. Yeah. The amount of times I would wake up on a Sunday morning and, or a Saturday morning when my mom wasn't cleaning, which was rare, but the amount of times that this would happen, I would like come downstairs and my mom would be on the phone with somebody and be like, oh yeah, I have to get, I'm not going on a Cobia this weekend.

And it's just going to be like, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then they were just talking about it. So frankly, like this was a common conversation between our parents being like, oh yeah, this is my ass, bro.

[00:19:06] Fryda: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It's not like, oh, did you just, oh, did he just say that? There's there's, there's nothing like that.

Yeah. Pretty, relatively informal culture when it comes down to it. We also, Carmen, as you mentioned, have many words for butts. Oh yeah, yeah,

[00:19:23] Carmen: yeah. We have obviously, you know, culo because Pitbull, you know, made that. Yeah. It's a heavy

[00:19:35] Fryda: is like a pretty, it's an obscene way of saying, but speaking of my mom, just gonna bring up my mom every time mom hates school, she's going to listen to us and she's gonna be like, yeah. And so that's, it's a very vulgar way of referring to a, but, but then of course you have fun deal, which is like fondle, you know, it's just the bottom of your body from the you, that's what you generally use.

I think, to refer to the.

[00:19:59] Carmen: Yeah, I think so. That's a very benign way to talk about the, but there's also a nice. nalgas is a butt

[00:20:06] Fryda: cheeks specifically that it's kind of fun. How, like in Spanish we have Nagus, which is a particular word for butt cheeks rather than doing what English do, which is just to say it's the same as your cheeks, but just in your butt.

Imagine I find that really disgusting, actually the fact that you can say cheeks and it's either on your face or on your bottom,

[00:20:26] Carmen: I'm trying to think about how to directly translate that. And it would be, it would be gotcha. They what?

[00:20:33] Fryda: Gotcha. Does it, Leo, it would just be . All right. Then here you go. Whether you're a Cuban or not like if you're Latin American, if you have any more worse.

Let us know. Yeah. Let us know. We

[00:20:44] Carmen: even have children's nursery rhymes, but I think is everybody, but yeah, we tell kids like sign up is like the little thing you tell kids when they get her or something bad happens to

them, sana sana culito de rana

[00:20:58] Fryda: which means heal heal little frog, butt, but it's not, it's not frog, but it's frog ass because culo is like a little obscene.

So it's like, Fall gas. So the little

[00:21:08] Carmen: kids are walking around saying this, and

[00:21:11] Fryda: let's talk about other words in our language related to things that happen with your booty. Carmen. I think you can start us off.

[00:21:19] Carmen: There is God, and that is to shit. So you're welcome. If you're learning Spanish or you go go, God.

[00:21:30] Fryda: to eat. Shit is a big part of our language when someone is , it means that they are stupid, did see, or, or an idiot. And you might say. like, you're just messing around. So like, I know a lot of

[00:21:49] Carmen: people in English use this to mean that you fell down and you hit the floor with your face. So like eat shit in that way.

But, but when Cuban say eat shit, it's like, we're lounging around. We're wasting time. We're not doing what we're supposed to be doing. We're just eating shit. So if someone's like, Hey, what are you up to? And you're like, oh, I'm just eating shit. Then they know that you're free to do something or whatever.

[00:22:13] Fryda: Cagalera, like, there is a particular word for pooping so much that you feel like the imagery that comes out when you hear is like there's poop on the walls. So when something is a mess too, like it doesn't really at all. It's also a and it comes out of cagar, cagalera

[00:22:35] Carmen: that can be used. Like you walk into the room and there's a mess and you're like, guys, you know me.

Okay. Absolutely such a mess.

[00:22:43] Fryda: It's amazing visual. Oh, I have a story from my childhood. So apparently when I was like two years old in Cuba in my crib, one day my parents wake up and they find me entirely covered in poop and I am drawing poop on the walls. And so I had woken up in the middle of the night and I think my parents woke up because they could smell poop.

Um, I'd woken up in the middle of the night and opened up like my cloth diapers. And I had started to play with the poop and to this day I love clay. Okay. So it's, it's the same thing. And what would that be? Carmen

[00:23:26] Carmen: for sure. I was also just thinking about like, Did your parents ever give you soup suppositories when you were young?

[00:23:34] Fryda: That is a big part. I just finished asking the other day an American white friend of mine. I was like, didn't you grow up with like suppositories being put up your butt, your whole childhood?

No, didn't your mom like stick pills up your butt, all of your childhood. And he said, Wait for it? No, no. He

[00:23:56] Carmen: said, did you grow up normal or did you grow up getting pills shoved up your ass?

[00:24:02] Fryda: Y Y as kids, did they not want us to swallow anything? Why did they put everything up? Our butts?

[00:24:10] Carmen: It would be like every other week

[00:24:12] Fryda: I had so many things put up my butt.

So many suppositories, you know, But we were raised in the United States. I know. And still, they managed to say, I think maybe there were also Cuban doctors here too, who are just like, you know, what was the best for her every day? That's a suppository a day, keeps the doctor away. I don't even know if everything that I was being suppository for was even like digestion related.

I'm pretty sure that if my parents found that you could have like Advil as a suppository, they would have been like, please. Yes. Oh yeah. That one. You know, like they would have just done that one. I just don't understand

[00:24:51] Carmen: why that's so much easier then I

[00:24:53] Fryda: don't understand. Can you still feel the feeling of a suppository?

Yes. Yes I can. Absolutely can. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, and

[00:25:02] Carmen: you know what? I will say that growing up. I feel like I always had trouble pooping. Like I was fucking constipated all the time, or I had the area, it was one or the other. And now looking back a Cuban cuisine and the food that I actually ate, I'm honestly surprised that I made it this far because it was a lot of high fat things and a lot of starch and a lot of meat basically.

[00:25:22] Fryda: Yeah. And so all of that fat usually like makes your diarrhea like very, very dense and, or gives you diarrhea and like the lack of fiber. To actually, you know, I mean, honestly, I think avocados are the reason we're alive. Yeah.

[00:25:40] Carmen: Avocado. Yeah,

[00:25:43] Fryda: because you're right. You're right. Avocados and beans reason we're alive.

But the beef and the beans have a lot of protein. Both of them have soluble fiber, which is great.

[00:25:54] Carmen: Anyway, thank you for coming to our episode. But I know it's kind of ugly and weird and funny, but actually, you know, butts are a big deal in Cuban society. We have, we have an entire vocabulary to talk about all of our butts and butt related issues.

Okay. We love our butts. We have great butts. Also. We have some grievances about our great butts and how they're perceived in society.

[00:26:18] Fryda: And then if you don't have a great, but you're not as worthy anymore. And this standard. It has, it felt weird when the standard has now moved into the mainstream? Um,

[00:26:29] Carmen: specifically for women.

I don't know if we've mentioned that, but you know, this is not like we're asking men to have buns of steel over here. That's not like that's not important as a man. You just need to know how to clip a cigar and play some dominoes and scowl and also drink.

[00:26:47] Fryda: I love you guys.

Um, yeah, uh, like all in all, uh, this standard, it's not a standard. We necessarily endorse. It's a standard that we see as a construct to criticize, look into, see how it's affected, not just our personal lives, but also the society we live in at large. And how much it relates to being Cuban. And, uh, with that, we have for you.

Of course we do. This one is . Yup. I ship 10 in. And so to shit on something means like to get mad at something, right. Or to get frustrated by something. And so make our NBS arose from and dos, because clearly the worst thing to say is that you should on God, because you're frustrated by life and fate and everything that happens to you.

But if you don't want to make it a common thing to say to shit on God, then you can shit on 10 instead, because. And the S sound very alike. Make I one this. And how do you use that? Anytime. Something frustrating. Like, yeah. Like

[00:28:05] Carmen: if you stub your toe and it's an exclamation, if you over cooked your food, all sorts of things like that, but it's not a

[00:28:12] Fryda: positive thing.

Yeah. It's not just make out when this fill in the blank exists in so many forms. One of my favorite things growing up was when my mom would say because it's a very common thing. It's a very common thing to say, like I shit on your mom, but when your own mother says it, I would be.

[00:28:34] Carmen: yourself.

[00:28:39] Fryda: the mother of tomatoes, a lot of things that you shit on from beauty standards to booty standards.

[00:28:45] Carmen: Thank you so much for listening to our episode about the butts. We had so much fun making it and a big shout out to all of our patrons. Galena Lauren, Johnny , Christine Dean Derek Kennan's Andy Ryan, Jose, Susan Selia, Catherine.

Katie Amani, Chris and Sarah Corrina. Jason, Daniel, Josh, Yvette, and Jesse. I love you guys. We love you guys. Thank you for always supporting us. We have emerged store now at our website. Take it easy pod. And if you want to get in touch, we are take it easy product, and at day DZ pod on all social media.

We hope to see you in the next one and take it

[00:29:24]Fryda: easy. Take it easy. Make sure to eat well.

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