Kourtney Kardashian’s Virgencita wedding veil still sparks debate among Latinos: Is it cultural appropriation (or appreciation)?


Last month, when Kourtney Kardashian stood at the altar to marry Travis Barker, another woman stole the show: the Virgen María.

As soon as the first photos started flowing on Twitter and Instagram, the debate began.

Some have argued that the beautifully embroidered image of the Virgin Mary on Ms Karshain’s veil was a touching tribute to Mr Barker’s faith. He, of the Catholic faith, has tattoos of the Holy Mother on his head and forearm, while others were ready to revive the Spanish Inquisition and burn it at the proverbial stake.

But using the Virgen as a design on clothing, especially formal wear, is nothing new. Latinos have been doing it for quite some time.

Christening outfits with the Virgencita have been popular for years. “I’ve been in the business for over 18 years and since then we’ve been selling them,” said Lorena Flores of Dream Kids. Her shop on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles sells costumes and dresses for small children, many of which bear the Morenita (the nickname by which many Mexican immigrants refer to her).

A quinceañera dress at Serenity Bridal. Photo my Elena de La Cruz for LA TACO.
A quinceañera dress at Serenity Bridal.  Photo my Elena de La Cruz for LA TACO.
A quinceañera dress at Serenity Bridal. Photo my Elena de La Cruz for LA TACO.

“As Latinos, Virgo means so much to us: faith, protection, culture. That is why parents want to include him on special occasions, asking for his protection over their children.

Her shop also offers First Communion dresses and veils with the Virgin on them, popular long before Kourtney donned the Dolce & Gabbana-woven masterpiece on her big day.

“When people came in and looked around they saw the veil and loved it, but now they’re asking for it,” confirming that interest has grown since Kourtney’s moment.

For teenage girls, it is traditional to honor the Virgin Mary during their quinceañera by wearing a medallion of her likeness or leaving flowers for her at the church altar. In today’s extravagant quinceañera scene, with ruffled and embroidered ballgowns worthy of Austro-Hungarian aristocrats of centuries past, the most confident teenage girls are daring to share the spotlight on their big day with the Virgin of Guadalupe.

“The girl who would choose this dress is someone who values ​​tradition,” Arisandi Olivares shared as she dressed a model in an emerald green dress depicting Our Lady of Guadalupe, which retails for $1,300. Serenity Bridal, the boutique in the Los Angeles clothing district where she works, has dozens of quinceañera dresses for Gen Z teens, and many are turning to designs that showcase more than themselves. “They also choose it because it’s a way of honoring their family and their culture.”

A personalized costume adorned with the Virgin Mary for a first communion.
A personalized costume adorned with the Virgin Mary for the first communion at Serenity Bridal. Photo by Elena de La Cruz for LA TACO.
A christening outfit adored by the Virgin Mary.
A christening outfit adored by the Virgin Mary at Serenity Bridal. Photo by Elena de La Cruz for LA TACO.

Mari Barreto was in the shop looking for her own quince dress for the July party. Although she chose a princess-style dress, she found the one with the Virgen de Guadalupe to be very beautiful, “showcasing your cultural roots is very trendy right now,” she added.

“I was confused,” her cousin Estrella Gonzalez said when the subject of Kourtney’s veil came up. “I thought maybe it was because the wedding was in Italy, and then I thought maybe it was a bit of cultural appropriation. It was hard to tell his intention, I just hope she did it with respect and not just because of a trend.

Given that Kourtney is part of the Kardashian machine, it can’t be ignored that the custom couture veil was undoubtedly the centerpiece of a coordinated fashion moment, but at the same time, it could also have included the Virgen María for sincere and sincere reasons. , or at least reasons that would have honored Travis’ faith. By placing the Blessed Mother in the center of attention on such a momentous occasion, she shared the same spirit that has long inspired the practice among Latinos: an invocation of a personal sense of devotion that no one else has the right to judge.

Some will say, however, that the pious veil had no reason to match the “puta dress” she wore underneath. But the pious-to-puta dichotomy is an outdated concept from biblical times and an impossible standard against which women continue to be unfairly measured. And it has to stop.

While the Kardashians certainly capitalized on the second half of the dichotomy, embracing the first, Kourtney revealed herself as her authentic self and presented the masses with her own version of an alternative, a path in which rebels and religious can co-exist and personal devotion is considered sacred.

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