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Critical Dialogues in Latinx StudiesA Reader$
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Ana Y. Ramos-Zayas and Mérida M. Rúa

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9781479805198

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479805198.001.0001

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Chongivity Activity

Chongivity Activity

Latinx Hyperfemininity as Iconography, Performance, and Praxis of Belonging

(p.438) 33 Chongivity Activity
Critical Dialogues in Latinx Studies

Jillian Hernández

NYU Press

This essay explores how Latinx activate working-class hyperfemininities as a relational practice. The forms of relation I center on in this essay would be called chongivity activity by Latinx in Miami, Florida, who use the term when observing the collaborative troublemaking behaviors of chongas: young, working-class Latina girls whose style is marked by intricately sculpted hairdos, dark eye and lip liner, and large gold hoop earrings. Chongivity activity describes the shameless and often gender-nonconforming actions that chongas and other rebel Latinx engage in together. I use chongivity activity as a framework for analyzing how a range of women and queer Latinx cultural producers such as Yolanda M. Lopez, Judy Baca, and chonga drag performers Juliesy Inbed and Karla Croqueta use art, makeup and other forms of working-class, feminized, and criminalized aesthetic labor to sustain relations with each other. Consideration of these practices provides a critical understanding of how women and queer Latinx exchange through hyperfemininity to collaboratively execute projects that push back against gendered and racialized sociocultural exclusions and create alternative spaces and representations.

Keywords:   Latinx, femininity, relations, chonga, drag, art, performance, belonging

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