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The Beauty TradeYouth, Gender, and Fashion Globalization$
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Angela B. McCracken

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199908066

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199908066.001.0001

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Here Comes the Quinceañera: Isn’t She Beautiful?

Here Comes the Quinceañera: Isn’t She Beautiful?

(p.36) Chapter 2 Here Comes the Quinceañera: Isn’t She Beautiful?
The Beauty Trade

Angela B. V. McCracken

Oxford University Press

This chapter elaborates on the details of the quince años and the beautification of the quinceañera. Commonly compared to a Western-style wedding without a groom, the quince años is a coming-of-age tradition that marks a girl’s passage to adolescence. The quince includes a growing list of symbolic rituals, exchanges, and theater that establish social relations within the church, families, social networks, and generations. This chapter argues that the process of beautification leading up to the quince and the presentation of the quinceañera to her audience have replaced the church service and meal as the most important part of the tradition. Through a months-long beautification process, the girl’s beauty makeover has become the most central coming-of-age ritual. The quince as practiced at the beginning of the twenty-first century, more than a religious rite of passage, is a special case of a now-universal rite of passage: the beauty makeover.

Keywords:   quince años, quinceañera, beautification, rite of passage

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