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ERIC Number: EJ1156398
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2133
Straight or Curly? Hair and Race in Carmen Montañez's "Pelo bueno, pelo malo"
Ortiz-Loyola, Brenda
Hispania, v100 n3 p421-430 Sep 2017
Historically, black women's hair has been a site where power and social relations are defined. In Puerto Rico, cultural production has been critical in perpetuating as well as in contesting the prevailing white European ideal of beauty and its impact on women's hairstyling practices. Nevertheless, the link between aesthetic preferences and the wish to emulate white culture has been questioned in recent decades. Although not denying the persistence of racial prejudice, current historical, anthropological, and sociological studies suggest that the widespread adoption of straight hair as a model has altered its original association with whiteness, transforming it into a fashion that responds to a non-white ideal of beauty. Taking into consideration these new interpretations, this article focuses on Carmen Montañez's novel, "Pelo bueno, pelo malo". It argues that Montañez's novel presents a complex scenario that discards the traditional shame/pride opposition ascribed to the act of hair straightening without ignoring the prejudices against Afro-Puerto Ricans.
American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, Inc. 900 Ladd Road, Walled Lake, MI 48390. Tel: 248-960-2180; Fax: 248-960-9570; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Puerto Rico
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A