What The... Mexican Mutant Boots

Go on, say it out loud. I won't mind --shoot, I'm thinking the same thing.

W. T. F!!

This notorious examples of shoeware come from Matehuala, a northeastern Mexican city. They have attained huge notoriety lately due to the fact that, like everything else, they have slowly found their way to the streets and night clubs across the border.

And there's of course, the natural drive of all cultural manifestations (wink wink):

"At the beginning I didn't like them very much, but the girls wouldn't dance with you if you weren't wearing pointy boots," said university student Pascual Escobedo, 20, his own covered with hot pink satin and glittery stars (Source)

The more we change, the more we stay the same, right? ;)

They dance to "tribal" music, a mixture of Pre-Columbian and African sounds mixed with fast cumbia bass and electro-house beats. In Matehuala, all-male teams compete in weekly danceoffs at four nightclubs that offer prizes of $100 to $500, and often a bottle of whiskey.

The troupes are so popular, they're hired to dance at weddings, for quinceaneras, celebrations of the Virgin of Guadalupe, bachelorette parties and even rosary ceremonies for the dead. One group, Los Parranderos, or The Partiers, filmed a wedding scene for "Triunfo del Amor," or "Love's Triumph," a prime-time soap opera on the Televisa network.

"At the beginning there were people who would criticize us and would say, 'How tacky that you are wearing that. I wouldn't wear them,'" said Miguel Hernandez, 20, of Los Parranderos. "But we feel good dancing with the pointy boots."

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Ok, so they look stupid. But you know what? like every genuine youth expression, it's supposed to elicit those reactions to outsiders.

This reminds me of the Jazz-era craze of the zoot-suiters, that proliferated in Southern California in the the 1940s. It was a clear rebellion to standard conventions, and eventually it was attacked as immoral behavior --think about it: wearing long suits was considered immoral!

Expect to see some dumb-ass Republican rallying the public opinion against the pointy boots worn by dope fiends in the years to come ("they smuggle drugs inside those unholy shoes!!") :-/

But getting back to the zoot-suiters: In Mexico and in the Chicano community, those who wore those long suits were called pachucos. And their image was forever immortalized thanks to German Valdéz 'Tin Tan', one of our most memorable comedians of the golden era of Mexican cinema.

See video

See video

Tin Tan is also the theme of one of my favorite songs, composed by La Maldita Vecindad y Los Hijos del Quinto Patio --yep, that's their whole name!-- it's about a fight between a punker kid and his dad who can´t stand the way his son wears his hair or his clothes, and the kid tries to remind his dad that HE was young once, and had fights of his own with his father for dressing like a pachuco.

See video

"To each their own like those tribal dancing kids say, and that's exactly right. In the end, however, nothing will impede some Jean Paul Gaultier mofo from robbing their genuine fashion manifestation, repackage it in some flashy way, and resell it to the novelty-hungry masses. Oh, well...

Have you had your own experiences of scorn and criticism for the way you dressed or kept your hair in you rebel years? how about you share it in the comment section :)