The Mighty Chola

Lean like a CHOLA

Growing up in Los Angeles, I discoverer the magic of cholas at an early age. A chola promised to kick my ass in 7th grade, so I left school early and ran all the way home. She was mad because I’d been hanging out with her ex-boyfriend, a Mexican boy who wore a white t-shirt with khakis and a plaid Pendleton. What the hell was his name?? The main thing about him was that he was taboo.

Fashion changes but chola style is eternal. I’ve only just realized why Amy Winehouse struck suck a resonant chord for me:   She’s a Jewish chola, a hybrid I longed to be but couldn’t really pull off.

Thanks to youTube, everyone knows about cholas now and they are widely parodied. For me, they are too magnificent to make fun of. They are girls who want to kick your ass after school. They know how to use eye-liner and they look sexy in the most masculine get-up.

Mexican gangs go back several generations in Los Angeles, and have a nobility lacking in Crips and Bloods. Not that long ago, I was still planning to have my (imaginary) gang name tattooed on my bicep: “Lil’ Spiteful.” I went around asking my Hispanic friends to find out how to say ‘spiteful’ in Spanish. The closest I got was the word for ‘vengeful.’

Max grew up loving cholas, too. The first girl he ever brought home, when he was around 13, was a chola he met at Magic Mountain. She was 14 going on 25, with earrings the size of dinner plates.

His last girlfriend before the crazy one was the perfect chola, even though she was born in Israel. They met in rehab, and when he brought her home, she let me do her make-up.

It was easy to see what he loved about her. She’d been arrested fourteen times, and she could text a dirty joke at lightning speed.

All of his girlfriends were beauties. But beauty without brains was a deal-breaker for him. He always had friends who were women and he wasn’t afraid of intimacy.

God bless the Mighty Chola. Maybe I should get the tattoo after all?

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37 Responses to The Mighty Chola

  1. annemarie says:

    wow, that is the best fucking photograph ever!! look at Max’s expression!!!

  2. Elena Abaroa says:

    I love “cholas” too, hehehe, I´ve just learned a new word in English, I didn´t know you use the word “chola”, here in Spain we call her “chonis” and for me they are adorable. The word “choni” describes a style of girl, the clothes, the make up, the manners, but it´s not related with an ethnic group, here we have chonis from all over the World, and it´s cool. By the way, I love the photo, Max looks great 🙂

  3. sheri says:

    I say you go for it; word monkey says it’s Poco rencoroso. It has a nice ring.

  4. Cricket9 says:

    Sheri, in case of SW it would be “rencorosa” – in feminine; poco means “a little”, as in “a little spiteful”. I would just do “chica rencorosa”, or plain “rencorosa” – IMO sounds even better.
    The girl with Max is gorgeous!

  5. Jill says:

    Malévolo has a nice flow to it for a tattoo. Sounds sinister and chola badass. We have plenty of chola chicks here.

  6. patni says:

    I came to cholas late. I had met the chol people in Mexico before i met a chola. On a trip to LA a chick handed me a burritto from a truck and bit my head off for asking for some stupid extra and I was hooked. She had those crazy sharpie eybrows and giant lips and big hair. She was awesome. Not many people bit my head off like that.

  7. Ann says:

    Growing up in NJ, I didn’t meet a chola until I moved to FL in my late teens. I was instantly enamored. Her name was Lisette. She was beautiful. Cholas are badass.

    That picture of Max is amazing. It’s easy to see what he loved about her and it’s just as easy to see what drew her to him.

  8. nadine says:

    I did not know that is what you called girls who look like that.

    I like them.
    That first photo similar to rockabilly girls with the makeup and bandana.

    Chola’s have better jewellery though.

  9. Marky says:

    Best thing about cholas? They’re ageless. I can never tell if a chola is 14 or 54.

  10. Aja says:

    Try as you might with the make up but you couldn’t save those eyebrows. I got my eyebrows waxed the other day and I spent a whole ten minutes stressing “NOT. TOO. THIN!”

  11. Perucha says:

    I am peruvian and cholas mean something different… anywho. Lil’ Spiteful woild be something like “Pequena Rencorosa”. It is not “A Little” but only “Little” right? So i think I’m right. You shpuld totally get it.

  12. annemarie says:

    No, it is little, not a little. It should be Rencorosita. Si o no?

  13. Andra says:

    Max and his girlfriend look fantastic together.
    Hola cholas.

  14. Juli says:

    I have always had a thing for cholos and/or mexican guys. My first love was a teeny little mexican punk rocker that sang in a band called Clit 45. So I kind of get your love of cholas. I think the tattoo is an excellent idea! Maybe you could throw in some traditional religious stuff around it too.

  15. candy says:

    I don’t mind cholas because if they assume the fact that they wait for you at the end of the school, at least you know that they are cholas and act and dress like them. The worse case is when a girl plays chola and dresses in nice clothes, is not tatooed and lives in the suburbs and then waits for the end on the class and follows you with her friends wanana be cholas.

  16. Wow. She looked hot–especially the red lipstick. 🙂 My best friend from junior high turned chola in high school and was a complete bitch to me from then on. I can’t do brown lipliner, SORRY!

  17. hahahaha. my fave post ever! long live Cholas!

  18. Dru says:

    I think what’s great about these girls is that they have absolute, 100% conviction in their looks if they’re true cholas- none of this “wearing it ironically” bullshit that seems to float around.

    Max’s girlfriend is gorgeous, and I love the look on his face in that photograph.

  19. Constance says:

    Great post! Those girls are a bit repellent though. But that’s maybe my european sensibilities talking.

  20. Stacy says:

    Thanks for the intro to the Chola. The first photo is hot! We only have white rocker chics that want to beat you up – or maybe they just wanted to beat me up…

  21. Alicia says:


  22. Liz!! says:

    Even though I can’t morally get behind the chola lifestyle, I can’t stop looking at the pictures. Dru’s totally right, these women wear their identities and questionable style choices with absolute pride.

    They are gorgeous! I used to unintentionally dress “chola” (I only went to high school with a few “poser” cholas, and it was Catholic high school, so they had to wear a uniform), until people told me to stop wearing my gigantic ass earrings and bandanna (um, I WAS from Jersey!).

    Don’t know why I paid attention then, but I’m sure that the cholas wouldn’t taken too kindly to me blindly walking around dressed like them.

    Max’s Israeli-chola’s hair is to DIE FOR!

  23. Zoe says:

    I only wish I had a Chola chasing my ass after school, they’re such babes.
    Love the story about the first girl Max brought home and especially that photo.

    please, get the tattoo 🙂

  24. Jazmin says:

    I vote for Rencorosa, Reconrosita, Pequeña Rencorosa , or my favorite: Peque’ Rencorosa.

  25. The Scientist's Wife says:

    Great post! I immediately thought of this chola rockabilly band called Girl In A Coma from San Antonio, TX.

  26. kellie says:

    I want Chola lips. not the ones outlined in black though. Just plush ones.

  27. Audi says:

    I think rencorosita is correct — “ita” is the feminine diminutive form, so it would translate to something like “little vengeful one.” But you should check with an actual Spanish-speaker first. How tacky to get bad Spanish tattooed on yourself; it’s like the people who get a Chinese character that they think means ‘badass’ and then realize it means something more along the lines of ‘fecophile.’

  28. Perucha says:

    Yes, rencorosita es igual a pequena rencorosa… Because “ita” is diminutive, hence they mean the same.

  29. Nickie Frye says:

    I grew up in LA too. My bangs, when combed down, were longer than my chin & I ratted them straight up. I had the biggest hair in school. That’s right. And I never got my ass kicked for it, or anything else. Although, there were a couple of cholas in my PE class that used to yell at me when I would run AWAY from the volleyball instead of running towards it & hitting it. Please! I don’t dive after balls. pfft. 🙂

  30. Jaimi says:

    Love this post & I love Chola style. Ok, not the Sharpie eyebrows and super outlined lips. That picture of Max and his lady is priceless. I love that he’s wearing a Pixies t-shirt. What a cool kid. & I think you should go for the tattoo.

  31. Hammie says:

    Before children we used to sponsor kids and our first was a little Mexican girl called Manuela. The Christian children’s fund wrote to us saying we had to change kids because Manuela wasn’t co-operating with the program. I bet she was a chola. xx

  32. Lucy says:

    Hi sisterwolf!
    I’m a long time lurker, first time poster 🙂
    I’ve never heard of a chola before this! Here in Australia they’re just called bogans!
    Great pic of Max though, he has quite the aura around him.


  33. Hallie says:

    Cholas in Philadelphia are not really the same as on the west coast. Maybe I just lived in ginnyville too long. Anyway sister, your son had beautiful eyes and looks like a lovely person. I always went weak in the knees for handsome, smart jewish guys. Get the tattoo. Much love to you. xo

  34. Laetice says:

    You should get ”conchuda” tattoed. Literally it means woman with a big vagina, and its slang meaning is more than less: cunt 😉

  35. Dane says:

    I had to laugh real hard at the first paragraph. When I was a freshman in high school (only year I lasted in the US), a group of cholas vowed to egg me after school.. because one of their ex boyfriends asked me out. They ended up jumping me in P.E. class and we all got suspended – me for fighting back. I guess I wasnt the only one who fell victim to the anger of the cholas.

  36. Lala says:

    ATTENTION ALL CHOLAS: Hey Ladyz! If you know any Cholas that want to cast for a show… check this link out! On the app tell them that Lala Rox referred you:

    Good Luck!

  37. Jess says:

    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cholas! I’m so glad that there are others out there who feel the same 🙂

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