When Tania Larios saw a couple wearing black jackets with the words “Mexico is the shit” printed on the back, she saw red.
The two were checking in at the Condesa DF hotel in Mexico City when they were spotted by Larios, whose gut reaction was to express her feelings on Twitter.
“How can a Mexican hotel receive people that insult our country,” Larios wrote on Twitter Monday, posting a photo she took inside the hotel lobby.
The tweet was received with amusement by other Twitter users, who promptly explained to Larios that the message on the jackets was actually praising Mexico.
But Larios, a self-described internationalist, still needed to vent. She replied, posting: “These days one must not joke using foul language toward Mexico, one has but to be aware of the international context to know this.”
“Whatever you say, the name Mexico should not be related to any slang,” continued Larios, a member of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
She also warned that “the next time you go to the U.S., wear a jacket that says ‘USA is the shit;’ let’s see what immigration [officials] think about your ‘cool’ slang.”
“If we want to praise Mexico we should start by doing so in Spanish and without vulgar slang,” concluded Larios’ rant.
The jacket in question has been offered since late last year by the online retailer Mercadorama (it’s currently sold out), its blunt message instantly becoming viral after Mexican photographer Carlos E. Lang took a picture wearing it across the street from Trump Tower in New York last October.
Mercadorama CEO Ahmed Bautista said in an interview at the time that “the jacket is completely apolitical. The idea had been in the making for a time, and we just wanted to tell the world that México es un país chingón [the Spanish slang equivalent to Mexico is the shit].”
After Larios’ Twitter tirade went viral, the jacket’s designer replied by posting a video message on Facebook.
“The jacket is in English because we wanted to make an impact on the world with a phrase that stated that Mexico is cool, that Mexico is an incredible place for us,” said Anuar Layón.
Conveying this message to a worldwide audience was more complicated in Spanish than in English, explained the fashion designer.
Layón also read a longer message that is printed in both languages and attached to the lining of all the jackets bearing the phrase.
“This is not only a jacket, but a statement, an opportunity to remind the world that Mexico is great, that all Mexican-made products are well done.”
“It is a tribute to all those Mexicans around the world that are shifting global culture with their beautiful hearts and brilliant minds; it’s a way to show that we are many and we are together; that we are raising the standards, reminding the world that our voice matters.”
“‘Mexico is the shit’ is a community, a support system and a movement inspiring love, respect and trust, and you don’t have to be Mexican to be part of it, you just have to love Mexico like we do. Spread the word!”
Lang thanked Larios for her advice and tweeted a picture of himself wearing a black jacket bearing the message, “Estados Unidos es vergas,” which somewhat literally translates into “the United States is a dick,” but conveys a slang message similar to that of the original jacket, suggesting instead that the U.S. is cool.
Source: Animal Político (sp)