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Piropos and Privilege

August 15th, 2017
A piropo is the Spanish word for catcall. It can be anything from a whistle, kissing noises, or creepy/sexual (very unwanted) grunts. Piropos are common in most Latin American countries. In Colombia, the women are no stranger to these unwanted stares and noises; while young men grow up thinking this kind of behavior is the norm.
Upon arriving to Colombia, I tried to blend in to my surroundings. With my dark hair and a tendency toward tan skin (once I am out of the office, of course) I can be a little more ambiguous in Latin America than some of my blonde-haired, blue-eyed friends. However, I quickly realized that no matter how hard I tried to blend, I would always stand out here. Most costeƱos, people who live in Santa Marta area, are dark with brown eyes, black hair and caramel/brown skin. Not a day goes by that I walk down my street without being stared at – whether it be unwanted stares from men, curiosity of little kids, and women (side note: I am slightly terr…

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