Carolita Johnson's tale of being tormented over the years due to her looks (having big lips in particular) is quite the read. I instantly recognized her, though, from a New York Times real estate article from 2009. I really wanted to hate a model who cartoons for The New Yorker, but totally couldn’t because she and her 20-years-older boyfriend (it’s just not right to call men in their 60s boyfriends but there’s no other word for these non-young, non-married types—and no, partner doesn’t cut it) seem pretty damn delightful.
I’m kind of obsessed with Carolita, who’s totally not “ape-faced” but completely pretty and oddly youthful for 44 (nearly 46 now, I would imagine). But what struck me most was how someone half-Ecuadoran and half typical American mishmash of European heritage still looks clearly Latina. I’ve always (not true, as an adult, I mean–when you’re a kid you don’t want to stand out) wished I looked a little more Mexican, whatever that means (have you ever watched Spanish-language TV?), instead of 100% white. Instead, I just got big eyebrows, a moustache, diabetes, and really pale skin. It’s just the luck of the genetic draw.
Do be careful if you decide to Google Image the words white Mexican or else you might end up on a disturbing (albeit fascinating) white pride message board.
I’m still not really the target audience for New Yorker cartoons, though.