Yesterday on MTV Tr3s’ hit show, Quiero Mis Quinces, we met Tianna – a part-Mexican, part-Salvadorian teenager whose quinces party was anything but traditional. In fact, the Californian 15-year-old wanted a Dia de los Muertos theme for her party – which didn’t sit well with her family at first.
Tianna dedicated her party to her late great abuelo, who passed away before she was born. After she picked her theme, the teen got to work on the party details, which included everything from sugar skulls to painted faces. Tianna also faced some challenges when her father was set to deploy.
The teen shared her experience on Quiero Mis Quinces – and more – with Latina.com. In case you missed her episode, read our full interview with Tianna below:
Tell us about your Quiero Mis Quinces episode!
I found out my dad wasn't going to be able to go to my quinces. My grandma made me cry several times when she tricked me about my dress and my mom fired the choreographer and my court, so I had to learn a new dance the day before and of my quinces.
You wanted to have a Dia de los Muertos theme. What was the reaction of your family when you first suggested it?
They freaked out. They asked me what was I thinking and telling me I was crazy. My mom wanted me to change my theme or alter it; she opted to let me go through with it if I gave her a good reason for my choice… which I did. I decided to dedicate my party to my great grandfather Jesus Estrada who passed away one year before I was born. Then, I had to convince them about the October 29th date, which marked the 16th anniversary of his death.
Tell us about the details about the theme.
My decorations were papel picado and my centerpieces were dead trees with lights and illuminated sugar skulls that my grandmother ordered. I decided to have an altar to honor my dead ancestors and asked my guests to bring pictures of their own ancestors to celebrate their lives together. We had a Mexican food buffet that included mini-tamales, pollo asado, and taquitos de papa.
Tell us about your quinces dresses.
I had four dresses; the one I wore for my grand awakening was a handmade design by my grandmother that was actually a surprise. It was white with a bedazzled skull on the skirt and the corset had a tinier skull as well. The second dress was black and red, which I wore with a mariachi hat that used to belong to my mom. I didn’t get to wear the third dress, sadly, but it was mariachi-inspired. My dance outfit for my quinces was a black and white top with sequined gray shorts to go with black stockings, and a pair of gray slip-ons.
Tell us about your father being deployed. Was he able to go to your quinces?
My father was unfortunately not able to attend my quinces. I felt really upset and sad that he wasn't able to be there but I stayed strong for him so he wouldn't feel to down about it. It's kind of sad that I can almost say that I'm used to it; he was deployed when I was born and didn't get to hold me until I was 4 months old. Coming from a military family, there are certain things that you become used to; one of them is that when duty calls, my dad has no choice. It’s his job and the life he chose for us. I knew that even though he wouldn't be there physically, he was there in my heart and in spirit.
What was the best part about your quinces?
There really was no best part to my quinces, since all of it was great in my eyes. But if I had to choose any part of it, I would have to say it was when my dad had a surprise video for me.
What advice would you give other Latinas whose idea for a quinces is different from a traditional one?
I would advise them to go with whatever makes them happy. It is their quinces, however, keep it in moderation. Make sure you are not the only one happy and make some agreements with your family so that you all can have a fun time.