15 Things TV Teaches Us About Quinceañeras

Life is just like TV, right?

Turning 15 is a rite of passage for Latinas, and TV shows have perfectly depicted this tradition. Well, sort of. Real life may have less puffy pink dresses and a lot more planning. But there is some truth to it, which is why these episodes resonate so well with Latinas. Here are 15 ways TV shows characterize Quinceañeras:

1. learning

Learning About the Ceremony
The concept of a Quinceañera will be explained. Either the 15-year-old herself won't know, her friends will have never heard of the tradition or any number of people who are being invited will need an explanation. Right off the bat, the episodes will show why this is such an important part of a Latina’s life.

2. moms

Moms Will Get Super Involved
Moms will take the opportunity to live vicariously through their daughters. This means Mom will be doing a lot of the planning. In Wizards of Waverly Place, Theresa actually never had a quinces party herself, so she had very specific ideas on how it should go.

3. traditions

Traditions Are Explained
There will be a lot of talk of tradition. Relatives will be adamant that certain traditions be followed, regardless of how dated they may be. In Taina, her mother wants her to wear a dress that all the women in her family had worn. So it’s not exactly stylish. And in Wizards, Alex is supposed to go from flats to heels to symbolize womanhood, even though she rather wear sneakers.

4. sharing

Sharing Stories
Others will share their Quinceañera tales. All of the excitement of party planning will make people ready to reminisce.

5. everyone wants

Everyone Wants It Their Way
There will be disagreements. Mom and daughter. Daughter and dad. Mom and dad. Someone won’t see eye-to-eye on something, and it will make planning for the party tense. Actually, this is mostly the thing that stresses characters out.

6. takes no time

It Takes No Time at All?
The party comes together quickly. Of course, the audience can’t sit and watch the whole planning process, but these parties seem pretty last minute or are done in no time. In reality, this party would consume someone’s entire life.

7. money

Show Me the Money
Money will be a problem. But parents just want to give their little girls the most memorable Quinceañeras and will make it work.

8. pink

The dress will be pink, possibly poofy. It’s almost as if no other colors exist, and it’s extra authentic if it’s as princess-y as possible. But check out any dress retailer, and you will see a wider variety than on TV.

9. family affair

It’s a Family Affair
Siblings are forced to participate. Poor brothers and sisters. They never had a choice. Parents will make sure their other children are there to lend their support. In The Fosters, Callie was expected to be in Mariana’s court, and in Wizards, Justin and Max were told they had to learn to dance salsa.

10. courts

What Happened to the Courts?
The courts are small or nonexistent. This is not emphasized very much on shows, probably because these characters have other drama going on and don’t have enough time to handle this, too.

11. womanhood

Characters Understand “Womanhood” Differently
Some of the characters will take becoming a woman too seriously. Taina felt cheated that she couldn’t make more decisions, so she asserted her womanhood. On the George Lopez show, Carmen decided being a woman meant professing her love to the guy she liked in front of everyone.

12. picturas

No Picturas?
Quinceañera pictures won’t be mentioned. At all. No one seems to care about pictures. They are all about the party.

13. small party

No Such Thing as a Small Party
It won’t be an intimate party. Don’t expect to see a small gathering because everyone seems to be invited, even people the birthday girl might not like all that much.

14. father daughter

Father-Daughter Time
The father-daughter dance will be special. This is actually absolutely true.

15. special

It’ll Be Special
Everything will work out. Despite whatever problems these teenagers and their families faced, the end result is always a happy memory.