There’s always a piece of clothing or a pair of shoes people use to make a statement in their youth. For Susana Gonzales, a pair of boots was her way of telling the world she was not happy with what was going on in her country.
She started wearing boots when she was in high school in Mexico City in the late 1970s. Gonzales was a student in the Colegio de Ciencias y Humanidades (School of Sciences and Humanities) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The school’s known for its politically involved students – and her generation came of age right after the largest mass killing of students by the government of Mexico in 1968.
“We were all these things about Karl Marx and the revolution and we were against everything and everybody. Me wearing my boots, it was a way of protesting about something, because it was different,” Gonzales says. “Not everybody would have boots in Mexico.”
In the 1970s, many young people in Mexico and in other countries expressed their opinions through bell-bottoms, flower prints and sandals. But Gonzales chose a pair of boots.
“We weren’t happy with the government, we were unhappy with the way things were in Mexico then,” she says. “We would go to meetings and we would make marches, and my boots would be with me all the time.”
Gonzales remembers her boots were simple but stylish. They were brown, a bit pointy, and the heels were a little inwards, which is known as “tacón cubano” or Cuban heel.
“They were really nice,” she says. “They would go with all my clothes. I used to wear these long skirts and I wore [the boots] with them and with my jeans. They were really simple but they were beautiful to me.”
Written by Cesar Edmundo Lopez Linares.