The Cholas in my Wyoming high school had a very distinct style. This was the 90s, and the way a Chola styled her bangs – fringe to you Brits - was so key to the look that coiffing them was almost like a contest. Whichever girl could grow her bangs the longest and AquaNet her swoop to a peacocky height with a crest of curl up top was queen bee of the school. You might not be aware of what a chola is, and certainly not if you’re reading this in the UK, but in the US chola-style is very popular.
Traditionally, the elements of “chola style” relate to a specific subculture of first- and second-generation Mexican American girls influenced by hip-hop, enamoured with lowrider cars, and sometimes associated with gangs. The chola look itself is geared around the hair, but extends to the following: dark lipliner with a lighter lipstick, cat-eye glasses, baggy Dickies denim or khakis, oversized flannels buttoned up to the top, gold chains with crucifixes or St Christopher medals dangling at the end and the aforementioned skyscraper bangs. When my cousin Kath began growing out her own bangs and lining her lips in dark brown, I was totally impressed, although I had to hide it – she was a few years younger and far too much of the American high school experience is about trying to act cooler than you think you are.