HipLatina
Chosen Sisters Lucia Vazquez
Photo courtesy of Lucia Vazquez
Culture

Argentinian Photographer Captures the Power of Sisterhood in Photo Series


The love between homegirls, your girl group and your besties is a bit of a quieter, subtle type-of-love. There’s no big day of recognition for it — in Latin America, Valentine’s Day is recognized as Dia Del Amor Y La Amistad. In the U.S. we have Galentine’s Day (February 13) to celebrate the friendships in our lives ahead of Valentine’s Day (February 14). The romantic type of love tends to dominate both mainstream media and commercial businesses. But the homegirl love is the one that deserves all the attention. It deserves to be celebrated and honored. The love between your girls is a loyal, long standing type of love. It’s a strong love that not only watches you grow, but also grows with you. You fight like sisters but the safety between your bffs sometimes can’t even be found between siblings. It’s an acceptance that you are, indeed, human. There is no judgment and it’s because of that same judgment-free atmosphere that friendship continues to bloom.  There is no other love like it. It’s important to celebrate it and that’s exactly what Argentinian photographer, Lucía Vázquez does in n Chosen Sisters, celebrating the intimacy of sisterhood. 

Chosen Sisters
Best friends Ana, Elizabeth and Jimena. Photo by Lucia Vazquez.

The series was inspired, ironically, by a time of isolation and solitude during the second wave of COVID in Buenos Aires. “By then, I had been living in Buenos Aires completely isolated from my friends and family since the first quarantine in 2020, and right before the pandemic I had been living in New York, so it had been a long time without seeing any of my best friends.” Vázquez tells HipLatina. She reminisces about how she quickly realized how strong her friendships were. She felt a sense of closeness, trust, and love with her friends whom she had been away from for so long.  “So those feelings of nostalgia, longing and loneliness, led me to portray pairs and groups of women who have been best friends their whole lives”. Vázquez’s portraits included women who had been isolated during COVID and who deeply missed their friends. “For some women, the day of the photoshoot in the rooftop of my house was their first reunion after a year of physical distance, and they all stated that it was as if they hadn’t spent a single day being apart, which is the exact same feeling I get when I see my own best friends after a long period of time.” 

Chosen Sisters 4
Best friends Noelia and Ailén. Photo by Lucia Vazquez.

The series highlights a natural type of love between friends who, after seeing the uprising of the feminist movement “Ni Una Menos”, only grew stronger.  “This made us aware of the systematic violence specifically done by men against women for simply being women. Some men see us as inferior, weak, fragile, and objects they can possess. So, I believe that ‘Ni Una Menos’ in Latin America and ‘Me Too in the U.S., and everything that came after that truly bonded us togethers as friends and as women.”

Best friends Agustina and Carolina. Photo by Lucia Vazquez.

It’s true. We take care of each other differently. We are more serious about each other’s livelihoods. We wait outside until our friend gets in the house. We hold each other’s hair when we’ve had too much to drink. We turn our locations on and share them with friends when we are on dates. We ask for the “I’m home” text when they leave our place. Through heartbreak, we show up for each other with drinks and comfort food. Through academic or career choices, we cheer each other on. “When you have a chosen sister, she knows all of you. She even knows your darkest secrets and she will never judge you. She’ll always have your back and if you’re making a mistake, she will be honest. If that’s not being intimate, I don’t know what it is” Vázquez says. 

Best friends Pilar and Juana. Photo by Lucia Vazquez.

Sisterhood is a deep friendship that endures the sometimes overwhelming evolution of becoming a woman. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner or how much your partner understands you. No one will know you and love you the way your homegirls do. They know the before and after version of you and still applaud it. The most magical part is that the bonding rarely needs chocolate, flowers, or gifts. It happens everyday through everyday actions. “How many of us have created a bond in a public restroom? I believe we genuinely and naturally bond. We praise each other for our clothing, make-up, shoes, accessories, and body. We advise each other about ex’s or dates, we protect each other, we elevate each other.”  

Best friends Ornella and Bianca. Photo by Lucia Vazquez.

It’s important that our love for one another is louder now more than ever. The world needs it to be. “We must acknowledge and celebrate sisterhood between us because if we, as women, don’t appreciate other women, then who will? How do we set the bar for the men in our lives to love us right if we mistreat one another. How can we expect the men to treat us right if we slut-shame each other, or criticize our bodies, or if we blame each other for the violence exercised by men against us.  We are not rivals. We are allies, and we are stronger together. We can achieve real change standing together by empowering and uplifting each other in life. ” 

Vázquez is continuing her “Chosen Sisters” Series and is looking for friendships of all ages including one that has lasted more than 50 years. She hopes to expand her portrait series globally to capture best friends around the world. And in the future, a book to capture the friendship that is a movement — the sisterhood.