Mexican Subculture - The Fresa
Mexico's "Elite" Social Class
Expanding on my previous article on Buchonas, let’s continue on to Fresas.
What exactly is a "Fresa"? While its literal translation means "Strawberry," in Mexico, it encapsulates something more nuanced—essentially, it signifies the "rich kids" or elite members of Mexican society.
Typically “Whitexicans” from well-educated and affluent families, Fresas exhibit their status through high-end American fashion choices. A notable identifier is their slightly upturned noses, often perceived as a symbol of their disdain for those less fortunate. Furthermore, their speech, akin to the Valley Girl accent, is frequently likened to sounding like they have a potato in their mouths, a distinctive feature often mocked in Mexican culture.
Often raised in an upper-class environment, Fresas effortlessly switch between Spanish and Spanglish, to emphasis their attendance of private schools and global travel experiences.
The best place to find Fresas, are typically cities such as Monterrey or Polanco in Mexico City. I personally have the most experience with Polanco in particular, which I consider to be the stronghold where Fresas congregate. You throw a rock anywhere in this neighborhood and often find gangs of Fresas at rooftop venues or upscale restaurants, exuding opulence.
Diving deeper, there are distinct classifications within the Fresa culture. At first glance you might not know it, but there is Common Fresa and a Designer Fresa. The former, while often having money, can be found at places like the Antara Mall, looking down upon most Mexicans but not necessarily being at the top of the social hierarchy. These Fresas can be both new an old money. Some of them are old money and tend to not dress in well known designer clothes, because they still want to stay a bit undercover, on the other hand, they might also be a new money Fresa as Antara Mall is the place to show off most. Many average income mexicans frequent this area to hand out and appear to have status, thus it becomes a perfect place to flex on the poors.
On the other hand, the Designer Fresa, the epitome of wealth, frequents places like the Hierro Palace Mall in Polanco, indulging in luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, and Prada. These are often the New Money Fresas that only want what they assume to be the best.
Fresa isn’t designated just to women either. The Male Fresa often mirrors the American finance bro stereotype, donning impeccably tailored attire and, in some cases, even adopting a persona with a slight Spanish lisp.
Professionally, if they have jobs at all, they're typically lawyers, doctors, or involved in their family business, though their actual work is often unseen.
Identifying the Fresa class goes beyond the discernment of fashion choices and lifestyle. Another peculiar indicator? Their children...
No, not their human children but their canine companions
.Among the diverse dog population in Mexico, the Fresas stand out with the most opulent and often, the most irritatingly expensive dogs in the market.
While a significant portion of Mexico's dog population comprises street dogs surviving on meager resources, the Fresa dogs - or "perros" - lead a life of luxury. They're fed premium puppy chow, don Christmas outfits, and occasionally even receive their own allowances. You would think this phenomenon would be part of Latin America… but I’ve met far too many women that have dogs that are barely allowed to walk outside of their neighborhoods. Instead, they wheel their dogs around in baby strollers
Distinctively, these pampered pups have a certain demeanor, an entitled air possibly inherited from their upper-class homes. Their barks carry an air of arrogance, much like the ambiance in a two-parent, upper-class household.
The Fresa class' treatment of their pets sheds light on their lifestyles. While for many, dogs are loyal companions and part of the family, for Fresas, these canine friends represent an extension of their opulent existence. Their lavishly treated dogs serve as symbols of affluence and status, receiving care and attention comparable to their owners. They typically will have pure breeds or dogs that typically don’t fair well in Mexico’s climate such as Pugs, Pomeranians, sometimes even Huskies
In essence, the Fresas' penchant for extravagantly treating their dogs serves as a peculiar yet fitting emblem of their affluent lifestyles.
To sum things up the "Fresa" term isn't just about fashion or affluence; it encompasses a subculture marked by a distinct speech and social demeanor. Originating from economically privileged backgrounds, Fresas are sometimes perceived as sensitive to social treatment, easily offended, and isolated from societal realities.
Despite their affluent connections, they are portrayed as frivolous and egocentric in popular culture, often serving as commentary on social mobility and nepotism in Mexico.