Nowadays, you can find chola life on any corner of the Internet – on Instagram alone, there’s upwards of 200K pics tagged #chola. But before social media and picture-sharing apps were a thing, the homegirl style was alive and well in mall photo studios.
Back in the 90s and early 00s there was a more personal exchange of photos – wallet-sized pics you could hand out to your friends and significant others. Teens headed to the mall with their crews to take group shots at places like Star Shots and Picture People. The photos all had a similar aesthetic – the lens created a hazy glow (almost like Old Hollywood photos), except the people pictured were teenagers trying to look hard in front of cheesy backgrounds. But on the style front, chola style – aka over tweezed/drawn-on eyebrows and brown lip liner – dominated.
Those wallet-size keepsakes are now readily available to anyone with an Internet connection, which means that we have found our new favorite activity. Here are our favorite chola-esque mall photos:
Editor’s Note: Did you and your crew take photos at the mall back in the day too? If you want to help us improve our list, email us the photos at [email protected]