Entertainment

Paraguay’s Miss Gordita Beauty Pageant Puts Plus-Size Women Center Stage

When 23-year-old Romina Verna was declared Miss Gordita Paraguay, she held her bouquet of flowers and gave the audience and cameras a proud, happy smile.


The Miss Gordita pageant is distinct in that it aims to help plus-size women honor and celebrate their bodies across Latin America.


CREDIT: CREDIT: Facebook / Miss Gordita Paraguay – Pagina Oficial

It was started by Veronica Duarte and her boyfriend, Mike Beras, a Brazilian producer and author living in Paraguay. They were both tired of seeing bigger women only featured in the context of losing weight, and wanted to do something about it.


CREDIT: Facebook / Miss Gordita Paraguay – Pagina Oficial, by Manuel Rueda / Fusion

That’s why Miss Gordita isn’t just a pageant. It’s also a three month-long intensive program, complete with modeling classes, group therapy, counseling with a nutritionist, and sessions with an image consultant. And it’s all totalmente gratis.


The five judges evaluated all 14 contestants on categories such as elegance, attractiveness (it’s a beauty pageant, after all), and achievements in the program.


CREDIT: Facebook / Miss Gordita – Pagina Oficial

The crowned Miss Gordita wins one year of free nutritional counseling and a gym membership, with the focus being on maintaining health, not necessarily reaching a certain size. She’ll also act as a kind of an Miss Gordita ambassador, giving talks on Paraguayan television.


As PlusModel mag points out, however, there’s a blur in the messaging when it comes to promoting self-acceptance and health at any size, while also pairing contestants with nutritionists, therapists and trainers.


CREDIT: Facebook / Miss Gordita – Pagina Oficial

But the pageant isn’t just an opportunity for the women involved. It also acts as a major social step forward for Paraguay, where around six out of 10 people are considered overweight and remain victims of discrimination.


CREDIT: Facebook / Miss Gordita – Pagina Oficial (Bianca Valdez)

One contestant, Bianca Valdez, told Fusion that “I used to dress like an old woman with big blouses and pants. Now I dress sexy and use makeup. See how great I look?”


Although Miss Gordita has only been around since 2012, it’s part of a whole series of alt-pageants in Paraguay, including: Miss Kambá, an anti-racist pageant; Miss Madurita, for women 40-plus; Miss Petisa, for women 5-feet and under; and Miss Bad Girls, for tattooed chicas.


CREDIT: Facebook / Miss Gordita – Pagina Oficial

Miss Gordita has given women the priceless experience of developing the self-esteem they deserve, even if it seems to want to have it both ways — shining a spotlight on larger women while also guiding them towards options that might result in weight loss.


READ: Trump Bullied This Beauty Pageant Winner By Calling Her ‘Miss Housekeeping’ Because She Had Accent

What do you think of the Miss Gordita pageant?  We wanna knowwwwww.

Kat Von D Just Announced That She’s Totally Cut Ties With Her Makeup Line Effective Immediately

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Kat Von D Just Announced That She’s Totally Cut Ties With Her Makeup Line Effective Immediately

katvond / Instagram

Kat Von D has become a titan in the beauty industry due to her eponymous makeup line’s ultra long-wear highly pigmented products that also happen to be vegan and cruelty free. 

And although fans have long looked to the Queen of Ink because of her unconventional aesthetic and beauty expertise, the Von D recently announced she has decided to permanently step back from her successful business to focus on other projects as well as her new family.

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This past year has been one of great change for me. As many of you know, I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy, launched my vegan shoe line, and am now busy prepping to release my long awaited album in the Spring, followed by an international tour! As much as I wish I could balance all of this, on top of continuing my makeup line, it has become clear to me that I just can’t do everything at the maximum capacity. It's hard to admit this, since I’ve always said “You can do everything and anything.” But I don’t think admitting one's limits is a bad thing. With that said, I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years. This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that. The transition for you, my loyal customers, will be seamless. In order to avoid any confusion with such a big change, Kat Von D Beauty will take a moment to rebrand itself, so you will start noticing the change from KatVonD Beauty to KvD Vegan Beauty. I'd like to thank my beloved fans+followers who supported my vision to create a brand that stood for compassion, true artistry, and challenged modern ideals of beauty — most of which I never could relate to. I was able to create a makeup line that made outsiders like me feel like we have a place in this “beauty” world, and gave myself and others the tools to express ourselves in our own unique way, whether it was embraced by the majority or not. And I just couldn’t have done any of this without you! Lastly, thank you for understanding+respecting my choice, as it was a difficult one to make, but one I am proud of regardless, and am confident that the team will continue the KvD legacy! Here’s to many, many more years of KvD Vegan Beauty!

A post shared by 𝐊𝐀𝐓 𝐕𝐎𝐍 𝐃 (@thekatvond) on

On Thursday via Instagram, Kat Von D announced the unexpected news that she was selling her shares in Kat Von D Beauty in order to focus on other projects.

@thekatvonD/Instagram

In the lengthy statement, Von D explained that 2019 had been a year of “great change” due to the birth of her baby boy as well as her expansion into music. She went on to explain that, while she tried to balance all of her projects to the best of her ability, she wasn’t able to fully contribute to each of her projects at “maximum capacity.” Therefore, she would be officially stepping down from Kat Von D Beauty.

“I’ve decided to sell my shares of the brand, turning it over to Kendo, my partners for the past 11 years,” she said. “This was not an easy decision, but after careful consideration, I decided I wanted the makeup line to continue to thrive and grow, and I believe Kendo is primed to do just that.”

Von D went on to reveal that the beauty line would be re-branded as KvD Vegan Beauty in order to “avoid any confusion” for the brand’s customers.

@kvdveganbeauty/Instagram

Although the Sephora-based Kat Von D Beauty came out of the gate strong–even being named Sephora’s fastest-growing brand in 2018–the brand subsequently suffered from a highly-publicized dip in sales after Von D herself was embroiled in multiple controversies. Among the controversies was Von D declaring that she would not be vaccinating her child. Additionally, Von D had long been plagued by accusations of antisemitism throughout her career. 

The line will in all likelihood be in good hands with the LVMH beauty incubator Kendo, which also produces other popular brands like Fenty Beauty and Marc Jacobs. The former Kat Von D Beauty website has already been updated with the name change along with a statement from the CEO of Kendo. “I want to thank Kat for helping to change the beauty industry with us,” the statement reads. “We are fully positioned to continue the brand’s growth and development in both product and marketing…The same KENDO team that made history with KVD Vegan Beauty is ready to do it again.”

Since its inception, Von D has been extremely hands-on with her makeup line, involved in every aspect of the business from product inception to packaging.

@thekatvonD/Instagram 

“I name every shade, design every piece of packaging, help choose the colors and textures, the finishes and formulations,” she told HELLO! magazine in 2016. “There isn’t a font used on my packaging – I personally design and draw every letter on it. I even curate the content for our Instagram. I poured myself 100 per cent into this and I know that my customers appreciate that.”

And the tattoo artist and television personality obviously hit a chord with customers who felt connected to her through her products. In addition, Kat Von D’s products were truly high-quality at an affordable price-point. You could say that Von D was a trailblazer in the media personality-turned-businesswoman model that so many celebrities have since tried to replicate.

As for fans of Kat Von D, they took the news with a mixture of admiration, disappointment, and acceptance. 

Kat Von D has such a devoted fan base that many of them would follow her to the ends of the earth.

This person expressed undying devotion to Von D, no matter what she decides to do next:

Some Kat Von D supporters are ride-or-die.

This person thanked Kat for all she’s done for the beauty community.

Part of Kat Von D’s appeal is that she’s always marched to the beat of her own drum. For her, makeup was a means of artistic expression, not a means of blending in with everyone else.

This person shared a touching story about how Von D’s past generosity changed her life.

This kind of personal touch is hard to replicate once a brand becomes super corporate. 

This person was 100% supportive of Von D’s decision to step back.

It’s especially hard to juggle so many products as a new mom.

This person was just excited to hear Kat’s new album.

Not many people go from being a makeup mogul to being a rock-star. Talk about a pivot.

A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

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A Girl In Puerto Rico Died From An Illness Because The Only Hospital In Her Area Was Destroyed During Hurricane Maria

@ValericaCollazo / Twitter

There is sad news out of Vieques, Puerto Rico where a young teenage girl has passed away after suffering flu-like symptoms. Jaideliz Moreno Ventura, 13, died on Sunday after her condition worsened she began convulsing. Now, her family is pointing the blame on the island’s inadequate medical facilities. 

Vieques, a Caribbean island off of Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, hasn’t had a working hospital in over two years. That’s because its old primary hospital, Family Health Center Susana Centeno, was closed due to damage from Hurricane Maria, which hit the island more than two years ago.

What started out as just flu-like symptoms turned into a tragedy within the span of three days. 

It all started last Friday when Jaideliz told family members that she was experiencing flu-like symptoms. According to local media, her uncle, Carlos “Prieto” Ventura, said that she had “a fever, a sore throat, and a headache.” She was then taken to a hospital in Puerto Rico for a checkup and to be tested for influenza. While the results of the test came back negative and she returned back home to Vieques, things got worse over the weekend. 

By Sunday, Jaideliz’s symptoms only got worse as she began to have spasms and severe head pain. After the family took notice of her increasingly worse conditions, she was taken to the only health facility on the island, the Center for Diagnostics and Treatment, which was due to Hurricane Maria destroying its old hospital. According to NBC News, the clinic lacked proper medical equipment to help Jaideliz. Her cousin, José Ventura, told the news outlet that the facility didn’t have a working mechanical ventilator for oxygen, only an older manual air pump. 

By 11:30 a.m. local time Jaideliz was pronounced dead as she was being transported to Puerto Rico on an air ambulance. 

For those living on Vieques, receiving medical attention isn’t easy. Many have to take a boat to receive medical attention in Puerto Rico where trip times vary from 30 minutes to multiple hours. 

There is growing anger and blame about the teen’s death with many people pointing blame at the inadequate assistance that Puerto Rico and nearby islands have received since Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. The situation in Vieques is a perfect example of that as residents lack nearby health services and aid. 

“If we had more resources, she would be with us right now,” her cousin told NBC News. “They have forgotten about us.”

Puerto Rico’s Health Secretary, Rafael Rodríguez Mercado, says that he has ordered an immediate investigation into the death of Jaideliz and which circumstances could have caused this tragedy. Back in December, Democratic lawmakers requested an investigation into why FEMA hadn’t done anything to help rebuild Vieques’ only hospital. But lawmakers alerted FEMA about this issue in May but there was never any response. 

“In Puerto Rico, we talk a lot about how we are treated as second class citizens, but the people of Vieques and Culebra [another island off the coast of Puerto Rico] are being treated as third-class citizens,” Edgardo Román Espada, president of Puerto Rico’s Bar Association, told NBC News last May. 

Jaideliz’s family is using this tragedy as a wakeup call for health officials to do something about the deteriorating situation on the island. They are hoping for more medical supplies and equipment so this situation doesn’t happen again.

On Wednesday, a vigil was held in the girl’s honor as her family called for help. They say that they “don’t want Jai’s death to be in vain” and made the plea for more medical assistance. Her mother says the island needs to “have a dignified hospital, with medical equipment and supplies —so that no other mother will have to go through what I am dealing with now.” 

“Up to a point, the people feel abandoned, that politicians come and go, and there are no bonds of affection and our feelings are obvious. We live this problem and that is why our pain here. All this adds more regret and anguish to our people,” her uncle told local media. “This is what you live every moment on our island. We need more sensitivity. ”

This tragedy followed what has already been a tough start of the year for Puerto Rico as a 6.4 magnitude quake shook the island back on Jan.7, killing at least one person, destroying homes and leaving most utility customers in the dark. There has been an estimated $110 million in damages caused by the quake. 

READ: This Photographer Took Hundreds of Stunning Photos of the Most Endangered Indigenous Tribes Across the World