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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We live in a culture where hiding who you are, particularly on social media, is accepted as normal. From nip/tucks to Instagram filters, it’s rare social media users see the real “warts and all” picture when scrolling through their feed. That’s why Latina beauty blogger Rocio Cervantes is such a breath of fresh air in the online beauty world. Although her profession makes her part of a world that Photoshops and Facetunes every picture within an inch of its life, Cervantes is upfront about her ongoing struggle with cystic acne.
Cervantes has made it her mission abolish the stigma around acne–a skin condition that affects millions of Latinas.
Cervantes first made waves back in September when she showcased a truly creative way to deal with her acne. In a Youtube video titled “You Are Beautiful, Acne Or Not”, Cervantes created one of her classic full coverage looks with a twist. But this time, she refused to conceal her imperfections. Instead, she put star-shaped stickers over her blemishes and applied her foundation as usual. This technique created a “starburst” effect around her acne that resulted in a face full of beautiful constellations.
Cervantes explained that this creative look of making stars out of her blemishes “came out of frustration” after she was “thinking of how it would be if [she] didn’t have acne”. According to her, shortly after having this thought, she felt ashamed for wishing she was different because she realized that she’s perfect the way she is. but don’t see themselves reflected in the media.
To many, Cervantes is a body-positive role model for people who struggle with their skin.
“I hope acne and this skin acceptance continues to be an open topic,” Cervantes said. “Because it’s important that acne or any skin condition is normalized”.
In her latest effort, Cervantes is experimenting with foundation for those dealing with acne.
Cervantes has continued to break barriers with her honest and candid conversations about her acne struggle, most recently creating a series of videos where she tries out and reviews foundation made for acne-prone skin. The series, entitled “Acne vs. Foundation”, discusses everything from products’ shade range to their coverage (or lack thereof). And if that doesn’t convince you to subscribe, Cervantes even conducts her tutorials in Spanish makeup on occasion.
One thing’s for sure, and that’s that Cervantes has quite a few loyal Latina fans on Twitter.
Rocio you are literally everything this beauty community neeeds.
Sometimes, all it takes is a role model to make people feel less alone in the world. Cervantes’ transparency with her acne struggle is all some people will need to feel more confident in their own skin.
Acne is a problem that many of us deal with beginning from puberty onward. Like many health issues, its causes are numerous and varied, meaning it can be much more complex to fix than we’d like to believe. Although it’s unlikely that you’ll discover a miracle cure that takes care of all your acne woes, knowing what leads to acne in the first place will help you make informed decisions about your approach to skincare.
Check out these 10 facts about acne below, and then read up on 10 Latino-inspired remedies that could potentially work wonders for your skin.
Acne happens at any age.
While acne is often thought of as a problem just for teens, the reality is that it’s common for people of all ages. Sadly, breakouts can still happen well into your 20s, 30s, and 40s.
Diet can affect acne, too.
They say that you are what you eat, and when it comes to acne, that rule definitely still applies. Some foods, like chocolate and dairy, are rumored to be triggers for acne.
PMSing probably means more pimples.
As if mood swings, cramps, and bloating aren’t bad enough when it’s that time of the month, acne is also likely to ramp up when you’re PMSing as well. Hormonal shifts during your cycle are the main culprit for menstrual acne.
Washing your face isn’t a surefire way to avoid acne.
You’d think that taking extra good care of your face — i.e. washing it religiously every day and anytime you’re removing makeup — would essentially guarantee an acne-free life. But acne doesn’t discriminate, and it can strike even if you’re a dedicated face washer.
Makeup can be a culprit.
Speaking of makeup, as much fun as it is to get dolled up, all of those products can wreak havoc on your skin. Sleeping in makeup is probably the cardinal sin of skincare — it can cause clogged pores, breakouts, and irritation.
Clear skin doesn’t always last forever.
Your skin is the largest organ on your body. Even when things are going well — and it looks like all is clear — it’s probably only a matter of time before a breakout takes place, simply because your skin makes up such a large part of your body.
Yes, stress is a cause.
Odds are you’ve heard this hundreds of times before: Stress is not great for your skin. Stress releases the hormone cortisol, which can mess with other hormones and lead to various skin problems like breakouts, irritation, and redness.
Tanning isn’t a solution.
Wouldn’t it be nice if a sunkissed glow could mask even the nastiest of breakouts? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Even if you’re still rocking that tan from sitting poolside all summer, that won’t stop acne from rearing its ugly head.
Popping pimples isn’t a good idea.
Although squeezing a zit or blackhead can be incredibly satisfying, it’s not the best way to handle acne. Try to hold off on the popping in order to allow your skin to heal on its time.
Workouts may be worsening your acne.
Unsurprisingly, sweat rubbing up against your body during a workout can affect the likelihood of a breakout taking place. Taking a shower and changing into fresh clothes ASAP following a sweat session is your best defense against these workout-induced acne problems.
Vick’s VapoRub is basically legendary for Latinos everywhere. It can supposedly cure a whole host of ailments, from achy joints to the common cold. Why not give it a go to help out with any of those pesky acne problems?
Aloe vera contains antibacterial properties that can be beneficial for dealing with breakouts and reducing redness. It also works to keep bacteria from infecting acne hotspots where pimples are most concentrated.
In certain Latino circles, tequila is hailed as a cure-all. It’s often suggested as a remedy for fighting off colds and sore throats, but why not see if it can combat acne, too? Hey, it’s worth a shot.
Otherwise known as chamomile tea, this popular drink might as well double as a magical elixir. Manzanilla has antibacterial effects, meaning it can help out when it comes to treating acne. Mix it with a little honey to create an all-natural moisturizing face mask.
Onions and honey
It might seem like a strange combination, but onions and honey can create quite the bacteria-fighting duo. They’re both natural disinfectants that can help you deal with bacterial infections on the skin.
Apple cider vinegar
Like many other kinds of vinegar, apple cider vinegar has properties that can ward off bacteria and viruses of all varieties. It may also be particularly helpful for lessening the appearance of acne scars, thanks to the lactic acid found in most bottles of vinegar.
Cinnamon and honey
Yep, honey is making another appearance on the list, proving once again that it’s one of the most versatile all-natural ingredients for fighting acne out there. Combine it with a couple of sprinkles of cinnamon — which has several antioxidants — to help reduce inflammation.
Lemon juice is widely thought to be a great solution for dealing with acne. It has mildly astringent qualities that can get rid of oiliness, and its brightening properties may alleviate redness while decreasing the visibility of acne scars.
Ginger is another natural astringent that can help prevent wrinkles and get rid of acne-causing bacteria. You can make a topical ginger juice by mixing it with a little water. Add — what else? — honey for some moisturizing qualities.
This herb, commonly found throughout Mexico, is often used to deal with cramps and stomach aches. However, it can also be used to make a salve that soothes burns and bruises.
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