Culture

No Bikinis Allowed in this Unlikely Beauty Pageant

You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but all of these ladies dressed in evening gowns and full makeup are not just beauty contestants, they’re also prisoners.

This is how Talavera Bruce prison in Brazil, where the women are serving their sentences, helps boost the inmates’ confidence. In the beauty contest, the women compete in the evening gown and beachwear categories and they get judged on elegance and “outlook in the future.”

READ: This Prison is So Dangerous, Even the Guards Won’t Go In

The 10-year tradition allows the women to increase their self-esteem. First place also wins a sash, a hair dryer, and a flat iron — all in the name of beauty and confidence.

This year’s first place winner, Neri Rangel, told the Brazilian television network Globo, “When I entered [the competition], I said…I am no better than anyone else. But I’m going to enter to win. They always say that the TB Girl has to be beautiful, friendly, and charismatic. And I’m all of those things.”

The ladies in the swimwear competition

pageant swimwear
CREDIT:  MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

Inmate Micheli Neri Rangel celebrates her win.

prison pageant
MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

A beauty contestant hugs her little brother that was allowed to watch the competition.

prison pageant
CREDIT:  MARIO TAMA/GETTY IMAGES

Read more about why Talavera Bruce Penitentiary holds the annual pageant here.

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These Men Represented Their Country In The Mister Global Pageant And We Are Living For These ‘National Costumes’

Culture

These Men Represented Their Country In The Mister Global Pageant And We Are Living For These ‘National Costumes’

David Ryo / Facebook

As any beauty pageant fan knows, the best part of the competition is the National Costume Show — a segment designed to showcase clothing that honors and celebrates contestants’ home countries.

Every year, outfits seem to get increasingly complicated, ornate, or simply engineered to go viral. This year’s Mister Global, an annual male beauty pageant founded in 2014, was no exception.

Same as every year, the most attention goes to pageant’s national outfits showcase.

Credit: David Ryo / Facebook

As always, the most visually enticing and talked-about competition of the Mister Global pageant is the National Costume Contest, during which each guy shows off his country’s heritage through an elaborate costume. “The winning costume is not about the size or design but the story and culture behind it,” says Kitti Kamjunsa, spokesperson of the male beauty pageant.

The pageant was won by Korea‘s Jong Woo Kim, who is a 23-year-old police administration student and model.

Credit: officialmisterglobal / Instagram

Jong Woo Kim is set to become an inspirational role model for young men all around the world. He will also become a Global Goodwill Ambassador and participate in environmental and charitable projects.

Among the other men who made it to the finals are Houssem Saïdi of Tunisia (first runner-up), José Luis Rodrigo Navarro of Spain (second runner-up), Kenan Murseli of Switzerland (third runner-up) and Braulio Encarnación of Dominican Republic (fourth runner-up).

Although a Latino didn’t win Mister Global this year, they still featured some of our favorite looks from the pageant.

MEXICO

Credit: Missosology

Mexico is a land of many different cultures. In the capital city, there’s even a park called Plaza de Las Tres Culturas. From the Aztec and the Mixtec to the Maya and the Zapotec, Mexico is rich in cultural identity. But according t Manuel Duarte, this year’s Mister Mexico, his look was inspired by the ancient Maya civilization.

BRAZIL

Mister Brazil won in 2017. Do you think this look would of helped him win this year?

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Braulio Encarnación, Mister Dominican Republic, was the fourth runner-up.

PANAMA

Mister Panama came out in full on Carnival flare and yet left little to the imagination. Also, that smile…

PERU

Mister Peru seems to be channeling the ancient Inca people, who lived in Peru through the late 1500s – until they were eradicated by the Spanish.

CHILE

One look at the Facebook reactions to Mister Chile and you can see that he did his country proud.

PUERTO RICO

This year’s Mister Puerto Rico was Edgar Irizarry. His costume “paid tribute to the indigenous people of Puerto Rico; the taínos,” Irizarry told Insider. “The costume I wore was designed to resemble the Cacique Taíno,” or a leader of the group.

CUBA

Mister Cuba 2019 is Rubert Manuel Arias Solozábal. This was the first year Cuba was represented in the pageant and he went all in. I mean a costume doesn’t get more Cuban than this.

And, of course, there’s the USA:

The Twitter reactions to Mister USA were hardly positive. Sure, Superman may be ‘native’ to the US in that he was created there and is a part of American pop culture. But with the immense cultural diversity of the US’s Native American tribes, many questioned by they weren’t used as an inspiration for the look.

These national costume looks are incredible but let’s not forget the guys also had a swimsuit competition.

For a more complete look at those looks check them out here.

A Twenty-One Year Old Man Overslept On His First Day Of Jury Duty And Now He’s Being Sentenced To Jail And Has A Record

Things That Matter

A Twenty-One Year Old Man Overslept On His First Day Of Jury Duty And Now He’s Being Sentenced To Jail And Has A Record

screenshot | NBC Nightly News

These days, it doesn’t take much poking around to know that our country’s judicial system is problematic, troublesome and inherently racist. A few months ago, when news broke out about the college admissions scandals, those following the news knew well that the wealthy parents who took part in the scam would walk away essentially scot-free. They weren’t wrong. 

Earlier last month, on September 13th, actress Felicity Huffman, one of the most recognizable names caught up in the admissions scandal, was sentenced to just 14 days in federal prison for her involvement in a case that saw her charged for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Huffman’s case highlighted questions of inequity in our judicial system. Many were quick to point out that Huffman, like the other three dozen parents involved, were from extreme wealth and would undoubtedly be treated differently from poor or nonwhite defendants accused of admission and education fraud. For severe charges that were lobbed at white-collar crime convicts like former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling and took education opportunities away from students far less privileged than her own kids, Huffman received 14 days in jail. 

Twenty-one-year-old Deandre Somerville should have been so lucky. 

The Florida man from West Palm Beach was sentenced to 10 days in jail this past week after a judge found him in criminal contempt of court after he overslept and missed the start of a trial he had been selected to serve jury duty for. At the time, Somerville looked up the repercussions online and according to NBC News said that he “didn’t really see too much there. … [It looked like] nobody actually ever really went to jail for it.”  Because of this, he did not notify the court or its jury office.

Deandre Somerville was sentenced to 10 days in jail, one year of probation and 150 hours of community service for failing to show up for jury duty.

The 21-year-old was also told to write a letter of apology to the court and pay $223 to cover court costs. Speaking about his own sentence, Somerville told NBC that he felt as if he “didn’t need any rehabilitation… I just made a mistake.”

According to Somerville, his 10 days in jail were “traumatic.” Sommerville who recently moved in with his grandparents to help care for them had never been arrested before now has a criminal record for contempt and spent his 10 days in jail amongst hardened criminals and in fear. 

The judge who gave Somerville his sentencing stemmed from his duty to represent his Black community.

Speaking at Somerville’s formal apology in court, Judge John Kastrenakes, of Fort Lauderdale Florida, said that he wanted to “make an example” out of Somerville to ensure more people do not fail to show up to jury duty. “Mr. Somerville was the only African American on our jury and represented a very important cross-section of our community.”

But people of color have long been used to “make an example,” when privileged nonpeople of color have caused greater harm and damage and gotten off easy. 

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was quick to underline this point in a recent tweet shared with her profile. 

“Mass incarceration is our American reality. It is a system whose logic evolved from the same lineage as Jim Crow, American apartheid, & slavery. To end it, we have to change. That means we need to have a real conversation about decarceration & prison abolition in this country,” she wrote in a retweet of a post shared by comedian Chelsea Handler who also lambasted the judge for his decision. 

AOC’s retweet went onto highlight in a thread the flaws of our judicial system citing a recent experience she had meeting a woman who had been sent to Rikers as a teen.” Yesterday morning I spoke with a woman who was thrown in Rikers as a teenager. Put in solitary confinement for MONTHS, aka torture. Force-fed pills. The conditions were so bad, she too had drank out of toilets. A cage is a cage is a cage. And humans don’t belong in them,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote.

The young Congresswoman’s thread highlights the severe punishments people of color have and continued to endure at the cost of our country’s broken prison and judicial system. Her message is a reminder that the actual point of the prison system is to rehabilitate, not punish those who are incarcerated and sent to jail or prison.