Mitt Romney has come a long way from his “self-deportation” days. The former Republican presidential candidate recently embraced his Mexican roots and jumped inside the lucha ring dressed as Nacho Libre, the character made famous by Jack Black.
It was all for a good cause: Romney rocked the stretchy pants at an event in Salt Lake City, Utah, that benefitted CharityVision International, a nonprofit spearheaded by his son that combats blindness in developing nations, according to MassLive. The headliners of the evening were none other than former boxing champ Oscar De La Hoya and actor/presenter Mario Lopez.
For his part, Romney appears to have enjoyed himself.
And in case you’re wondering why a Latino-themed event would even take place in a place like Utah, you should probably know that the state’s Latino population has exploded by nearly 78 percent in the last decade. In fact, Latinos now constitute 13 percent of all Utahns. This is yet another example that shows that we’re taking over, which makes us feel like:
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.