Army Sergeant Ítalo Cerqueira: First Black Man To Win Mister Brazil Contest
Note from BW of Brazil: Yet another example of why it amazes me how people are so accustomed to seeing only white faces and bodies hold down certain positions and posts that it is generally naturalized. A few weeks ago, I was listening to a YouTube channel of a program hosted by a group of people that consider themselves to be white nationalists. This group, made up of white men and women who declare themselves in favor of white rights, doesn’t see itself as being racist, but simply looking out for the best interest of the white population. There is only one host on this program that I honestly to see as being racist in some way, but recently in one of his programs, he expressed the idea that racism no longer exists. It clearly existed in the past, but today, no, in his opinion.
I like to listen to this program from time to time just to know what it is that white people honestly feel about certain issues beyond the politically correct opinions that people often hide behind. In reality, there are a number of issues in which I can agree on with a number of the program’s hosts, it’s just that when they get into the race issue, for the most part, we part ways. I expect this of most of the hosts, but I was a little surprised by the one host who I don’t pick up a vibe of racism from. As honest and real as he usually is and even he bought into the idea that racism is no longer a problem in the 21st century.
Mind you, this is an American program that I am speaking of. As such, in some ways, one could argue that the opinions of some white Americans on racial issues in the US have nothing to do with Brazil, but I beg to differ. You see, the idea that racism doesn’t exist may be a relatively recent thing among white Americans, but this sort of denial has been going on in Brazil for decades. In fact, going in the opposite direction, it’s only been in recent years that a parcel of Brazil’s white population has conceded that racism does in fact exist in Brazil.
The topic of today’s post is one of many reasons I have wondered for 20 years what cloud so many Brazilians have been living on. Similar to the Miss Brasil contest which, between 1954 and 2015, only one black woman had ever worn the crown, the Mister Brasil contest had never seen a visibly black man wear the crown. Granted, the competition hasn’t been around as long as the Miss Brasil contest, but regardless, of the 15 previous winners, NONE were black men. For those who believe “we are all equal”, and that skin color/race doesn’t matter, how does one explain this? I mean, if we really are all equal, and we are all equally attractive, talented, intelligent, etc., why haven’t at least half of the winners been black men?
What is true of the Miss and Mister Brasil competitions in terms of racial equality applies to just about every other area of Brazilian society, with Afro-Brazilians only beginning to fill some of these positions on an extremely minor level in recent years. Just curious. If you believe “we are all equal”, how would you explain this?
Who is Mister Brasil? Meet the first black man to win the award in the country
‘It’s not just a white man with straight hair who is handsome’, says Ítalo Cerqueira, the new Mister Brasil
Courtesy of O Tempo
Army sergeant Ítalo Cerqueira, 27, is the first black man to win the Mister Brasil CNB contest. Before him, there were 15 white guys that captured the crown. Cerqueira also became the first candidate from the state of Paraíba and the northeastern region of Brazil to win the title.
“There is no single or certain standard of beauty in Brazil. It’s not just a white man with straight hair who is handsome. I believe that beauty depends more on the essence of the person than on the outside,” he said in an interview with the Folha de São Paulo newspaper, revealing that since signing up for the competition, he had already had the objective of becoming the first black candidate to win Mister Brasil.
“I am very surprised, but I am also pleased to have succeeded. I want to show the strength of the Brazilian people, who are people of diverse ethnicities and a mixed country,” he adds.
Of the 40 candidates in the dispute, only five were black. In this group, in addition to Cerqueira, were Mister Rio Grande do Sul, Thales Machado; Mister Fernando de Noronha, Cuca Souza; Mister Grande Belém (PA), Jonas Rodrigues; and Mister Guamá (PA), Gilberto Melo. None of them qualified among the ten finalists.
In the national distribution, São Paulo is the state that has accumulated more titles, totaling four, followed by the state of Rio Grande do Sul (3), the Distrito Federal (Federal District) (3) and the state of Rio de Janeiro (2). Among the discoveries of the contest are the actors Anderson Tomazini, Xodó of O Outro Lado do Paraíso (Globo TV), Lucas Malvacini, Anjinho de Amor à Vida (Globo TV), the ex-Big Brother Brasil (Globo TV reality show) participants Jonas Sulzbach, Rodrigão and Eliéser, and the international model Lucas Gil.
“As I climb the catwalk, I take with me millions of black men and women who struggle daily to be seen, recognized and valued. Prejudice is still very big in our country. We need to occupy all spaces, including the world of beauty, which has for so long repeated standards valuing some and excluding so many others.”
Despite the statement, he says that at no time or situation in the selection process did he experience any type of racial discrimination. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. But I know the weight that this victory has. And that makes me very honored and happy. It’s our blackness at the top!”
In addition to being a model, the young man is also a sergeant in the Exército (Army) and will now represent the country in the Mister Supranational, at the end of the year, in Poland. “At the barracks, at the beginning, I didn’t want to comment that I was going to participate, because I thought there would be some prejudice. However, I was surprised again and all the staff accepted and cheered for me, including my superior,” he reports.
Despite representing Paraíba in the national contest, Cerqueira is from Rio. He moved to the northeastern country at the age of seven. “My father is a retired military man, and when I was a child, he was transferred to work in Paraíba. The whole family then moved. I always say that the blood and the accent are from Rio, but the heart is from Paraíba,”
Cerqueira says that his greatest desire is to show that everything is possible for everyone. “If it’s a dream, it deserves due attention and dedication. Our desire to make this dream happen will tell us a lot about how we will face the journey to the final destination. It’s necessary to prepare and fight, day after day, to reach the goal. It may seem difficult, arduous and, at times, the tiredness that discourages even kicks in. But insist, because the achievement becomes just a matter of time,” he says.
Like the female Miss Brasil Mundo, Mister Brasil CNB is an official licensee of the Miss World Organization, which organizes Miss Mundo and Mister Mundo. The assessment of the men follows the molds of Mister Mundo (or Mister World, in the original), with preliminary classificatory tests.
The misters participated in beach and night fashion shows, a talent show, as well as a preliminary interview. Another challenge that was worth points was the presentation and defense of a social project, which must have been conceived and executed by the mister himself in his region of origin.
With the final result, not only does the winner have a chance to represent Brazil, as the organization sends other highly ranked candidates to the main male contests around the planet. In addition to Mister Mundo, Mister Supranational, Mister Global, Manhunt International, Mister International, among others.
Check out the winners of Mister Brasil CNB
1996 – São Paulo – Thierre Di Castro – Mister São Paulo
1997 – Edilson Ferreira Leite – Mister Federal District
2000 – Ramílio Zampiron – Mister Distrito Federal
2001 – Gustavo Gianetti – Mister Rio de Janeiro
2007 – Lucas Gil – Mister Pará
2008 – Vinicius Ribeiro – Mister Espírito Santo
2010 – Jonas Sulzbach – Mister Ilha dos Lobos (RS)
2011 – Lucas Malvacini – Mister Ilhas de Búzios (RJ)
2012 – Willian Rëch – Mister Rio Grande do Sul
2013 – Reinaldo Dalcin – Mister Ilhas do Delta do Jacuí (RS)
2014 – Lucas Montandon – Mister Distrito Federal
2015 – Anderson Tomazini – Mister Ilhabela (SP)
2016 – Carlos Franco – Mister São Paulo
2017 – Matheus Song – Mister Caminho dos Princes (SC)
2018 – Samuel Costa – Mister São Paulo
Source: O Tempo