Black beauty contest raises self-esteem of contestants in northwest Brazil: “I’ve heard that my color is ugly…Now I know that being black is much more than skin color", said one of the winners

black Brazilians

Juliana, Paloma and Juliene, contest winners in 2011

The event is the only in the state to appreciate black culture. The 4th edition will be in December, the anniversary of the municipality.

Flavio Godoi

 Even with almost a year of the third edition of the Miss Black Beauty contest in Pimenteiras do Oeste (West Pimenteiras), Rondônia having passed, the three elected young beauties still reap the fruits of their fame. At the school where they study, Paloma Ramos, 16, and the twin sisters, Juliana and Juliene Bishop, both 15, they are recognized and admired, after all, they are the current representatives of a contest in the northwest state of Rondônia that only takes place in the municipality of Pimenteiras do Oeste.

  Juliane, who placed third in the competition recalls the encouragement of her family helping her to lose her shyness and face the catwalk. “I was embarrassed, but everyone said that I had a chance of winning, especially my sister, and my sister-in-law who won the second edition of the event in 2009,” she says.

Unlike Juliane, the inhibition of her twin sister, Juliana, always made her want to participate in competitions of this kind. “Since I was elected Garota Estudantil (Student Girl) and I am always involved in activities involving the walkways”, she reveals.

Juliana’s experience may have been the factor that gave her first place in the contest. “She was so quiet and secure that it let me get myself together for the day of the contest. I got my dress ready, did my hair and I was ready”, she remembers.

“I’ve heard that my color is ugly and it left me in doubt as to the concept of what being beautiful is. Now I know that being black is much more than skin color.” – Paloma Ramos, Miss Congeniality

For Paloma, elected Miss Congeniality in the event, the title broke prejudice that she had of herself. “I’ve heard that my color is ugly and it left me in doubt as to the concept of what being beautiful is. Now I know that being black is much more than skin color”, she reflects.

Besides the titles of Miss Black Beauty, Miss Congeniality and Miss Elegance, the winners also receive a cash award arranged by the sponsors that generally involves more than half the population of almost 2,500.

Origin of the contest

Created by Isabel Mendes, president of the Association of Quilombola Remnants of Pimenteiras do Oeste in 2007, the Miss Black Beauty, according to Izabel, aims to redeem the pride of black culture of those remaining quilombo inhabitants themselves. “Many are ashamed of being black and let the prejudice get to them. This contest reaffirms the identity of African descendants”, she says.

For this year, the competition aims to hold the first edition with an interval of only one year from the previous. “The first was in 2007, the second was two years later in 2009 and the third in 2011. Now we’ll do it again in 2012 and we hope that the tradition continues”, Izabel concluded.

Another novelty is that this year, instead of November, the event should take place in December, entering it amongst the program of activities celebrating the anniversary of the municipality which completes 17 years of its founding on the 27th.

Source: G1

About Marques Travae 3583 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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