Note from BW of Brazil: So it seems that the new Miss Brasil has had previous experience with other racist attitudes beyond those who expressed displeasure with her victory. What intrigues me about how racism functions, particularly in a country like Brazil, is that people will tell a person of visible African ancestry that they’re not black if their skin isn’t really dark, hair not really kinky and possess features that aren’t stereotypically African. “Oh, but you’re not black; you’re morena/mulata“, they’ll say, and thus often times undermine one’s black identity. But on the other hand, when they see a person of visible African ancestry in a position that they believe should only be filled by a white person, that same “not quite black” person suddenly becomes as black as futebol legend Pelé. As I pointed out in the post celebrating her victory, the new Miss Brasil, Monalysa Alcântara, is definitely not the darkest crayon in the box, but in a country so full of contradictions such as Brazil, a little too much of her African ancestry is evident for her to be accepted in many areas beyond the stereotypes designed to keep black Brazilians “in their place.”
Miss Brasil denounces Teresina businesswoman for racism
Before disputing Miss Brasil, Monalysa denounced businesswoman for racism
By Efrém Ribeiro
Three months before the Miss Brasil contest, the piauiense (native of the state of Piauí) Monalysa Alcântara filed a complaint against a businesswoman in the city of Teresina at the Delegacia de Proteção aos Direitos Humanos e Repressão às Condutas Discriminatórias de Teresina (Precinct for the Protection of Human Rights and Repression to Discriminatory Conduct), which prohibited her from parading in her designer clothes, claiming that the model, because of being black, would devalue the pieces of her collection.
Monalysa Alcântara denounced the act in a Boletim de Ocorrência (BO or police report).
In the BO, Monalysa Alcântara reported to precinct head, Emir Maia, that the businesswoman did not want any model with dark skin.
According to her, the businesswoman only wanted white and blond models, arguing with prejudice and racism, that her clothes only worked for people with white skin and didn’t want the black models because they would not bring value to the clothes.
The chief Emir Maia had already heard the testimony of Monalysa Alcântara before she competed and won the titles of Miss Piauí and Miss Brasil and her model friends who heard the businesswoman’s demand. The incident happened around 6 pm on May 11th during the Piauí Moda House event. She recorded BO twelve days later.
“It is an act of prejudice, you don’t make clothes for blacks or whites to wear, there is no specific clothing for anyone,” said Maia.
According to him, the Precinct of Protection of Human Rights and Repression of Discriminatory Conduct in Teresina has investigated 40 inquiries of injuria racial (racial injury).
Monalysa Alcântara, after winning Miss Brazil, said that she had already been a victim of racism and mentioned the case of the businesswoman who said that the black models didn’t go well with the clothes in her collection.
In the fashion world, everyone knows the businesswoman and they think she should have been arrested for racism.