aerial view of the Amazon river

Beauty

Spring 2017 | Volume XVI, Number 3

Table of Contents

Editor’s Letter →

by June Carolyn Erlick

In Memory

First Take

The Politics of Beauty

The Politics of Beauty

When one talks to people in Latin America about beauty, it is never simply about vanity, self-care or individual consumption.  Beauty in Latin America always seems to have larger implications, inducing hopes for upward mobility, invoking national ideals of beauty, or…

Body Image and the Business of Beauty

Globalizing Latin American Beauty

Globalizing Latin American Beauty

Beauty seems to matter a lot in Latin America. Whenever I arrive in the region I am struck by the disproportionate number of attractive and stylish women and men who seem to be just walking around. I am always even more taken aback by airport bookstalls crammed with…

Should I Eat the Chocolate Cake?

Should I Eat the Chocolate Cake?

English + Español
When people learn that I research the representation of food and weight in Latin American women’s literature, they frequently ask me two questions. The first question is how I became interested in such an untraditional topic…

Beauty in Times of Repression

Maya Queens at the Microphone

Maya Queens at the Microphone

I wish I could have been there to watch the performance of Fidelina Tux Chub, a young and seemingly fearless contestant for indigenous queen— reina indígena—in the highland…

Mayan Queens

Mayan Queens

These pictures were taken Friday, July 29, 2011. The women pose for the pictures during the Rabin Ajau National Folkloric Festival in Cobán, Guatemala. Unlike traditional beauty…

Beauty in Places of Horror

Beauty in Places of Horror

Beauty is the last word that comes to mind when thinking about the state-run torture centers that proliferated under authoritarian regimes in Latin America during the 1970s and 80s. In…

Beasts and Beauty in Colombia

Beasts and Beauty in Colombia

I encountered some of Colombia’s many contradictions during my first visit in 1985. Lush, tropical mountains arched across this South American nation, so very rich in resources and yet…

Masculinity and Beauty

Technologies of Gender

Technologies of Gender

It was a Tuesday afternoon in early June 2005, and I was sitting with well-known cosmetic surgeon Dr. Julien Martinez (a pseudonym to protect participant confidentiality) in his spa…

Peruvian Beauty

Peruvian Beauty

During an official meeting the former president of Peru, Ollanta Humala (2011-2016), urged the youngsters gathered there to act as men, and said that “instead of spending their time…

Cholitas and Beyond

The Queen of Sheep

The Queen of Sheep

The Queen of Sheep Beauty Pageant is an offbeat Colombian beauty contest that parodies other common beauty pageants in the country revolving around local agricultural products or cattle animals. The contestants of this…

Peruvian Pishtacos

Peruvian Pishtacos

News stories of captured drug gangs are so common in Peru that viewers barely noted the television appearance of three prisoners in November 2009. Police had captured the “gang”…

Black is Beautiful

Contesting Beauty

Contesting Beauty

English + Español
In 2016, the official Miss Brazil beauty pageant competition witnessed an unprecedented moment, as six black Brazilian women from around the country advanced to…

Sensual Not Beautiful

Sensual Not Beautiful

While white actresses and models still dominate beauty and fashion magazines in Brazil, on my last few visits to Brazil, I’ve noticed that actresses of African descent such as…

Building Bridges

Wolf Chase in Chaco

Wolf Chase in Chaco

I shove my clipboard under my arm to roll up my sleeves and try not to wish I was wearing a t-shirt; we are in a momentary lapse from the mosquitos, but I’ve learned not to push my…

Book Talk