Colombia is best known by almost everyone for the same four or five things: drugs, violence, coffee, and beautiful women. Traveling to Colombia just for any of theses reasons isn’t a great idea (good luck finding good coffee, for one), but all of these stereotypes are true in some senses.
Today’s blog post: the stereotype of beautiful women.
Colombia does have beautiful women (and a lot of regular-looking women as well) perhaps because of mixing of European, black, indigenous genes and a focus on looking good.
Many rankings put Colombia in the top ten of countries with the most beautiful women (though how any pollster quantifies this, I am not sure). Other polls have Colombia at #1 (at least according to U.S. men, Colombian women are the sexiest in the world)
The reputation of beautiful women perhaps also comes in small part thanks to the amount of women in Colombia who choose to get plastic surgery. In many studies, Colombia is ranked 5th (in front of the United States) in number of cosmetic surgeries.
If you want to see beautiful Colombian women, you have three main options;
- Flip on your TV and watch Modern Family. Sofía Vergara is stunningly gorgeous.
- Visit Cali, the plastic surgery capital of Colombia
- Head to the Miss Colombia competition every November
The Miss Colombia competition has no semblance of a scholarship competition. It is a straight-up beauty contest and the competition from the different regions of Colombia is stiff.
Contestants from Colombia’s 33 different departments all congregate in Cartagena around November 11 for the Concurso Nacional de Belleza de Colombia, the National Beauty Pageant, to determine who will be the next Srta. Colombia and represent the country at the Miss Universe Pageant.
Besides crowning Srta. Colombia, the contest also crowns a winner for who has the best hair, who has the most beautiful costume, who is the most photogenic, who has the best “most athletic” body and a “Miss Punctual” (which is a tough one to be good at, if my experience with many Colombians is any indication).
Beauty pageants are everywhere in Colombia. My small rural school had two separate ones throughout the year: one for Afrocolombian Day and one to correspond with the national beauty pageant in Cartagena (we were two hours from the city, but part of the Cartagena school district).
There are even beauty pageants in women’s prisons.
The National Beauty Pageant gets most of the press in Colombia however, and corresponds with Cartagena’s Independence Day festivities.
Check back in on the blog on November 11 to hear what happens during those parties. Teaser: it involves parades, spray bottles of foam, and lots of craziness in the street.