Three years ago, we posted a video of Miss Venezuela that pissed some people off because we said that global moments like that do little to advance the cause of Latin American and U.S. Latina women, as many try to fight against the simplistic stereotyping of the “hot” and “sexy” mujer. Many of our contributors have written several pieces about the hypersexualization of Latinas, both here in the U.S. and in Latin America.
Yet, if last night’s Twitter storm is any indication, the Latin American Super Bowl (aka, the Miss Universe pageant) is on another level. With news that Miss Colombia took the prize, our Twitter feed went insane.
National pride. Latin American pride. Latina pride.
This tweet from Andrés Duque summed it up best:
— Andrés Duque (@Blabbeando) January 26, 2015
So did this one:
I got the Nuevo Herald News Alert… Where's the CNN, USA Today, & WaPo Alert? pic.twitter.com/lSZRRiFF1R
— Wadi Gaitan (@wadijr) January 26, 2015
And by the time #ColombiaMissUniverso trended globally, Colombia’s tallest building looked like this:
— Julio Ricardo Varela (@julito77) January 26, 2015
The fascination with the Latin American Super Bowl runs deep, and we understand that. It represents the best and worst of Latin American pop culture—a nostalgic smile might come across our faces at one point, while we cringe at others. Yet let’s be real for a minute: this is all about a deep-rooted system shrouded in the facade of national and regional pride.
— Michaloush (@MichalDinal) January 26, 2015
The Latin American Super Bowl is a powerful force. Will it eventually disappear? Highly unlikely, because the Miss Universe pageant has become an unofficial Latin American holiday, one that has now crept into the United States. Yes, it was hosted in Miami last night (of course). Last night, many Latinas celebrated the fact that Miss USA, the pageant’s runner-up, was Latina. So no matter how Nia Sanchez answers questions, this is not going away. And neither will those who think the pageant is the product of a different time that still makes us feel creepy.