Event Title

Pageant Politics: Miss Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution

Location

Stern Center Great Room

Start Date

18-4-2019 5:00 PM

Description

From the middle of the 20th century to now, Venezuela has been recognized globally for three things: oil, politics, and beauty queens. Venezuela has the honor of being the country that has been one of the most prolific winners of international beauty pageants and as a result, Venezuela is known for having extremely beautiful women. Within the nation the Miss Venezuela pageant is extremely popular, and has developed into a multi-million-dollar enterprise. The figure of Miss Venezuela gives Venezuelans a sense of hope, and provides its contestants and winners with an avenue for class mobility, fame, and professional opportunities.

Before 1998, Venezuela was also widely perceived as the most stable democracy in Latin America. With the election of Hugo Chavez in 1998, there was an enormous political, economic, and social shift towards the creation of a socialist state. This new era was called the “Bolivarian Revolution.” Chavez attempted to strip Venezuelan culture of all signs of bourgeois excess, instated a socialist economic system, and alienated Venezuela both culturally and politically from the west. He maintained a particularly tempestuous relationship with the United States. Part of Chavez’s strategy for restructuring Venezuelan society involved reappropriating national symbols. Curiously, he never undertook this process with Miss Venezuela. In fact, throughout Chavez’s presidency, beauty pageants have become more popular and excessive than ever, and Venezuela has broken the world record by not only winning the most international pageants of any country, but also being the only country to have won Miss Universe back to back. Why are beauty pageants more popular in Venezuela now than before? What are the changes that have taken place within miss Venezuela and with the role of miss Venezuela on the intl. stage (specifically Miss Universe). Beauty pageants are an exercise that is simultaneously political and apolitical, because of its nationalist dimension. I provide an analysis of power negotiations in Venezuelan politics and society, as well as the relationship between the title of Miss Venezuela and the political structure.

Presentation Type

Presentation

Comments

Advisor: Professor Marcelo Borges

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COinS
 
Apr 18th, 5:00 PM

Pageant Politics: Miss Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution

Stern Center Great Room

From the middle of the 20th century to now, Venezuela has been recognized globally for three things: oil, politics, and beauty queens. Venezuela has the honor of being the country that has been one of the most prolific winners of international beauty pageants and as a result, Venezuela is known for having extremely beautiful women. Within the nation the Miss Venezuela pageant is extremely popular, and has developed into a multi-million-dollar enterprise. The figure of Miss Venezuela gives Venezuelans a sense of hope, and provides its contestants and winners with an avenue for class mobility, fame, and professional opportunities.

Before 1998, Venezuela was also widely perceived as the most stable democracy in Latin America. With the election of Hugo Chavez in 1998, there was an enormous political, economic, and social shift towards the creation of a socialist state. This new era was called the “Bolivarian Revolution.” Chavez attempted to strip Venezuelan culture of all signs of bourgeois excess, instated a socialist economic system, and alienated Venezuela both culturally and politically from the west. He maintained a particularly tempestuous relationship with the United States. Part of Chavez’s strategy for restructuring Venezuelan society involved reappropriating national symbols. Curiously, he never undertook this process with Miss Venezuela. In fact, throughout Chavez’s presidency, beauty pageants have become more popular and excessive than ever, and Venezuela has broken the world record by not only winning the most international pageants of any country, but also being the only country to have won Miss Universe back to back. Why are beauty pageants more popular in Venezuela now than before? What are the changes that have taken place within miss Venezuela and with the role of miss Venezuela on the intl. stage (specifically Miss Universe). Beauty pageants are an exercise that is simultaneously political and apolitical, because of its nationalist dimension. I provide an analysis of power negotiations in Venezuelan politics and society, as well as the relationship between the title of Miss Venezuela and the political structure.