Black Women of Brazil

The site dedicated to Brazilian women of African descent

Gabrielly Louise is one of the 5 most beautiful women in the state of Ceará; but even in the region of the country with darker skin, white skin remains the preference


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Note from BW of Brazil: Ya know, realistically, I think Afro-Brazilian women should simply stop competing in Brazil’s beauty contests. I mean, year after year it’s always the same thing. Brazil always claims to have pride in its diversity of phenotypes but every year, in national as well as state competitions, the women with the closest proximations to a European standard are always the dominant look in these contests. Now, some may argue that last year was different and signaled a great change and an acceptance of more non-white women; after all, a record six black women competed in the 2016 Miss Brasil competition, including the eventual winner, Raissa Santana representing the state of Paraná. In reality, I see last year as just a token show of diversity as if attempting to silence complaints about the overwhelming whiteness of these pageants. I’ll definitely be looking at the 2017 Miss Brasil to confirm my theory.

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Flyer collage of 2017 Miss Ceará contestants – “16 incredible candidates, but only one of them will be Miss Ceará 2017”

If the recent contest of the northeastern state of Ceará is any indication, things will be back to the norm (of whiteness) this year. Sure there was a black girl that finished in the top 5, but most of the candidates and the winner were white or pretty close to it (what many would define as Latina). 

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Five finalists of Miss Ceará 2017

Ceará’s competition is pretty equal to that of other states of the northeast and this is significant because this is the region of Brazil where more people define themselves as preto e pardo (black and brown). But even in the states with the larger percentages of brown skin, it is the white skin that continues to be over-represented in the contests. According to the 2012 census, for example, in the state of Ceará, nearly 68% of the population defined itself as black (preto + pardo). In most of the state competitions, we consistently see a few black girls thrown in a mix of 20-25 girls who would be considered white BrazilI don’t know what you see in the photos of above, I don’t see much “diversity” at all. In my view, the 2014 Miss Black Power Brasil had the right idea. Do your own thing!

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Black women of the northeast: Gabrielly Louise is one of the 5 most beautiful women in Ceará

Courtesy of Mundo Negro

Finally, black women have discovered that beauty pageants are also for them and we see more dark faces and cabelos crespos (kinky/curly hair) at events throughout Brazil.

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Our collaborator, the fashion designer from Curitiba, Luiz Mendonça, interviewed Gabrielly Louise, the Missa Messejana (see note one) 2017 who loves to orient other black women to appreciate their beauty. “I want to get through to them and I went through the same thing, and I fought to be recognized the way I am,” says Louise, who came in fifth in the Miss Ceará contest this year.

Have you always dreamed of being a Miss?

No. I never had the dream of being a Miss. I always found something very superficial, it praised beauty alone, there was nothing that caught my attention. But over time the concept has changed and more and more the miss world has been present in my social networks, friends becoming misses…And for fun I decided to participate in a contest in my neighborhood in which I came in second place. But an invitation came up that left me very motivated to take a deeper step in this Miss environment.

After the contest, one of the organizers was watching and invited me to participate in Miss Ceará. I confess I was very hesitant because I didn’t know anything about the Miss world. But I accepted, and I dedicated myself to the max so could to learn what it takes to be a Miss.

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Are you aware that your image is a reference for black girls and young women?

I’m don’t have much consciousness. I even find myself surprised when some girls come to talk privately, complimenting me, asking me for a little attention. But I love these messages, they motivate me more and more, especially when they are black.

I’ve already felt very excluded and I know how some girls feel. I want to pass on to them that I went through the same thing, and I fought to be recognized the way I am.

Have you ever been a victim of prejudice? How did you deal with the situation?

Yes. As a child, I suffered a lot with nicknames at school. But I never wanted to change my look or my personality no matter how hurt I was. When I managed to fulfill a wish that I had at times, that was to enter the fashion world. They were able to LOOK at me in another way, as an icon of a black woman, but when I entered the competition to be Miss Ceará I got scared, received criticism and many messages of racism, it made me sad and amazed by the way people talked and hid. I also received lots of compliments and messages of strength, which would make me leave all of the trembling to the side and stay focused on my goal.

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How was the experience in representing your city in the Miss Ceará?

The experience was incredible participating in Miss Ceará, I felt feelings that I didn’t know. I met wonderful people. And for me, it was very worthwhile, because I went further than I expected and I feel fulfilled, for the first time I feel victorious!

What are your references of beauty?

I could say Beyoncé, because I really like the artist, person and the ideas she has, but for me every woman who is owner of herself, who stands firm in front of any situation, creates an image that she is not, and she goes there and show that they are wrong, to emphasize again black women because the daily struggles are constant.

Source: Mundo Negro

Note

  1. Messejana is a middle-class district and neighborhood in Fortaleza, the capital city of Ceará in Brazil’s northeastern region.

4 comments on “Gabrielly Louise is one of the 5 most beautiful women in the state of Ceará; but even in the region of the country with darker skin, white skin remains the preference

  1. Michael Odi
    July 28, 2017

    What a wonderful privilege to be blessed with a black or Brown Skin Satan can take our Joy and Peace Never

  2. Cheryl
    July 28, 2017

    Why not start your own things and leave these people in the past…..MOVE FORWARD.

  3. João Soares
    August 4, 2017

    Please, if you don’t know the history of MY STATE, refrain from posting. Ceará is a predominantly MESTIZO (caboclo) state (mix of native and white). Only 4% of people here identify as black. Ceará is not Bahia or Pernambuco. Stop BLACKwashing the descendents of natives. I’m a mestizo, I live in a city with an indigenous name (as almost every city in my state). The people I see everyday look like your stereotypical mestizo mexican. The genetic studies show the my state is indeed MESTIZO. By your logic, the state of Amazônia is 75% black!!!! So stop erasing our amerindian ancestors. I live in a poor hood, and even here black people are rare.

    You seem to think that a black woman is more common in my state than a “latina”-looking one. LIES So explaining why I only see kids and teenagers here with light brown skin, straight jet black hair and slightly slanted eyes.

    My state was the first state to abolish slavery in Brazil. And it’s was kinda easy because there were almost NO SLAVES here. So explain why the state who had the least number of slaves in the NORTHEAST has a 68% “black” population, contradicting our history and genetic studies? I’m a MESTIZO, my state is MESTIZO. Stop erasing our AMERINDIAN ancestors!

    Just another note: I find so funny that you classify “latino” looking people as white. You know why? Because many of them classity as “pardo”. But I notice that you activists only consider them black if they look black. If a mixed (“pardo”) person looks mixed, “caboclo” (mestizo), or near white, they are white for you.. It’s what Clarion de Laffalot called “Schrödinger’s pardo”. For black activists, pardos are only black when it suits them. When a mixed looking person is participating in a beauty contest (see what happened in the Miss Bahia some years ago), have a role in a soap opera, or appears on commercial, the activists shout that they’re WHITE.

    • Albert Jenkins
      August 12, 2017

      Beat it you fucking troll! You have no business around this post plus YOU mestizos are very anti-african and y’all kill African descendants on a daily basis witin so-called “Latin America.” So take your Mestizo Anti-African/Black ass off this pages or I will report you for TROLLING!!

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