Historically, beauty pageants have reinforced Eurocentric beauty ideals. So when someone who helps expand our collective understanding of what beauty is, it’s worth celebrating. Over the weekend, 18-year-old Yukaima González, a member of the Wixárika community, won the 2019 Feria Nayarit beauty pageant.
As En Punto reports, Indigenous women had not typically participated in past pageants, but this year saw two women from native communities. Yukaima, who is from La Yesca, is the first Indigenous woman to be crowned the Feria Nayarit queen. (The fair takes place between March 7 and March 31.)
— Yukaima González (@YukaimaG) March 4, 2019
“I’m convinced that it is worth dreaming and that stereotypes don’t matter,” she wrote on Facebook after her win. “We’re all valuable.”
¿Te gustaría ver más diversidad en los certámenes de belleza?
Con este traje inspirado en su cultura wixárica, Yukaima González se acaba de convertir en la primera ganadora de origen indígena del concurso Reina de la Feria de Nayarit. pic.twitter.com/Cp5nuTzMYp
— AJ+ Español (@ajplusespanol) March 4, 2019
The win comes at a time when Yalitza Aparicio, an Oscar-nominated Indigenous woman who shot to stardom after playing the main character in Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, has been mocked and harshly judged for everything from her talent to her looks. TV host Yeka Rosales was embroiled in controversy after she darkened her skin and wore a prosthetic nose to resemble Yalitza for a Televisa show. Many accused her of wearing brownface and said that the tone-deaf skit was further proof of the negative ways that Indigenous populations are portrayed.