Apparently Colombia Won Something last night

Apparently Colombia won something last night.

Miss Colombia pageant in Cartagena

Miss Colombia pageant in Cartagena

This is an image (shot from way at the back of the convention center) from the Miss Colombia pageant I attended all those years ago in Cartagena. You know the one: “Man with man with woman with man with woman with woman,” the infamous response by Miss Antioquia.

And after thinking long and hard about the event and what I had seen, I decided against publishing an article about it. I still remember what I wanted to publish after seeing the swimsuit competition in the Hilton Hotel and observing moneyed types flinging cash at the girls and downing aguardiente. And then, I can remember as clearly as if it were yesterday, the rumours surrounding some of the girls having connecting rooms in the hotel to ne’er do wells and other undesirable characters. The term prepago was bandied around a great deal.

Don’t be deceived: Beauty and opulence often belies a rotting social infrastructure. Perhaps it is telling in that Venezuela has won Miss Universe a record seven times.

Colombia won something last night.

7 thoughts on “Apparently Colombia Won Something last night

  • Your line, "Colombia won something last night" is not explicit enough for me to know what you are trying to say.
    Are you implying that Colombia is on its way to becoming an even more corrupt country like Venezuela just because it won Miss Universe?

    I won't deny that Colombia has corruption problems and other societal ills, but man I think you're being a bit too cynical on this one. My commentary is much simpler than yours in that I think that Colombia won because 1) it has tons of beautiful women; 2) it has a decades long cultural tradition of holding beauty pageants, and 3) it had a beatiful and smart candidate this year. And I think the 3 same points apply to Venezuela's ability to win Miss Universe so often, without even taking into consideration it's recent problems.

    Don't complicate it any more than that with your cynical commentary. Your attempt at drawing a correlation between corruption and beauty is also flawed in that there are many countries that are more "corrupt" (or less corrupt) than Colombia or Venezuela that have zero chance of ever winning Miss Universe because they have zero tradition of beauty pageants. While on the same token there are some so-called "non-corrupt" countries that excel at beauty pageants because they have that tradition. So Richard, why the negativity? Has living in complicated Colombia for so long start to bring you down?

    And I also think it's irresponsible of you to associate the term "pre-pagos" with the Miss Colombia contestants (and this year's winner) based on as you said "rumors". If you have the evidence then write that article you were intending to write. Or was it that all just hear-say, and that's why you have not and cannot write that article?

    • Hi Andy, thank you for your comments and I’ll answer your queries in turn and hopefully clarify what I wrote.

      Your line, “Colombia won something last night” is not explicit enough for me to know what you are trying to say. Are you implying that Colombia is on its way to becoming an even more corrupt country like Venezuela just because it won Miss Universe?

      No.

      Your attempt at drawing a correlation between corruption and beauty is also flawed in that there are many countries that are more “corrupt” (or less corrupt) than Colombia or Venezuela that have zero chance of ever winning Miss Universe because they have zero tradition of beauty pageants.

      Sure, but this is widely accepted as a mask for other issues taking place in the country. How much “news” has been buried over the past couple of days?

      And I also think it’s irresponsible of you to associate the term “pre-pagos” with the Miss Colombia contestants (and this year’s winner) based on as you said “rumors”.

      Just check back through the history of this competition in Colombia. It was quite clear when I attended the event some years ago.

      Colombia does have beautiful and intelligent women and a history in the competition, this I do not deny. But, try and think about it all a bit more philosophically rather than just on the surface. It’s my job to investigate and to reflect on these things. Think about elites, think about the lack of social mobility and the message that this sends to the rest of the country.

      Cynical? Maybe. Read this: http://www.portafolio.co/negocios/cadena-hotelera

  • Hello,
    I agree that the girls in Columbia are very beautiful, however beauty is not distinguished by the country. I don't except the fact of corruption on such competitions, but it doesn't mean that the girls who participate don't deserve to win.

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