Ah, Brazil. I just love you. And who can blame me? It's an entire country that pretty much worships a curvy rear end, celebrates plastic surgery more than any other nation, and generally knows how to party hard. All of these good times have culminated in the ultimate "celebration" of hot women -- the annual Miss Bum Bum Contest.
Oh yes, you read that right. The Miss Bum Bum contest is a beauty pageant now in its second year that looks for the best butt in all of Brazil. Let's face it: In a country made famous by their thongs, there is a lot of competition.
This year's winner, Carine Felizardo, is a Jessica Simpson lookalike with a bum the size of Kansas. Apparently, in Brazil, that's a good thing. Ironic, when you consider the way Simpson is always criticized for the size of HER bum.
Ah, but there's the rub. Brazil may SEEM like it's celebrating a curvier woman, but it's a fallacy. Keep in mind: Brazil is the plastic surgery capital of the world. Brazil doesn't "celebrate" women any more than the US celebrates them. They just have a slightly curvier standard of beauty.
We seem to have this notion in the US that curvy = fat. It doesn't. "Curvy" implies that a woman has a good hip to waist ratio. She has big boobs and a small waist and a large bottom. And ladies: that physique? Is just as hard to achieve. Sorry. But it is.
So let's not kid ourselves and think a curvy ass contest is progress for women around the world. It's not. It's just as gross and objectifying and lecherous as calling Jessica Simpson fat.
The fact is, parading around in a thong, even while being celebrated for your beauty, is just as degrading as being called "fat" because you wear high-waisted jeans. Sigh.
Women need to understand when they are being complimented and lifted up and when they are being degraded. For some reason even a contest with the name Miss Bum Bum doesn't make this obvious.
There will never be a shortage of women willing to use their body as a commodity, so it doesn't matter how much I say it. But let's not kid ourselves and pretend this is empowering. Kthxbai.
What do you think of this contest?
Image via Johnny Jet/Flickr