Beauty pageants are weird. But I kind of like them.
I’ve been to two “Miss” competitions in Tarapoto: Miss San Martin 2010 and last weekend’s Miss Teen Tarapoto 2011. The latter was taking place just a few blocks from my house, so I thought I’d take a peek.
Miss Teen Tarapoto was supposed to start at 8 pm, which by Peruvian standards translates to 9 pm at the very earliest. Unsurprisingly, my attempts at being late fell way short of the mark. I arrived at about 9.30; an excellent local rock band called Mermelada Pesada was in full swing, but there were no Miss Teens in sight. As it turned out, I had to wait at least another hour for the main event to begin. Typical.
Miss Teen’s Take to the Stage
Finally, at about 11 pm, the eight Miss Teen Tarapoto candidates took to the stage…
The blur of whiteness that followed caught me off guard. Due to some strange quirk of physics, beauty contestants are incredibly hard to photograph, at least for a novice such as myself. The mix of stage lighting and bounding beauties is not conducive to crisp photography. Oh well.
The Teens dropped the pace a little for the obligatory bikini round, perhaps due to the drop in temperature. By Tarapoto standards, it was quite a chilly night. You certainly won’t see me strolling through the streets of Tarapoto in a bikini at 11 pm, not even on a Saturday night (not sober, at least).
The event flew by in no time at all, much faster than the Miss San Martin contest. After the bikini round came the “questions” round. “Who do you most admire?” — “Is the environment important?” — “Should children go to school?” It was all very enlightening, but it was over in a flash. After two hours of waiting and 30 minutes of contest, we had our winner and runner-up….
And there they stand! To the right is the newly crowned Miss Teen Tarapoto 2011, 16-year-old Nicolle Arce Saldaña. To the left is the second-placed Danae Ruiz Arévalo, also 16. Well done ladies! Nicolle now has a chance to become Miss Teen Peru.
Right, that’s all for now, although I do have more photos and a couple of videos that I might publish in the near future. I don’t have much time right now, however, as tonight is the big one: Miss San Martin 2011. I need to blag a press pass…
Both winners look like real beauties. I remember all the beautiful women walking around Tarapoto every time that i visit, and what’s even better, most seem to be genuinely sweet and not at all stuck up like so many of those good looking gals in the USA.I’d love to see what those 16 year olds look like when they’re 21.
Yep, both were worthy winners. I had a quick chat with the runner-up after the event (and her dad!) — she was a charming lady, and very excited about the outcome!
I’ll second that about the women of Tarapoto. They do seem genuinely kind and sweet and much better looking to the Wal-Mart women of Central Virginia. Ours look as if they might have at least a portion of you for dessert.
Tony, my heart goes out to you for the stress and trouble you go through to keep us up-dated on the natural resources of Peru-Thanks!
It’s a tough life here in Tarapoto! We writers must make great sacrifices for our craft.
The Wal-Mart women of Central Virginia? I have a vague mental image, but it’s probably way off the mark…!
Wal-Mart Women in Virginia?Well, in Baltimore, they’re generally pretty plain and unappealing, and plenty of these gals are grossly overweight The women of Tarapoto are much more attractive. No contest!
Exactly my point.
Wal-mart women for the most part are exactly the same. A LARGE percent of them are quite beefy and do not always have all their teeth. For woman watching, the plaza in Tarapoto is much better.