“What I really want is society to stop imposing that over sexualized beauty standard on Latin American women.”
Having the opportunity to explore the Amazon Rainforest or see the “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Brazil is a privilege and humbling opportunity for all travelers. Although, these historical and iconic trademarks of this South American gem create a large sense of pride for Brazilians, tourists often seem to forget about the parts of Brazilian culture that aren’t as publicized.
The limiting Latina beauty standards in America match similarly to the standards in Brazil that create unrealistic beauty thresholds for locals there to follow. Brazilian media outlets and advertisements on television promote a Western aesthetic and feed consumers an over sexualized image for women to follow. These expectations for Latina women in the United States and South America not only make them feel insecure, but also make them feel confused of how to embrace their natural beauty.
Neidyn Regalado is a Latina makeup artist in the United States and loves being able to help people find the perfect look for any occasion with her makeup expertise. From the surface level, makeup is supposed to make people look flawless. However, Regalado explains that the beauty standards in makeup itself are far from perfect and presents complications in her own work.
“From a makeup artist stand point, beauty standards create barriers for me because it’s almost like I feel like it’s my fault that I sometimes don’t have a color that will match for a woman of color. Even with myself, I find it hard to find a concealer that matches my own skin tone.”
Regalado sees marketing in the United States catered towards the white community and feels as though people of color are secondary when it comes to beauty standards in the states. She said there could be a lot more representation and change for people of color and the Latinx population if the media fed different standards but notes that this isn’t how the community is right now.
“As a Latina with curly hair, I felt like growing up I would get left behind because I wanted to look a different, certain way. Even in makeup now, you can’t really find your shade, or the shade does not complement a colored person’s skin tone which makes people feel left out.”
Martina Ritter is a Brazilian fashion icon and content creator with over 300,000 followers on Instagram and runs her own lifestyle blog. Ritter has professional relationships and has worked with fashion organizations like Vogue Brazil, L’Oréal Brazil, and Louis Vuitton. She explained that the Brazilian beauty standards have not had a large effect on her personal style and were never a barrier in her style constructions. Even though the standards did not affect her, Ritter said she wants all women in Brazil to feel comfortable in their own skin.
“What I really want is society to stop imposing that over sexualized beauty standard on Latin American women. I want them to feel comfortable to wear what they want and not to be judged by it. I believe women need to find their own beauty in a natural way that makes them feel happy and secure.”
Trying different fashion trends and styles comes to Ritter easily and she is able to make her outfits one of a kind with the addition of vibrantly colored, statement jackets or hats. Ritter said she wishes for all women to focus on their natural beauty first and foremost and to put aside the search for the perfect body and face.
“I have always liked to wear and dare with different standards than those who are usually imposed here. My favorite trend to follow is that less is more.”
Despite the negative effects beauty standards have on the people living in America and Brazil, there are ways people in both countries where women can take a progressive stance on redefining beauty on their own terms. Embracing your natural beauty and advocating for trends you love and not what society is telling you is what Regalado suggested people of color to do in order to feel more comfortable.
“If there were more people of color who would come out and embrace their culture and set new standards, then that would be a big deal. For me, I can get more involved with posting more about the things I love and the things I use in order to help and give back to the community.”