Commodification and Exoticism in Beautiful Señoritas

09 Jun

Dolores Prida’s Beautiful Señoritas showcases the hypocritical expectations that society holds for Latina women and how these ideas permeate the consciousnesses of girls at a very young age without ever being explicitly taught to them.

The exploitative beauty pageant in the play presents a framework in which women are valued for their “exotic” beauty, but only in a context in which that exoticism is removed from its context of the heritage and personalities of the individuals, and placed into a context of oppression and hardship. All these women are forced by their circumstances to commodify their bodies, about which they are obviously unhappy, but are forced to smile no matter what.

The impact of their oppression is seen even more clearly in the final scene of the play, in which a child has internalized and exaggerated all of the “Beautiful Señoritas’” beauty practices, in a way that the audience is meant to find grotesque and which deeply impacts all the women onstage.

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Posted by on June 9, 2013 in Uncategorized


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