Meet 27-year-old Nayara Justino, an Afro-Brazilian who, in 2013, was selected out of thousands of contestants and by public vote to be Brazil’s next Globeleza. The Globeleza is a ‘carnival queen’ of sorts, crowned by Brazil’s largest television network, Globo, to be a beautiful, sexualized and highly visible representation of Brazil’s legendary carnival festivities. The position opens doors in Brazil’s entertainment industry for modeling, acting and other roles.
In the video below it is clear why Nayara was chosen. She looks absolutely stunning as she sambas for the judges. When she was announced winner, she became the first dark-skinned Globeleza in Brazil’s history.
But it wasn’t long before the backlash began. After her first Globeleza TV campaign aired, she was called everything from a monkey to a gangster. “This type of woman should be in my kitchen doing the cooking” Nayara’s boyfriend Cairo Jardim says when recalling the tone of the backlash. And it came from both black and white Brazilians.
Shortly after winning the title Nayara was stripped of it and replaced by a fair skinned Globeleza who was not chosen by public vote. To this day Globo has not explained why she lost the title although many observers, including Nayara’s own friends and family, believe her dark skin is the reason.
Nayara teamed up with the Guardian to do a short 9‑minute documentary about her experience. You can watch it below.
Ladies, what are your thoughts?