This history of Colombian beauty and beauty pageants extends its analysis beyond the contemporary televised form of the pageant to consider the historical basis of its morphology. Michael Edward Stanfield argues that Colombian beauty serves an ameliorating purpose alongside a masculine, bestial violence. Feminine beauty develops in a Colombia racked with violence from its inception, always yearning to see itself otherwise. Stanfield draws primarily from nineteenth-century travelers' accounts and newspaper and magazine coverage, particularly publications aimed at a feminine audience. Stanfield provides a helpful resource for researchers looking to familiarize themselves with this aspect of Colombian print culture of the last 150 years.

Stanfield proposes a structural basis for the morphology of beauty culture in Colombia, which he argues waxes and wanes with the intensification of conflict: as “the beast” rears its ugly head, Colombians seek refuge in beauty as an aesthetic...

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