Beauty pageants occur in a prison called Buen Pastor in, Bogotá Colombia where young and older woman have the dream to win this incredible beauty pageant. Many women in Colombia are involved with the civil war that’s in the process, and with drug dealers. They traffic drugs by swallowing capsules of drugs or by faking being pregnant and stuffing themselves with drugs. The play portrayed women as sluts and whores just because they come from a difficult background and the fact they are Latinas. “Another Word for Beauty” by Jose Rivera, composer Hector Buitrago and, director Steve Cosson is a not a play for people who can’t stand profanity.
The play focused on the fact that beauty is so hard to define, but in each person’s point of view it was a different meaning – one that comes from the heart and that organ’s delicate life experiences. Each woman in Buen Pastor has faced those kinds of experiences and their lives have been filled with much heartache and regret.
But it was hard to fully soak up all the beauty of those experiences, mostly due to the play’s excessive and distracting profanity and its tendency to portray Latinas as sluts and violent woman. The play is a new work from Jose Rivera, the Hispanic playwright perhaps best known for writing the screenplay “Marisol” the 1993 film based on Marisol life in New York without her angel. Much of that film’s ease is missing here and instead, we have white people described disrespectfully, and inappropriate language was used during the whole play and even the audience was disgusted by it. The actor (Dan Domingues) played Jeimi in “Another Word for Beauty” his scenes seemed so unnecessary because it mostly involved sexual relation. All the women praised like he was some sort of god because of his physical appearance. They drooled for him and it made them look like a dog, that wasn’t imperative at all. The play didn’t really have a connection to the title until the end of the play which was my favorite part of the whole play because; it finally felt like a connection to the actors that I think was needed.
“Another Word for Beauty” showed the bright side of the beauty pageant in the prison of Buen Pastor, but in real life it’s not all dancing and being there for each other. The play prettied up the view of the beauty pageants from Colombia, whereas I would have liked to see…The history described in the play was accurate but in real life, would have been harsher than what was portrayed, based on an article I read. The women in Buen Pastor live in overcrowded cells they don’t have access to water all the time, lack of basic health care and, illnesses that they ignore. To me, beauty means respecting yourself and people around you. In that case, this play – with its foul language and disrespect towards its own female characters – would be better called “Another Word for Ugly.”