God Save the Queen
To some, summer’s start smells like a sizzling carne asada, or chlorine wafting up from a jacuzzi somewhere in South Padre. To me, it smells of expensive elderly perfume with a hint of moderate-to-extreme conservatism. It’s late April, and Black and White season is finally upon us.
The B&W is, for those who have been living under a rock, the closest our beloved San Pedro gets to an episode of Gossip Girl. Annually, around eighteen teenage girls from an existing pool of Country Club members sign up to be its elite batch of princesses. For one unforgettable (and admittedly fun) night, they are herded onstage and paraded around for all their friends and family to see, while members vote for whomever they deem best fit to be Queen. But… Queen of what, exactly?
Queen of walking in heels? Of smiling and waving? Of being the most perfect, daintiest child of the oligarchy? I try to find progress in their empowerment, only to come upon a flaw in my reasoning: a princess can only be if she mirrors the image the Club so desperately holds on to. It was my grandmother all those years ago, and it’s someone’s granddaughter today. If these girls are taught that the extent of their power goes only as far as planning brunches, how can they know they are capable of anything more? How can we support this and expect a paradigm shift?
Some of my closest friends and family members were a part of this process, and I remain assured they are not a significant part of the problem. The issue is rooted in the way we (myself included) minimize their countless talents and personalities, weighing their worth based not on actions but last names. It is outdated and superficial, and yet it is happening all around Mexico. The coronation should be a celebration of potential, not an attempt at creating brands out of sixteen-year-olds.