Darlings, it’s the most wonderful time of the year once again; that brief period when starry-eyed women with big goals and even bigger pieces of luggage all hop on a plane, fly to a previously agreed-upon location, and then participate in an international drag revue for money. And of course, our very favorite part of this silly little shitshow is the parade of national costumes, which bases its traditions on ethnic folkwear, showgirls, superheros, drag queens, strippers, and street festivals. Sometimes all on the same gal at the same time! Don’t ask why, darlings! You’ll only get a headache!
Every year, certain motifs and themes play themselves out. You have the goddesses, the virgins, the warriors and the brides every year. You have the bird-women and the showgirls, of course. But one theme that plays out across the board is GO BIG OR GO HOME. And for so many of these gals, that means months of core-strengthening, just so she can sport the infrastructure of national pride literally strapped to her back.
Ladies? Come on out and introduce yourselves.
“Come visit beautiful ECUADOR! Our skirts are fans and our necks can support five times our body weight!”
“Guatemalan women laugh demurely at Ecuadorian girls and their silly bragging. At twelve, we have our spines replaced with titanium, allowing every Guatemalan woman the ability to carry an entire parade float on her back at a moment’s notice. Five times your body weight? Bitch, give me a cliff and a strong wind and I’ll fucking fly you home.”
“MALAYSIA! Where we have … big… LEAVES! And… wear eggs on our … hips?
What the fuck is all this?”
“Peruvian women are all sun goddesses. We know nothing of back pain. The rest of these fools are lame.”
“Come to Belgium, where we like our showgirls darkly ominous and unhealthily obsessed with heraldry!”
“Come and enjoy the natural delights of Bolivia, where you will be routinely attacked by old people, leopards, parrots and our famous Bolivian Lake Dragons!”
“Canada. Land of SNOW AND FANTASY.
And I swear to Christ, if one more person tells me I look like a turkey in drag…”
Miss Costa Rica
“Did someone say SUN GODDESS? Go home, Peru. In Costa Rica, you’d be good for ironing my feathers.”
“SPAIN! We’ll get you so fucked up you can’t even tell time!”
“VENEZUELAN LADY-SHIELDS UP. HOMELAND DEFENDED. PREPARE TO LAUNCH KNEE ROCKETS.”
“Yeah, the feathers and big skirts are nice and all, but if you’re not able to carry the HORNS OF INFINITY on your hips, you don’t deserve to call yourself a woman; not in Vietnam, anyway.”
Miss Trinidad & Tobago
“You cows over-complicate everything. I’m gonna shake my ass in feathers and call it good.”
Miss Cayman Islands
“These other girls, they’re so misguided. If you’re going to kill hundreds of birds in the name of national pride, sexiness, and a cash prize, the very least you could do is honor their memory by dressing up as one of them.
The Cayman Islands. We’re dignified.”
[Photo Credit: Patrick Prather/Miss Universe, Frank L Szelwach/Miss Universe]