Marcia OchoaQueen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela

Duke University Press, 2014

by Alejandra Bronfman on October 30, 2014

Marcia Ochoa

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[Cross-posted from New Books in Latin American StudiesMarcia Ochoa‘s book Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela (Duke University Press, 2014) is a detailed ethnography of Venezuelan modernity and nationhood that brings two kinds of feminine performances into the same analytical frame. Her focus on transformistas and beauty queens allows her to draw relationships among power, beauty, violence, and space. The book uses different orders of magnitude, moving from the national and transnational through the street and the runway and coming to rest finally on the body to work through arguments about mediation and the production of femininity. Ochoa’s work contributes to scholarship on politics and gender in Venezuela by understanding them as bound together and mutually constitutive. Along the way there are some searing and moving portraits of the people who are her subjects.

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