Nayara Justino thought her dreams had come true when she was selected as the Globeleza carnival queen in 2013 after a public vote on one of Brazil’s biggest TV shows. But some regarded her complexion to be too dark to be an acceptable queen. Nayara and her family wonder what this says about racial roles in modern Brazil
“There are very few Black women who become carnival queens. White women with straight hair and a good body make more commercial sense,” she explains in a Guardian documentary. In 2013, Nayara won the title of Globeleza carnival queen changing her life instantly.
“People came on my Facebook page, calling me ‘monkey’ and ‘darkie’ … it was the racism that hurt me most of all. And the racism wasn’t just from White people, it came from Black people too”, she reveals. Nayara says the backlash from Brazilians over her victory led to her being relieved of her crown.
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