This is a class blog run by Dr. Carolina Acosta-Alzuru and her students in the course "Telenovelas, Culture and Society" at the University of Georgia during Spring 2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Today in class, Dr. A talked about the vanity of Venezuelans and how the public fully expect the protagonists (and almost every other character) of telenovelas to be beautiful. Obviously, it's very rare that the characters of a telenovela are not extremely attractive, but Venezuelans seem to take the cake. The telenovela that I am watching, Gabriela, does show the protagonists being very attractive, but one of the antagonists is rather gross looking.

Ernesto, a friend of Gabriela's father, is a manager at the factory she works at and also happens to be lusting after her. However, Ernesto slicks his hair back like Danny Devito in Matilda, dresses in frumpy suits, and is very thin with a creepy goatee. To me, he looks like a sleazy car sales man. In my mind, even the protagonists should be beautiful in order to tug at the heartstrings of some and to confuse the protagonist. However, I do think that Colombian telenovelas put less of an emphasis on beauty.

Even the glamour of beauty is very evident in the Venezuelan telenovelas. In Gabriela, the factory life is not glamourize, and even the rich people in the telenovela didn't seem to have the glitzy flair that the women in La Mujer Perfecta seem to possess. Perhaps it is just the style, but one can tell that there is a distinct difference between the emphasis on beauty in these two countries.

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