A few days ago I had the opportunity to discuss the Miss BumBum pageant with an actual Brazilian. He gave me the lowdown on it.
I asked him, for example, why the pageant is named Miss BumBum. Since this is Brazil, and the proceedings are all in Portuguese, shouldn’t it be Senhorita BumBum?
He explained that the worldwide prestige of American beauty pageants has been so influential, it just sounds classier and more prestigious for a Brazilian pageant to have the title Miss Something-or-other.
Let’s hear it for cultural imperialism!
We exchanged some interesting anthropological facts about sexual selection, as it operates via preferences for different body parts in different cultures. Apparently bottoms are very big in Brazil.
My Brazilian friend also told me that my pronunciation of Brazilian Portuguese is wrong. I have been saying ['b?mb?m] (short “u” sound) when the correct pronunciation is ['bu:mbu:m] (long “u”). My deepest apologies to any Brazilian listeners who may have thought I was making their elegant language the butt of a joke.
Having cleared up those points, I promise I shall now leave the topic behind.