Latinx beauty queens: Cultural leaders in the business world, LGBTQ+ community, and the beauty industry

Following her halftime show at the Super Bowl, Rihanna continues to rule with a new Fenty campaign starring married former beauty queens Miss Argentina and Miss Puerto Rico.
Rihanna, Fabiola Valentín and Mariana Varela

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna launched a new perfume, Eau de Parfum, in which the brand’s newest product is endorsed by many including former pageant queens, Mariana Varela of Argentina and Fabiola Valentín of Puerto Rico. The story line for the new perfume focuses on the love story between Varela and Valentín who revealed they were married last October.

Miss Puerto Rico shared the campaign via her personal Instagram account on February 1st, writing, “It’s beautiful when two bodies come together with love.” The video campaign includes a series of romantic shots of the two walking on a beach, through a collection of flora surrounding what looks like a villa; possibly to capture the atmosphere of the Thai city where they first met.

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The married couple are shown intimately hugging, laying in a hammock, holding hands, kissing and spraying the perfume.

The women discuss their connection in a voiceover, stating that they “connected” and met at a pageant in Thailand. They claimed that despite the fact that they were “competing against each other,” they immediately grew close and discovered everything there was to know about one another, even how they enjoyed their coffee to be prepared.

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In the voiceover, one of the women explains, “That moment brought us closer… Everything kept flowing and turning into this beautiful friendship which has grown now even more as wives, as a couple. And that is magical, to find someone like that in your life.”

The women describe the scent of the new Fenty perfume as “woodsy; sweet but soft at the same time.”

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Varela and Valentín met in Thailand while competing in the 2020 Miss Grand International (MGI) beauty pageant for their respective countries. Apparently the two were secretly dating throughout the competition journey whilst both making it to the Top 10 of MGI.

The two never publicly acknowledged that they were anything other than friends; instead, they frequently posted on social media about their close friendship.

The pair got married on October 28, 2022 and after keeping their relationship private for about two years after the big competition, the power couple revealed their marriage on Instagram.

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Pleasantly shocking and surprising fans, celebrities, and fellow pageant figures along with the pageant organization itself, the two received a flood of public congratulatory comments on their post.

Mariana Varela (Alex Mertz/The Miss Universe Organization), Rihanna (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images) and Fabiola Valentín (Ramon Zayas/AP)

Women empowerment, support, and admiration is emphasized throughout the campaign on many different levels.

Rihanna, Miss Super Bowl, pop and hip-hop icon, Barbadian entrepreneur, uses her name and company to not only promote its newest product but to share the love story of a queer Latinx couple.

It is important to note the significance of this representation in the media as same-sex marriage has only been legal in Puerto Rico since 2015 and Argentina since 2010.

Mariana Varela and Fabiola Valentín proudly showcase their love in spite of the stigma and barriers that the beauty and pageant industries may not completely embrace.

Even though it is 2023, the struggle for equal representation of minorities, the LGBTQ+ community, and women in business is still crucial and significant. We can observe and can be proud of how all communities and groups are represented in a single campaign. This campaign is off to a terrific start, and we hope that the support will continue in future ads and other brands.



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