Bárbara Cabrera, the Argentine candidate for Miss Universe: “The contest is a platform for women to raise their voices”

Behind the scenes of the Miss Universe contest from the perspective of Argentine model Bárbara Cabrera

Next Saturday, January 14, the 71st edition of miss Universethe famous beauty pageant that is taking place in the city of New Orleans, belonging to the state of Louisiana, in the United States. Among the 85 applicants is Barbara Cabrerathe representative of the Argentina, that this Wednesday the 11th will be presented in the preliminary stage of the contest, of which there will be a “top 16” on the way to the grand final.

“We are with the rehearsals for the preliminary, where we compete in swimsuits, gala costumes and we also show the national costume, which in my case is a motif that represents the Iguazú Falls and was designed by the man from Corrientes. Horace Gomez”, the model tells teleshow at a stop in a busy schedule of activities. Barbara, 27, has been concentrating since January 2 to meet the demands of the miss Universewhose final will be broadcast on January 14 on the channel YouTube of the contest and also for DirecTV (at 10 p.m. Argentina time).

“There is no time for recreation: every day we wake up at around 5 in the morning to put on our makeup, comb our hair, get ready. We have to be 10 points, because that is also taken into account in the competition. And at night they tell us what we are going to do the next day. We already know that we have rehearsals every day, that they are very long: today, for example, we start at 10 in the morning and we just finish, at 5 in the afternoon, ”explains Cabrera, at the same time that he says that, as soon as he finishes this communication, you should run to the hotel room -which you share with carla romeroMiss Universe Uruguay-, shower and change for a dinner with Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatipthe transgender model who is the current owner of the Miss Universe brand.

Bárbara Cabrera, the Argentine representative in Miss Universe (Photo: Instagram)
Bárbara Cabrera, the Argentine representative in Miss Universe (Photo: Instagram)

As for the protocol activities involved in the contest, the participants tour the city of New Orleans to immerse themselves in its culture, its gastronomy and, especially, its carnival: the famous Mardi Gras. “Some girls were selected to participate. I was there the day before yesterday and it was a lot of fun: we did the entire parade, which is 2 kilometers long, and all the people in the city were crazy, hoping to see the representatives of each country. There were people who yelled at me: ‘Argentinaaaa!’. It was an incredible experience because the city is very expectant with the contest, ”she says.

Every time the miss Universe They circulate through the city, a huge security device escorts them. “There are always a lot of people waiting for us in the hotel lobby, when leaving rehearsals, in restaurants… everywhere! We just got to the hotel and it’s full of press”, says Bárbara, while excited shouting can be heard on the other side. “I focus on what I have to do and I have it set at the goal -he trusts-. But I am also enjoying everything that I am experiencing here. It is a unique experience, which only happens once in a lifetime”.

One of Bárbara Cabrera’s dress tests in Miss Universe (Video: Instagram)

There is little room in the agenda of the models to leave the contest for a moment. But each one has her method, her cable to the ground. “There is no possibility of disconnecting, but my leisure time is at night, late, when I return from dinner… When I arrive at the hotel, I take a hot shower and make a phone call with my boyfriend and my family . It helps me to connect with the people I love, because I miss them”, says Bárbara.

According to his account, the present edition of miss Universe It is focused “on female leadership, on female empowerment. The contest is a platform for women to raise their voices and to be an example for others who want to fulfill their dreams, who want to work for their goals, their purposes. That is why what the contest is looking for is a representative who is a transformational leader, who can represent what an empowered woman is and the changes that are taking place in society in this regard.”

Bárbara Cabrera doing a test with the “national costume” to compete in Miss Universe: it is a design that represents the Iguazú Falls and was made by Horacio Gómez from Corrientes (Photo: Instagram)

The contest started in 1952, and which Argentina won only once ten years later at the hands of Norma Beatriz Nolan, has a marked social aspect that requires models to get involved with local associations. “I was working with Daisy Barrientos to disseminate the incredible work he does and collaborate with volunteers – Cabrera highlights -. It seems super important to me that Miss Universe is also a platform where you can highlight the work of different organizations.”

Barbara began modeling when she was 18 years old and soon after she entered the national Miss Universe pageant to represent Argentina. “I did the representation of Buenos Aires but I couldn’t win. From then on I thought that she would never be able to come again. And suddenly now, at 27 years old, I am fulfilling a dream. Every year I watched the contest on TV until I decided to come. And now I’m here, it’s a flash ”, sums up who had put modeling on hold at the beginning of the pandemic.

“During the time in quarantine I clicked and said: ‘I want to have my company, I want to develop as a professional.’ And there I began to think about developing my clothing brand, which is what I do. Little by little I resumed modeling and started again with the contests, which served me as an international experience to now be here. That is very important to be able to understand this, because if you don’t come here and it becomes more difficult for you to keep up with him, which is very demanding”, explains the model who also dreams of being a television host in the future.

Between rehearsals and social commitments, the Miss Universe competitors have fun (Photo: Instagram)
Between rehearsals and social commitments, the Miss Universe competitors have fun (Photo: Instagram)

“When I arrived the first day I already started with everything that was the tests of the dresses that they give us, the shoes, the bathing suit… The movement was very intense and we also had many interviews with all the staff. It is not just about coming and modeling and you also have to prove everything you say”, says Bárbara about the appearance that goes beyond beauty and that the juries also analyze.

“In these years I have been working on getting to know myself, on developing myself as a person, as a woman. I am bigger and I feel that now I have more conditions to be able to compete. It’s very strong and you have to be very sure of yourself, know English, study public speaking, body language. I was doing it and finally it happened ”, she tells her with joy about her development and facing the expected final.

– Do you have faith?

“Yes, I have faith. Still, the most important thing for me is to qualify for the “top 16″. After that, it starts to get more complicated. That’s where it starts to flow and let it be what God wants, right? It is not easy: she is a girl per country, they are all very beautiful, they are all quite prepared to compete, like me.

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