Settler Colonial and Indigenous Geographies

Repurposing Beauty Pageants: The Colonial Geographies of Filipina Pageants in Canada

This paper considers how notions of beauty and performances at pageants transform as they move across different colonial times and spaces. It examines how gender, racial, and sexual subjectivities take shape among cisgender Filipina women who participate and organize community-based pageants on the traditional and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver, Canada). I analyze observations and interviews conducted with Filipina/os who organize and participate in community pageants. Based on this examination, I argue that spatial processes make apparent the shifting nature of gendered, racialized, and sexualized pageant performances. Pageant ideals change with migration as white heteropatriarchal logics, which are enmeshed in settler colonial projects of Canada, make grooves into the ways Filipino gendered sexualities come to be in Canada. More broadly, the paper speaks to the ways in which power works with and through space through the logics of race, gender, and sexuality. It outlines how racialized women’s feminine heterosexuality is made legible by liberal scripts designed for immigrants in the white settler colonial context of Canada. Thus, the paper sets in motion questions of how intersections of power are shaped by contemporary forms of colonialism.

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Volume 37 Issue 1

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