Denise Bidot, Francisca Lachapel and Carlos Lamarche Talk Beauty and Diversity
Puerto Rican model and TV personality Denise Bidot appeared on a fascinating panel titled “The Beauty of Diversity” at People en Español's Festival with Dominican TV host Francisca Lachapel and Dominican fashion and beauty journalist Carlos Lamarche. The boricua beauty said she is grateful that new generations are more confident and embrace their diverse looks. “I didn't see anyone on television or media that looked like me, and it took me my whole life to appreciate who I was — my music, my culture, my family,” Bidot said. “I thank God that my 11-year-old daughter — who has super curly hair and has half her hair painted blue — is so confident and proud of who she is.” Her daughter recently walked the runway with Bidot at New York Fashion Week, and she said her daughter is an example of the way things are changing for the better. “It's better late than never!” she added.
The chat, moderated by People en Español's fashion and beauty director Ursula Carranza, also addressed how the appreciation and definition of beauty is becoming more inclusive. “The world changed. Before people wanted to look like the blonde model, there was only one stereotype of beauty. Nowadays we are all beautiful, beauty comes in many forms,” Lamarche said. “We have to stop the discourse of hatred on social media and start having a more open mind and supporting each other.”
Afro-Latina TV host Francisca Lachapel also emphasized that women with curly hair are starting to celebrate their natural locks and feel less pressured to straighten their hair to conform to outdated standards of beauty and elegance. “Naomi Campbell said that the fashion world was very racist and it's true. Then they started to bring models like Arlenis Sosa,” Lamarche said. “The industry knew that it had to change the discourse of the perfect model. They needed unique stories like Francisca Lachapel's and Denise Bidot's.”
The former Nuestra Belleza Latina judge also talked about the power of confidence and self-esteem. “There is no ‘on' switch, it's not like everyday you are going to wake up and feel amazing, that's impossible. I am a human being, I am a woman. There are days when I wake up and I have to encourage myself by telling myself positive words. People say fashion is superficial but it's the first thing people notice about you, and I always want to portray who I really am,” she said. Bidot also shows raw honesty on social media. You will see her dancing and showing her cellulite. “It took me my whole life to love myself and nobody will take that away,” she assured.
Lachapel, who is a former Nuestra Belleza Latina queen, said she broke stereotypes of televised pageants. She knows she wasn't your typical winner. “What really conquers hearts is what you have to give the world,” the Dominican star said. Lachapel argued she wasn't the prettiest contestant on the show, but the audience connected with her story of overcoming obstacles, her sense of humor and her spontaneity. “I try to always keep my feet on the ground. I continue to be the Francisca who came from her little town of Azua and is living her dream,” she said. “That essence is all that matters. You should give light to every person you meet and try to better someone's life with a smile or a word of encouragement. That's the true expression of beauty.”