The British-born journalist William English Carson (1870-1940) spent four months in Mexico, in 1908-1909, collecting material for his “Mexico, the Wonderland of the South“, never straying far from the railways. Always an enthusiastic traveler, many of his views about Mexicans will strike modern readers as stereotypical. For example, Carson devoted an entire chapter to “The Mexican Woman“. Many of Carson’s pronouncements read today as outrageous over-generalizations. Select quotes from the chapter include:
- “no foreigner, unless he be associated with diplomacy, is likely to have any chance of studying and judging the Mexican women”
- “the Mexican girl has but two things in life to occupy her, love and religion”
- “As a rule, the Mexican women are not beautiful”.
After due analysis, the latter claim can be swiftly disposed of! See, for example, this article on MexConnect.
Want to find out which state in Mexico has the most beautiful young señoritas? In chapter 13 of Geo-Mexico: the geography and dynamics of modern Mexico, we use locational quotients to analyze the geography of beauty pageant winners in Mexico
This is an edited version of an article originally published on MexConnect, partly based on chapter 52–“A place of contrasts”–of Lake Chapala Through the Ages, an anthology of travellers’ tales (Sombrero Books, 2008).