From the New York Times, interesting article on Rachel.
Interesting she wore the jumpsuit in the National Costume section - good on her!
The article is about how she was booed so often by the audience.
[In case link is time limited - heres the text without pics!]
Why They Booed Her in Mexico
- (Marc Lacey)
NOWHERE in the United States Constitution is there any mention of Miss U.S.A. She has no authority to declare war. She does not build border walls or round up undocumented immigrants. Those things are left to others, none of whom wear a sash.
But that fact seemed to get lost during the recent Miss Universe pageant, when Mexicans greeted Rachel Smith, Miss U.S.A., with one chorus after another of boos. Pageant officials said Ms. Smith, 22, was rattled by the denunciations, which echoed other booing she had received during her monthlong stay in Mexico, notably when she showed off a sleek, white Elvis outfit as her national costume on a runway on one of Mexico City’s grand avenues.
On pageant night, the wrath continued. As Ms. Smith was chosen for the final five, despite an awful fall in her evening dress, the crowd grew more boisterous, especially because Miss Mexico, Rosa María Ojeda Cuen, had been eliminated. Donald Trump, who owns the pageant, said he was nervous the audience might storm the stage. “The level of hostility was amazing,” he said, comparing it to the fury on display at the end of a disputed prizefight.
Mario López, the TV actor who was the show’s host, did his best to calm the crowd during a commercial break. “I said in Spanish: ‘Hey, listen, Mexico, the world is watching. Let’s show the world we’re really good hosts,’ ” he recalled.
The problem was that this was no simple matter of bad manners toward a guest, but an upwelling of a national angst, many Mexicans will tell you.
Mexicans admire the United States and loathe it in the very next breath. Well-heeled Mexicans struggle to get their little ones into American schools. Down-and-out Mexicans risk their lives to cross the border. Yet all still refer to those from El Norte as “gringos,” a term that dates back to the days when American troops were on Mexican soil.
“This is a symptom of Mexico’s schizophrenia when it comes to the United States,” said Jorge G. Castañeda, a former foreign minister of Mexico who is now a professor at New York University. “We are on the one hand more linked than ever to the United States — sometimes for better and sometimes for worse — and at the same time we are now more irreverent, discourteous and inhospitable, which is an un-Mexican sentiment.”
It is not easy to live life attached to a behemoth, Mexicans chronically complain. One’s culture is often eclipsed. One has to stand by as people who live in the former Mexican territories of Texas, California, New Mexico and Arizona speak ill of Mexico.
So Mexicans miss no chance to stick it to the States.
The last time they hosted the Miss Universe pageant, in 1993, the same thing occurred. Miss Mexico did not make the semifinals. Mexicans took out their anger by booing Kenya Moore, that pageant’s Miss U.S.A.
Three years ago, Mexican soccer fans began shouting “Osama! Osama!” when the United States soccer team faced Mexico in an Olympic qualifying match. When Mexico won, the revelry was intense.
So, Mexicans say, the booing at this pageant was never about Miss U.S.A. herself. It was those letters on her sash.
“This was about immigration and so many things,” said Nicolas Corte, 23, a student who was in the crowd when Miss Smith was booed in her Elvis outfit. “She represented the United States and many people are thinking negative things about the country right now.”
Mr. Corte and others said the complaints included arrogance by the Bush administration and frustration over American immigration policy, the war in Iraq and the historical grievances Mexico harbors against its neighbor.
The Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington will hold a conference this week titled, “The United States and Mexico: Strategic Partners or Distant Neighbors?” It will bring together officials from both countries, who will no doubt agree that the answer to the question is both.
Perhaps they ought to invite Ms. Smith, an aspiring journalist, who is a bit down on Mexico right now. She said in an interview that she had vacationed in Mexico several times before the pageant but would wait a good while before going back.
“I knew it wasn’t about me, a 22-year-old girl from a small town in Tennessee who just wants to help the world,” she said by phone. “But you can’t help but take it personally.”
She may have missed that there was applause mixed in with the booing when she picked herself back up from her fall, which some Mexicans pointed to as a reflection perhaps of the other side of the story — the admiration and respect that many Mexicans had for Ms. Smith and, alongside their frustration, for her country.
“I was embarrassed that my countrymen were booing,” said Javier Razo, 57, a businessman who was in the rowdy auditorium. “If it was a speech by a politician, I could understand it. But this was a pageant. I hope she knows it wasn’t about her at all.”