Gift for future Miss Mexico
December 16, 2008 8:02 AM   Subscribe

Gift ideas for a Mexican beauty queen

I'll be spending Christmas in Mexico in the home of a retired schoolteacher whose beauty queen granddaughter lives with her. We'll be helping each other with our second languages for the week. The only gift ideas that come to mind for Navidad are 1) something from the liquor store 2) something from a museum gift shop 3) some clothing accessory.
posted by levijk to Human Relations (10 answers total)
As a beauty she probably has easy access to material things - why not a Roberto Bolano book?
posted by four panels at 8:26 AM on December 16, 2008

Yeah, you really don't stand a chance of getting her attention* via material things. The competition is fierce. Instead offer her something the competition can't -- a book would be appropriate given the context, but you might push yourself to try to offer her another way to experience her second language: Robert Wallace's _Writing Poems_ or Hollander's _Rhyme's Reason_ and their Spanish language counterparts. She writes a poem or two in English while you write a poem or two in Spanish.

One reads "beauty queen" and assumes attention getting is a goal.
posted by notyou at 8:46 AM on December 16, 2008

Im not sure that this is the situation, or that you'd know enough about her or the trend to pick something, but it is possible that where she lives in mexico she might not have access to name brand stuff or trendy things like they'd see in the magazines. if this were the case something material might be an easy win gift. (probably only works though if you know a little about her size/age, the city, and fashion).

otherwise i think the museum gift shop idea is great because they usually have some pretty nifty stuff that she'd be unlikely to already have and typically everyone finds it interesting/appealing/tasteful
posted by nzydarkxj at 9:22 AM on December 16, 2008

If she lives in Mexico City or another big city like Guadalajara or Monterrey, she might have access to a lot of name brand things, but there's not as much variety as in the US.

Most Mexicans I know (myself included) love US drugstores, they have many beauty products we don't get here. If you want to give her some beauty-related stuff, a nice set of body or face creams or hair treatment might be nice. Something from Sephora would be awesome, specially if it comes in a branded bag or package.

Don't get her a book. It's much more difficult to pick something she'd like. Also, if she's like my ex beauty queen cousin, she won't care for it (sadly, some stereotypes are true). The museum gift shop sounds much more interesting.
posted by clearlydemon at 10:06 AM on December 16, 2008

Something unique. You are in Olympia, so maybe you could make it to the next I Heart Rummage, on Dec 21 in Seattle? Also, when I am really stuck for a gift, particularly for the opposite sex, I go to one of those indie oriented boutiquey stores on Ballard Avenue here and talk to the staff. If I can describe a couple of things about the giftee, the salesperson and I can usually come up with something perfect.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:13 AM on December 16, 2008

I've known several beauty queens from Mexico. I'm not sure that there is a specific object that would be universally acceptable for all of the ones I know. It depends on age, tastes, education, personal style, urban/rural, geography, socio-economics, ethnicity, religion, you name it. None of those details appear in your question nor could they be deduced.

I've known one or two that were young (teens), wealthy, semi-rural, hispanic, materialistic, shallow, into bubble-gum pop, and hypersexual.

I've know one that was 22, a law student, prudishly piously catholic, lower class (pagents had been her way to get scholarships), mestiza, rural (going to school in the city), stylish, and generally cool.

I've known others that fell in between. So what is this one like?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:48 AM on December 16, 2008

I'd buy a gift related to learning the English language. Only logical
posted by Ironmouth at 11:20 AM on December 16, 2008

Guessing wildly, but the two beauty queen Mexican women that I know both like these things, all from the top of my head...

MAC and Urban Decay cosmetics. German chocolate. Lush soaps. Fuzzy warm scarves. French chocolate. iPods and iTunes gift cards. Swiss chocolate. Japanese cell phone charms. Licorice. Romance novels in English.

Mexicans already have the best (local) jewelry and have access to all the usual (imported) designer stuff.
posted by rokusan at 1:21 PM on December 16, 2008

four panels and notyou and Ironmouth: I consider books an ideal gift...for myself. However clearlydemon has a point: I've only spoken to her once so I don't have the confidence to choose a book, even though it makes logical sense.

nzydarkxj and Pollomacho: I know what she looks like (!!!) and some about her background, but not enough to determine her tastes.

Slarty Bartfast: unfortuantely I leave before Dec. 21st, so I Heart Rummage is not an option (though kudos to you for noticing my locale. Viva Adams.).

Rokusan: Every female I've ever met likes chocolate, even my mother who is allergic, even my feminist cousin who hates female stereotypes, even my childhood dog who couldn't metabolize the stuff. I have an acquaintance who works at Theo, so I'll check in out.

Ultimately, I think drugstore facial products and salon hair products win the day.
posted by levijk at 12:57 AM on December 17, 2008

My favorite part of this question: we all know Mexican beauty queens.
posted by clearlydemon at 11:04 AM on December 18, 2008

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