MEXICO: Lucha Libre Femenil

Lucha libre (wrestling) is one of the most beloved sports in Mexico, coming a close second to soccer. Men can make a lucrative living of fighting professionally in the ring, but only some forty women fighters or luchadoras have begun to close the gender gap.  The atmosphere of a fight night is however not tainted by the sport’s lack of recognition. The stars of the evening enter the arena to deafening music, clouds of dry ice, and a blinding light show to the delight of a frenzied crowd. Dulce Garcia, otherwise known as ‘Sexy Star’, is one of them. Her official debut was in 2006 and she was particularly lucky for her parents’ support in her career as a professional luchadora, which is somewhat untypical in Mexican society where gender roles are still often rigidly defined. The traditonal masks or mascaras, have been used since the beginnings of lucha libre and have a historical significance in Mexico dating back to the time of the Aztecs. All Mexican wrestlers start their career wearing a colorful mask such as this and only during their careers will they be unmasked by an opponent, which is often seen as the ultimate insult. Arena Coliseo, located in the historical part of Mexico City, is the oldest and most traditional lucha libre venue.

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