Perfecting the Backline Betty Experience!

The Backline Betty can become the Backline Babe!  

I am most definitely happy with my role as the Backline Betty.  With the knowledge of the money expected to be spent for a trip to Trinidad Carnival (airline tickets, accommodation, fete tickets, taxi/car rental, food, etc.), an exorbitant frontline costume is the least of my concerns!

... Although, I hope to live the Frontline High Maintenance Over Achiever (F.H.O) experience some day either during Caribana or Miami Carnival.  The cost is about $300 to $320.  

 With five years experience as a Backline Betty in Trinidad, St.Lucia, Toronto and Miami carnivals, I think it's time to perfect the Backline Betty experience, to Backline Babe!

Here are some of my tips and suggestions ... 

1.  Get your makeup done!  - Although I never stress over this aspect, I usually go for a very simple face.  I just can't see myself waking up early to prep, knowing full well that I even struggle to wake up from a night of partying to make it on the road.  LOL!  Yet, in Toronto especially,  I have seen some of the most made up faces.  So maybe make an appointment with a local makeup artist or get a free make over in the mall.  

Even your shoes for the road ... have some fun and decorate!

2.  Engage Spectators  - There would be no carnival, if it weren't for spectators, so engage them!  This is the first year, I realized that spectators are an integral part of carnival.  

During Caribana, from the minute we got off the train to hit the streets, my group of 5 girls only were inundated with requests for photo ops.  I suppose with no men around, or in sight ... asking any one of us was so much easier.  Here is the scene .. tourists, yeah, even Chinese (just to show the distance and scope), mothers/fathers with children (One father told his lil' 5 year old son, go, go take the picture, you'll thank me when you're older.  LOL!)  and men, lots of MEN (Male friends had to each get the picture taken with a group of 5 ladies in costume), all wanted a picture with us!  ... And the minute we stopped for one picture, another person would come to ask one of us in the group of 5.  So it was truly an endearing experience!

3. Make Eye Contact / Chat with a Spectator - Usually, when I hit the road, by the time the music and liquor gets into my system, I forget the world around me. I'm oblivious to everyone and everything!   I'm in my zone.  LOL!  So again, I'm learning to engage the crowd of spectators. Just so I never miss an opportunity to connect.   

During Miami Carnival, I happened to stand close to two guys.   One had a gold grill in his mouth, and that was so apparent by the big cheesy grin and excitement on his face.  So I put my hand on his shoulder and said,  "If you like it so much, next year you should join a band!" LOL!

Just think, if he were an American boy who just came out for the parade, or a day of excitement, maybe by being social ... I've just encouraged him to participate and enjoy our culture!  

4. Take Pictures with your Audience - Whether they're a spectator on the side of the road or a reveler in the band, if they are admiring you, take the picture / let them tief a wine! Give them something to remember you, ok,  your beautiful costume then!  LOL!  There are always takers, men especially!

5. Perfect your Stance - Stand tall.  Elongate your back.  Push back your shoulders, which then pops out the boobies, and sticks out the bumsie! Give your back some curvature.  Just think America's Next Top Model, with Tyra Banks in the back of your head!  LOL!


6. Smile. - A lil' advice from Wendy Williams during an episode with twin sisters wondering why one could not pick up men like her sister, "Smile with your teeth, not just a lip smile!"   So open up, don't be shy!  I'm still working on that.  LOL! Even ask "How you doin?"  LOL!

7. Wear your flag, represent your island -  Show people where you are from.  You're your island's (country's) ambassador at that point!  Let them differentiate that we're not all from Trinidad.  That (your country, what ever it is) has some nice girls too!  LOL!

...And with the number of pictures, I took during Caribana ... I know those pictures are now far and wide!  I repped it for St.Lucia and always will!

My experience during Miami Carnival by wearing my flag, identified me to other St.Lucians that day.  Instantly, we identified each other and a comradery was formed.  All along the parade route, we smiled, had fun ... just knowing the other was there!  Amazingly too, we come in all shapes and sizes, but were all the same people!

8.  Know Your Band and Section - Thanks to Saucy's article as a spectator during Miami Carnival, this is my last suggestion.  Just like a red carpet please know the name of your "designer" in this case "the name of your band" and your "section."  Shame on you for not knowing!  LOL!


  1. I love this post. I must remember to provide a link to this on De Cocoa Panyol when Caribana rolls around next year. Thanks for showing off my boots!!!

  2. wonderful piece! agree esp w/ #6. SLU have beautiful girls too u no!! lol

  3. This was a good read. I will forward the link to my friend a 'Trinidad-Carnival-Virgin'.