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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkNews from Around Banderas Bay | September 2009 

Bikini Models Behind the Scenes at Ujena Jam
email this pageprint this pageemail usRoberta Rand - SF Productions
September 05, 2009

SF Production TV is a full-service media production company. If you would like to see your business featured in an article on BanderasNews, or in an upcoming Spotlight on Vallarta video segment, call Martha at (322) 209-0092.
Puerto Vallarta - Ujena Jam is in full swing, with turistas crowding the Malecón across from the Punta V Bar and Disco. A gorgeous blonde in a black swimsuit strikes poses for onlookers, professional photographers and a dozen guys holding out their cellphones for snapshots. After she vogues for the cameras, another girl in a bikini and high heels gingerly makes her way across Paseo Díaz Ordaz to take her place.

Four-inch heels may not be the most practical footwear for Vallarta's treacherous cobblestone streets, but the saying, "beauty knows no pain" particularly holds true in the modeling world. Women must balance on stilettos for hours at a time and look airbrush sexy regardless of summer colds, 80 percent humidity and what women in the real world refer to as "bad hair days." Swimsuit models don't get to have bad hair days. Neither can they have menstrual bloat, puffy eyes or pubic hair. We kid you not: modeling is hard work.

Ujena swimwear employs a phalanx of makeup people and hairstylists to ensure that eye shadow remains perfect and hair bounces winsomely over evenly tanned shoulders. Catherine Cross, Ujena's Public Relations Director, also doubles as a stylist and makeup artist. She wears an apron crammed with makeup brushes. The table she works from is a mosaic of eye shadows, blushes and face powders in varying shades of tan - the makeup artist's secret weapon for banishing perspiration from foreheads and upper lips. As she expertly sketches eyebrows on one of her models, she talks about the genesis of Ujena Jam.

"Ujena Jam serves as an opportunity for models and photographers to gain exposure and break into print," Catherine explains. "We've held Ujena Jams in Spain, Cabo San Lucas and Cancun. We've held the last two in Puerto Vallarta - and Vallarta is by far our favorite place to work."

Ujena Swimwear founder and president, Bob Anderson, who also multi-tasks as the company's primary swimwear photographer, gives "props" to Vallarta, as well. "Besides the colonial beauty of Puerto Vallarta as a setting for photo shoots, the people here are the friendliest and most cooperative we've worked with anywhere," he says. "This is our way of giving back to a city that bends over backwards to be hospitable."

It's controlled chaos on Punta V's main patio as models strap on shoes and root through a suitcase crammed with bikinis. Excess bikini string is piled on a table next to ash trays and half-consumed bottles of water. The models check each other to be sure bikini bottoms don't bunch up and halter tops adequately emphasize décolletage. Makeup artists and hairstylists do last-minute touch-ups while across the street, a mostly male audience waits patiently for each model to approach.

Sure, it's about preserving a fantasy - and selling swimsuits, of course. But it's about more than that. Dave Kosh, director of Ujena En Español, points out that proceeds from Ujena Jam events like a 5k beach run and golf tournament will be donated to Puerto Vallarta's Red Cross. Ujena's weeklong parties held at various discos are bringing needed business to Vallarta's hotels and nightspots.

Bob Anderson sums it up this way, "The 200 people who've come down here with Ujena are bringing revenue to this city. Ujena Jam is our way of giving back to the people of Puerto Vallarta. If we can help out, we will."

Roberta Rand is Public Relations Manager for SF Productions TV, a full service production and marketing company in Puerto Vallarta. Prior to relocating to Mexico from Colorado Springs with her dog, Bo, Roberta worked as a magazine editor, web editor and marketing copywriter. She is also an essayist and author, whose book "Playing the Tuba at Midnight" explored the quirks of living single.

To learn more about SF Productions, click HERE or visit

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