Vanessa Alexandra Mendoza Bustos, better known simply as Vanessa Mendoza, is a Colombian fashion model who held the Miss Colombia title in 2001, being the first Afro-Colombian to win that contest.
Despite suspicion that she had won the contest so that rumors about racism in it would be eradicated, Mendoza became popular among Colombians, who gave her the nickname “Black Barbie“.
Mendoza was the object of an official reception in Cartagena after her victory, where she declared that she was about representing her race and country.
Mendoza replaced Andrea Noceti as Miss Colombia. Prior to winning Miss Colombia, Mendoza had become the only contestant of the pageant’s 2001 version not to admit having a plastic surgery done for the contest.
Mendoza participated in the Miss Universe 2002 pageant, winning the Best National Costume award.