Beauty pageant contestants use stage time to inform crowd about women’s rights

'My measurements are 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years'

Olivia Petter
Wednesday 01 November 2017 11:00 GMT
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Peruvian beauty pageant contestants state statistics about violence against women in Peru instead of measurements

Today’s feminist zeitgeist might have rendered beauty pageants irrelevant outside of Sandra Bullock films, but they still exist.

However, instead of using their time on stage to wither on about their favourite date – for Cheryl Frasier in Miss Congeniality, it was April 25th – contestants in Miss Peru 2018 informed the crowd about gender-based violence.

Rather then reading out details about their measurements, the aspiring beauty queens surprised audience members by reading facts about violence against women in their respective regions.

Dress sizes, heights, weights and bra sizes were replaced with alarming figures that showed the extent of street harassment, sex trafficking and femicide across Peru.

“My name is Camila Canicoba and I represent the department of Lima. My measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years in my country.”

Another representative from Lima, Juana Acevedo, cited her “measurements” as 70 per cent of women in Peru being victims of street harassment, reports Buzzfeed.

(YouTube/Mi Canal Peru
(YouTube/Mi Canal Peru (YouTube/Mi Canal Peru)

Luciana Fernández, from Huánuco, used her stage time to tell the crowd that 13,000 young girls suffer from sexual abuse in Peru.

“More than 25 per cent of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools,” said Almendra Marroquín, who was representing Cañete.

Organisers for Miss Peru 2018 were fully behind the concept, displaying newspaper clippings on large screens behind the contestants as they walked the runway, detailing cases of assaulted and murdered women.

In the final section of the pageant, the women were also asked to explain what laws they would hypothetically introduce to address violence against women.

Some were quick to criticise the pageant for maintaining a swimwear segment, where contestants are required to pose in bikinis on stage.

However, rather than enforcing the objectification of women, organiser Jessica Newton saw the segment as an opportunity to empower women, showing that they should be treated with equal respect regardless of what they are wearing.

“If I walk out in a bathing suit I am just as decent as a woman who walks out in an evening dress,” she told Buzzfeed.

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