Miss Peru Contestants Voice Gender-Violence Statistics
By nature, feminist statements are typically not associated with beauty pageants.
But last Sunday night contestants of the Miss Peru pageant proved that an industry which makes its money by judging women predominantly on their physical attributes, can in fact be a space to voice important gender oppression issues.
During the segment of the pageant where the contestants were expected to give the measurements of their bust, waist and hips, they shocked far and wide by instead giving statistics of gender equality.
“My measurements are: 2,202 cases of murdered women reported in the last nine years in my country,” Camila Canicoba of Lima said.
“My measurements are: more than 80 percent of women in my city suffer from violence,” Melina Machuca of Cajamarca said.
“My measurements are: more than 25 percent of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools,” Almendra Marroquín of Cañete said.
These powerful statistics were accompanied by corresponding news headlines projected behind the speaking contestants to ensure the sentiment of the words were felt deeply by audiences.
While the statistics provided by the women were relative to their specific areas, the protest is a part of the large movement contesting violence against women across Latin America, including the "Ni Una Menos" ("Not One Less") protests in Mexico, Columbia and Argentina.
This defiance triggered the hashtag, #MisMedidasSon (“#MyMeasurementsAre”), to trend in Peru and spread to all corners of the globe overnight, inspiring strength and solidarity in the statement.
The contestants of the Miss Peru contest not only brought forth serious issues which need to be spoken about and listened to, but maybe it altered the way we view and participate in beauty pageants all over the globe.
Former beauty queen and organiser of the event, Jessica Newton, told Buzzfeed News, “Everyone who does not denounce and everyone who does not do something to stop this is an accomplice.”