Pageant to Protest: Peru’s Contestants Share Violent Statistics Not Measurements

Fierce Female Alert. Women have had enough.

All the women in us are tired. Tired of being made to feel small, pretty and always quiet. In Peru this year’s aspiring beauty queens have had enough. They used their moment on the stage on Sunday to give a different kind of measurement: how many people have been affected by gender violence or femicide.

Miss Peru 2018 organizer Jessica Newton told Buzzfeed News, “everyone who does not denounce and everyone who does not do something to stop this is an accomplice.” She also responded to those who criticize the bathing suit competition as demoralizing and objectifying, as a moment to prove women should be respected regardless of what they are wearing, or not wearing.

“Women can walk out naked if they want to. Naked. It’s a personal decision,” said Newton. “If I walk out in a bathing suit I am just as decent as a woman who walks out in an evening dress.”

Rather than sharing the traditional body measurements, these contestants turned the runway into their version of a Women’s March. Each shared an alarming statistic of violence currently happening in Peru against women. Fierce doesn’t even begin to describe it.

peru beauty pageant

Miss Peru 2018 winner Romina Lozano said, “I represent the constitutional province of Callaomy and my measurements are: 3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014.”

My name is Melina Machuca, I represent the department of Cajamarca, and my measurements are: more than 80% of women in my city suffer from violence.

“My name is Juana Acevedo and my measurements are: more than 70% of women in our country are victims of street harassment.”

“My name is Bélgica Guerra and I represent Chincha. My measurements are: the 65% of university women who are assaulted by their partners.”

“Almendra Marroquín here. I represent Cañete, and my measurements are: more than 25% of girls and teenagers are abused in their schools.”

In the final round of the competition, they were asked to discuss how they would best combat femicide. All across Latin America the movement of #NiUnaMenos, or Not One Less, is bringing women to the streets to protest and demand an end to gender violence. 

Women have had it. Enough.

Brilliant reporting shared from Karla Zabludovsky, the Mexico bureau chief and Latin America correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Mexico City. 

Images via YouTube