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You’ve Never Seen a Pageant as Woke as Miss Peru 2018

Diana Denza, Senior Communications Associate

The world, at times, can feel like an overwhelming place and it so critical for those in the public eye to speak out against the daily injustices committed against the most marginalized.

You’d expect politicians, activists, and even celebrities to speak out, but over in Peru, beauty pageant contestants used their time in the spotlight to call attention to violence against women. 

Typically, pageant contestants are expected to give their bust, hip, and waist measurements on stage. Instead, participants in Miss Peru 2018 used their platform to share harrowing statistics about violence against women in their country. Below are three highlights:

“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.”

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

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

During the pageant, Romina Lozano, who took home this year’s crown, shared the intelligent and inspiring way she’d address these acts of violence. “I propose to create a database with the data of each aggressor, not just femicide, and to be able to protect ourselves,” she said. 

Miss Peru Pageant Organizer Jessica Newton told AFP news agency: “Unfortunately there are many women who do not know, and think they are isolated cases...I think that the fact that you are looking at your regional representative, at the queen of your department, giving open and real figures about what is happening in our country is alarming.”

If these contestants have shown the world anything, it’s that women are strong as hell. We will not meet violence with silence. 

Diana Denza is a Fordham University graduate and NEDA’s senior communications associate. She likes tattoos, feminism, cats, being queer, and funny books by women.