Beauty Pageant Contestants In Peru Turned A Sexist Question About Their Bra Size Into A Lecture About Femicide

credit: CombinadoPTV /

Watching young women parading around a stage dressed in sparkly gowns and bikinis while being held to the strict standards of Eurocentric beauty ideals just rubs many people the wrong way. However, a recent display at a pageant in Peru suggests that maybe pageants could shift direction. Over the weekend, 23 Latina contestants at the Miss Peru 2018 beauty pageant challenged the stereotypes put on them, leaving many in shock.

On stage at the Miss Peru pageant, contestants were expected to state their body measurements.

CREDIT: @valepiazzav / Instagram

Instead, the 23 contestants stepped forward to share statistics surrounding an alarming occurrence in the country. “My name is Karen Cueto,” one of the contestants said to the attending crowd. “My measurements are 82 femicides and 156 this year so far.”

“My measurements are 13,000 girls suffer from sexual harassment,” said another contestant.

CREDIT: CombinadoPTV /

“My name is Luciana Fernandez and I represent the city of Guanacu,” another one of the contestants stated. “My measurements are 13,000 girls suffer from sexual harassment in our country.”

One after another, contestants stepped up to provide answers that raised awareness of the growing occurrence of violence against women in the country. According to a recent report, Péru has experienced a 26% increase in complains about gender violence this past year. In the first four months of 2017, the country saw a 13% increase of femicides. This past month, women across the country marched to protest the violences occurring in the country which ranks third in the world for gender violence.

The pageant committee highlighted the issue of violence against women throughout the night.

CREDIT: CombinadoPTV /

During a portion of the pageant that is often most criticized for objectifying women, organizers arranged for the bathing suit segment to coincide with a display of newspaper murder headlines. “Women can walk out naked if they want to. Naked. It’s a personal decision,” Jessica Newton, one of the pageant organizers explained. “If I walk out in a bathing suit I am just as decent as a woman who walks out in an evening dress.”

Watch the moment the pageant contestants protested below.



Read: Paraguay’s Miss Gordita Beauty Pageant Puts Plus-Size Women Center Stage

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