Data and Beauty Pageants

1509462922-miss-peruThe Miss Peru contest begins with contestants giving their name, hometown and their bust, waist and hip measurements. This year, they still gave numbers, but instead of their measurements, all 23 contestants gave statistics about violence towards women in Peru.

The rest of the evening, the contestants answered questions about how they would solve violence against women instead of questions about their personal interests. (1)

This action not only subverted the common perception of beauty pageants as superficial and perpetuating a system that only values women as sexual, beautiful objects, but it does some actual good. Jessica Newton, the contest organizer, said that “there are many women who do not know [these statistics] and think they are isolated cases” (2). Out of the 150 original contestants in the beauty pageant, 5 had been victims of violence (2).

Here are some of the statistics the contestants provided (3):

“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.”

1509462732-juana-buzzfeed“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 Luciana Fernández and I represent the city of Huánuco, and my measurements are: 13,000 girls suffer sexual abuse in our country.”

“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.”

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

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

“My name is Romina Lozano and I represent the constitutional province of Callao, and my measurements are: 3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014.”

While it was more shocking that these women challenged decades of an event that happens worldwide, in which women are judged, ranked, and valued for their appearance and sex appeal more than their achievements, this decision still goes to show how important data is for the progression of protecting and expanding women’s liberation.

In a worldwide community that often considers quantitative data more valid and convincing over personal experience and observations, the data they provided helps bridge the gap. Offering numbers makes what some may see as sad, unique & sporadic experiences, into a country-wide problem. It expresses that everyone must be involved in solving and ending violence rather than leaving it to individual women.

This is the goal of the WomanStats Project: to use data, both qualitative and quantitative, to educate, convince, and hopefully isolate problems that can be solved. Data breaks down the huge, nebulous issue of oppression and focuses it, breaking it down into recognizable, smaller parts. It provides answers and raises new questions and ultimately, can help us pin down more concrete solutions.

—by RNP

  1. McKenna, Meghan. “Miss Peru 2017 Shifted the Conversation from Bra Sizes to Gendered Violence.” Fashion Magazine. 3 November 2017. https://fashionmagazine.com/culture/peru-beauty-pageant-protest/
  2. Unknown. “Miss Peru Pageant turns into gender violence protest.” BBC. 1 November 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41827062
  3. Zabludovsky, Karla. “These Beauty Pageant Contestants Gave Out Facts About Women’s Rights as Their Measurements.” BuzzFeed News. 30 October 2017. https://www.buzzfeed.com/karlazabludovsky/miss-peru-2018-was-the-most-woke-beauty-pageant-of-all-time?utm_term=.gwLD0L775#.wg7N4e77g

42 thoughts on “Data and Beauty Pageants

  1. jasmin sanchez says:

    I’m so thankful theses women are stepping up for women and girls who have been sexually assaulted . Its also so sad because the government seems to just put it off like its nothing .

  2. Emilio Hernandez says:

    I Feel like the “Me Too” movement is a good thing for females that havent been victims of sexual assault. It gives girls a voice that have been a victim of sexual assault. And never been able to speak out against it.

  3. Mariano Mercado says:

    I feel like the #MeToo movement has shown several women that they are not alone as they feared and that many women are experiencing the same sexual violence and harassment.No one should go thru that horrible experience ever.

  4. Jose monroy says:

    I think it’s very brave and amazing that they share their story .And give other women who have been a victim of sexual assault hope .

  5. Gabriel Pulido says:

    It’s great that the women in the beauty pageant were able to speak up against sexual harassment in Peru. Do you think that more people in Peru will rise up for women’s rights as a result of this?

  6. a says:

    This blog post was great because it shows how women around the world are treated unfairly and how women are sexually assaulted. This is also good because it shows credible evidence from women that have been through these situations.

  7. Valentina says:

    I think this is a great way to let people know what many women are going through. Most men judge women based on values for there appearance and sex appeal, more than their achievements. Camila Canicoba whom represent the department of Lima mentioned that their has been 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years.

  8. Leonardo M. says:

    It surprised me when one of the contestants said that 2,202 cases of femicide were reported in the last nine years in Peru. Another thing that surprised me was that out of 150 original contestants in the beauty pageant, 5 had been victims of violence.

  9. jessica delgado says:

    I feel that the issue being addressed in the beauty pageant needs to become more of an importance. Some people think it’s not necessary to address issues like these but one issue can have more effects than seen with the blind eye. Many women that go through these experiences usually go into depression and even some commit suicide which is another growing problem around the world. This article also helped people understand what goes on and how it affects women.

  10. jorge says:

    i felt that the article was shocking that theirs women being sexually assaulted every 98 seconds and that out of 150 original contestants in the beauty pageant 5 had been victims of violence.

  11. Oscar Benavides says:

    This makes me feel sad because women get beaten and sexually assaulted every day. Not only adult women but teens and even infants get raped.

    • aLeX says:

      This tragedy is something that needs to be solved because what is happening with rape, and sexual harassment is bad and it makes me feel bad for those who are victims.

  12. Fernanda says:

    I think that it was a great idea to talk about this situation in such place due to many people all around the world watching the show. I think that more attention should be given to this case. This problem can grow and become something that we can’t stop.

  13. diana y jorge says:

    I think that is is inspired that a famous and pretty women are representing their country against violence.It is very sad how the violence is in against women .Its sad how men abuse women just because women cant defend their self because they are less stronger

  14. mirella says:

    This blog was very sad but inspiring because it helps people understand what the contestants or the women from their country have been through.It says that they have been harassed in the streets, sexually assaulted etc.And it was amazing how these women in the beauty pageant gave numbers of women getting harassed or assaulted instead of their waist measurement.

  15. Izac says:

    Izac bolzman – I honestly think that this was really brave and gives it a space where people can openly talk about their experiences

  16. Miguel Zuniga says:

    Miguel Zuniga- this demonstrate that many people care about the girls that was sexuality assaulted and other is that is sad because many people don’t care

  17. Marisol Morales says:

    I admire these women for what they did. I think that fact that they addresses these issues during the beauty pageant was genius and inspiring.

  18. Naomi Mendoza says:

    Naomi Mendoza- I think this is a great way to show everyone what women are going through also It shows how women protect and fight for other and get together to talk about the situation.

  19. Marla Gomez says:

    Marla Gomez- I think this was a great way to demonstrate how women are being affected by violence everyday. I also think it’s wonderful that these women are standing up and speaking out for women all around the world who can’t.

  20. Nathaniel Aviles says:

    Nathaniel Aviles- I think this was a great way to show the people of Peru and the world about the issue of sexual assault and abuse towards women in Peru. It really does make people think about it and help others to join together and stop the issue.

  21. victoria and isis says:

    -Victoria and Isis
    We really liked your Blog your job was really impressive. We think it was a great idea to talk about so that other people can know what’s happening in our world. We also think that beauty pageants should have more fame.

  22. charlee says:

    charlee oard– I think the way they addressed the problem was good but they were being extra. that was rated r for the kids that watch but the message was clear about sexual assault

  23. Moises Salas says:

    This article helped people understand what problems women go through and I think it was a good idea to talk about this situation at the Beauty Pageant because many people watch the show and can understand.

  24. Diana Guardado says:

    Diana Guardado— It makes me happy knowing that many more people now know about how sexual assault can happen so easily and are now working hard to change it. This was a great step towards working for a better future for all girls. Hopefully in the near future we’ll be able to get billions of people to know how to prevent sexual assaults and how to speak up about them.

  25. tanya quiroz says:

    Tanya Quiroz – I think it was a great idea for them to talk about women that have been harassed, sexually assaulted, and/or abuse in their country in the beauty pageant because of how many people that are watching and it will get a lot of views.

  26. Angel Bernal says:

    Angel Bernal and Samantha Hernandez- I think this article is a great way to show how women are easily taken advantage of, but being the strong women they are, they spoke up about the situation and now they are listened to. Overall, I think it was great for women to speak up in the pageant. In Samantha’s opinion i think the change in the Beauty Pageant that year was a very good idea to spread awareness and to give real statistics about how women face violent crime every day all around the world. I think The Womenstats project is a great way to change the way we think about women and to empower them all over the world.

  27. Angelo says:

    I think this blog post was great because it gave more exposure about a certain topic such as sexual harassment. A beauty pageant is a good setting to address the topic because many people are watching it.

  28. Emily B says:

    Emily Benitez – I think it was a really bad idea that they shared this message through a beauty pageant. A beauty pageant isnt a good place to share the message because the girls are talking ablut sexual harassment but as theyre talking about they are showing the wrong idea by taking off their clothes or stuff like that.

  29. Fernando Santamria says:

    Fernando Santamaria :It was a good thing to speak out about the problems (violence) to convincing over personal exprenices, observations that is happening right now worldwide and should be involved in solving rather than leaving it happening to people.

  30. Andrick says:

    Andrick Barrera and Daniela Valencia- This blog post was really inspiring and understanding of how women in those country’s are being treat. This a great way of spreading it as well because women mostly watch beauty pageants, so now those women can spread the word of assaulted and harassment.

  31. Viridiana Botello says:

    Viridiana Botello & Kevin Suarez- The contestants are trying to raise awareness for harassment, abuse, and sexual assault. They say that if not half then 87% of the woman population are being harassed. Thanks to this blog people can see the real story behind the beauty pageant.

  32. Jorge and Antonio says:

    Antonio and Jorge, We think that this shows that women should fight and get justice to prevent this from happening.

  33. Liliana Maldonado says:

    Liliana Maldonado-I think the beauty pageant was a good way to put out the movement of sexual assault because it shows all of the viewers what is happening to women. Many people have said it wasn’t the right time to do it but my question would be to them… When is it a right time to spread the terrible news about sexual assault towards women?

  34. Camila says:

    Everything about the girls’ journey and stories is inspiring and shows how strong and united they are.The pageant shows their emotional/mental strength and they present an amazing example for young adults/teens.

  35. Anjelica Osorio says:

    Anjelica Osorio- This blog was heartbreaking but it had inspired lots of young women to talk about there sexual abuse. I was really amazed how these women in the beauty pageants can relate to what is going on.

  36. America says:

    America Gonzalez-
    This Blog made me understand how many women are treated badly, and unfairly based on their appearance, and are ranked, and valued by their appearances. I believe it’s great that their goal is to educate people, and convince about the problems that are happy to women, and how badly the issue is. It’s great that they are creating a stats project helping, and protects women that are involved with sexual violence, or harassment. This blog was very informational, and helpful to make me realize the problems we have in our society.

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