So often all of us feel powerless. Our power of imagination wilts. But in the third world, all the contestants for Miss Universe seized the moment and used the pageant to condemn violence and abuse against Peruvian women. At the forefront of the women’s struggle – Beauty pageant “girls”! They were supposed to aspire to a trip to Las Vegas to parade about in bikini. Instead, EVERY beauty queen refused to give her physical statistics and instead gave fact about women’s oppression.
The winner, 20-year-old Romina Lozano, described her vital statistics as “3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014”
As winner, she announced her plan as Miss Peru was “to implement a database containing the name of each aggressor, not only for femicide but for every kind of violence against women. In this way, we can protect ourselves”. This was the most widely watched TV show in Peru. And one would expect that other beauty queens all over the world will feel empowered and create their own protests.
This touches me because as director of Acclaim for many years I heard confession after confession. I think maybe half of young female acting talent was sexually abused by a family member. And most often they were ignored because to confront the issue would mean tearing the family apart.
In a Catholic society like in Peru, these women had to be very brave to break the superficial glitz of a television beauty pageant and condemn the silence in their country.
See this short video from the TV show to be inspired.