This year's Miss Peru 2018 pageant was noticeably different than those in prior years, with contestants sharing stories of gender abuse in place of sexist requests for bodily their measurements. More than 20 women opted to give facts about human trafficking, harassment and abuse instead of answering questions regarding their waist and bust sizes.
Contestant Camila Canicoba of Lima, for example, explained, "my measurements are: 2,202 cases of femicide reported in the last nine years in my country."
Contestant Juana Acevedo further added, "my measurements are: more than 70 percent of women in our country are victims of street harassment.”
The winner of the event, 20-year-old Romina Lozano of Callaomy said her measurements were the "3,114 women victims of trafficking up until 2014."
While the act of protest came as a surprise for viewers, the script change was actually organized ahead of the event in solidarity with the contestants. To drive the efforts home, images of newspaper stories illustrating violence against women were even projected behind the contestants.
Miss Peru 2018 organizer Jessica Newton expressed to Buzzfeed News further expressed sentiments of solidarity with women in combatting gender violence, explaining:
“Everyone who does not denounce and everyone who does not do something to stop this is an accomplice.
Adding to the conversation revolving victim-blaming and slut-shaming, Newtown explained, "Women can walk out naked if they want to. Naked. It’s a personal decision. If I walk out in a bathing suit I am just as decent as a woman who walks out in an evening dress.”
The bold move on part of the contestants and pageant organizers is part of a broader movement taking shape across Latin American countries. Using the phrase Ni una menos, meaning "not one [woman] less," women are rallying together to combat gender-based violence and change the daunting statistics the contestants expressed.