When I think of beauty pageants I think of a lot of things; my mind roams from the really, super-high uncomfortable high heels, to Miss Congeniality, to all of the horrible things the woman must endure during the process of getting selected based on things that may not even be representative of who they truly are. Pageants are no joke–and the scrutiny that women face, the pressure to look a certain way, fit into a certain size is unthinkable and unrealistic. I mean when we saw all the things women had to do in the Miss Universe contest, we got tired looking at the list.
Really the only good thing that has come of me looking at recent beauty pageants is finding out about Mirella Paz Baylón, a contestant in the Miss Peru pageant. In her interview with Fusion, she stands out among the 40 bikini-clad models who is the only curvy woman in the contest. Her presence has apparently made things very controversial because seeing a real woman in a two-piece is really pushing the boundaries.
In the article she says, “I want to show the world and our country that a large woman can also be Miss Peru. Every time I saw models on TV, I wanted to be there, inside the screen…but I also felt intimidated due to my body size because I got a lot of bullying over my weight at school.” In the end, Mirella decided that she wanted to challenge beauty norms and inspire women instead of wishing she would have went for it. Did I forget to mention that she’s only 19 too? Claps for Mirella.