For several days in Mexico has been going a storm caused by the reform proposed by Mexican deputies from the Commission for Gender Equality. They are suggest that the organization of beauty contests is a form of symbolic violence against women, so it should be reduced, and public funding of contests should be stopped! Many winners of prestigious beauty contests have objected to these allegations and openly criticize the MPs. And worried fans are wondering if they can save the Mexican beauty contests?
Beatriz Rojas Martínez, María Guadalupe Almaguer Pardo and Frida Alejandra Esparza Márquez are Mexican deputies from the Gender Equality Commission, who, some time ago, proposed to amend the law on women’s access to non-violent life by including the concept of „symbolic violence” in the law and the prohibition of financing beauty contests from public funds.
The above-mentioned MEPs want that beauty contests to be considered an example of „symbolic violence” against women, becuse beauty and appearance of their contestants are judged by stereotypical patterns. And the Mexican government and state authorities should no longer support the organization of this event’s type, because it is spreading „symbolic violence” using public funds.
(Frida Alejandra Esparza Márquez and María Guadalupe Almaguer Pardo consider beauty contests as a form of symbolic violence, photos: La Jornada de Oriente, Astrolabio)
In the allegations which Martínez, Almaguer Pardo and Esparza Márquez bring to beauty competitions, one can find the statement that „beauty competitions are events, which show women through socio-cultural patterns and gender stereotypes, and are also a tool to strengthen the concept of the female body as an object and limit participants’s personal development.” As examples of such stereotypes, MPs cite some of the requirements that participants must meet to participates of the beauty competitions, including minimum height, specific marital status or obligation to be childless. MPs also oppose that beauty contests being organized under the guise of tourism’s promoting.
(Beatriz Rojas Martínez also believes that beauty contests show women through socio-cultural patterns and gender stereotypes, photo: Libertador)
To the fight for the beauty contests quickly stood up their laureates. Opposition to the idea of colleagues from the parliament immediately voiced Geraldine Ponce (2nd Runner-Up in Nuestra Belleza México 2016 and Miss International 2016 finalist, who now is a Mexican MP), who said that „beauty contests are cultural, family events that strengthen women and save the pride of cultures.” What’s more, in her opinion, beauty contests for many girls were platforms for development, including professional development. She also reminded that nowadays beauty contests evaluate not only the beauty of participants and their physical abilities, but also other features. She also ensured that, as a participant in as many as five beauty contests, she had never felt raped or humiliated in any way and that her bodily integrity was not violated.
(Geraldine Ponce defends beauty contests, photo: Matzav Review)
The position of the younger friend was supported by Lupita Jones, winner of the Señorita México 1990 pageant, who in 1991 was the first Mexican, who win the prestigious Miss Universe pageant. According to her, MPs want to change the law based on their ignorance and personal prejudices. She also called as „criminalizing beauty” the idea of restricting beauty contests. Jones said that participation in beauty contests strengthens both externally and internally and trains participants, and has a positive impact on their personal, professional and philanthropic level. She also noticed that many of the winners of the beauty pageant’s made careers in such areas as medicine, politics, business, film, television and media. She also reminded that the organization of such events in Mexico often helped in the development of local tourism.
(Lupita Jones in an official statement about beauty contests, photo: screenshot)
In addition to Jones and Ponce, other winners of the beauty contests have expressed their support for the beauty pageant, including Regina Peredo (Mexicana Hispanoamericana 2019 and the winner of the Reina Hispanoamericana 2019/2020 pageant), Magdalena Chiprés (semi-finalist of the Nuestra Belleza México 2016 pageant and main runner-up in Reina Hispanoamericana 2016), Ashley Alvídrez (Miss México 2019 and semi-finalist of Miss World 2019, Kristal Silva (Nuestra Belleza México 2016 and semi-finalist of Miss Universe 2016), Rebeca Tamez (Nuestra Belleza México 1996, participant in the Miss Universe 1997), Sofía Aragón (Mexicana Universal 2019 and 2nd Runner-Up in Miss Universe 2019), Yuridia Durán (Mexicana Universal Internacional 2020 and Miss Charm Mexico 2020), Daniela Pedroza (Miss Baja California 2019 and participant in the Miss México 2020), Priscila Viveros (Miss Hidalgo 2017, contestant of Miss México 2018), Jessica Huerta (Miss Hidalgo 2018, finalist of Miss México 2018 and Miss México Grand 2020), Jaqui Gómez (Miss Hidalgo 2019 and contestant of Miss México 2020) and many other beauty queens and organizers of state and national pageants.
There was also a stir among fans of beauty contests, who share on their social media electronic petitions for signing. There is hope that the Mexican beauty pageants can be saved?
El Universal – Lupita Jones acusa que iniciativa contra certamenes „criminaliza la belleza”
El Universal – Geraldine Ponce, diputada de Morena, defiende concursos de belleza; „no fui cosificada”
Animal Politico – ¿Adiós a los concursos de belleza? Diputadas buscan eliminar su financiamiento público
PHOTO. News Beezer