It’s well known and long debated that beauty pageants are considered to be meaningless and offensive for women, although they can be very entertaining for some people.
Many people say those pageants are intended to value and celebrate the beauty of women. Most people (including extreme feminists) say that they use women as “objects of contemplation”.
To me, these events have to do with money, business interests and perhaps -let's be honest- to meet the need of so many women and men (especially gay men) to find an ideal look they can admire, as they wish they would look like them, and those who want to find an ideal sexual image. It has to do also with celebrating certain "beauty" and especially that admiration for Caucasian beauty, well liked by people in countries where most people aren’t white -- curiously (perhaps a sign of colonial mentality?), and the admiration of that “exotic” beauty of dark-skinned women which some white people still call “ethnic look” so disrespectfully.
A blogger (article in Spanish) says very well that beauty pageants are for women what football games are for men: the participants don’t care of what people think about their intellect, ideals or morals, because they just want to achieve their goals, literally. I can’t agree more. For instance, beauty contests in the US, have a history of scandals and not-so-happy endings. Recently, the owner of the Miss USA pageant, Donald Trump had a furious debate with TV personality Rosie O’Donnell, which is well recorded in this blog.
In 2002, a Spanish reporter bribed a beauty pageant judge in order to get elected as Miss Alicante (one of Spain regions) and to participate in the national contest, although she was too old for the event. Ms. Gema Garcia was elected but she was eventually forbidden to be part of the final election. She said that by doing this, she did “something that will benefit women” who are treated as “fairground monkeys.” I say Ole!
MISS PERU 2007
By Monday May 28, Ms. Jimena Elías will represent Peru in the world’s most popular beauty pageant: “Miss Universe 2007” which will be held in Mexico City. But behind the participation of Ms. Elias are serious accusations of bribery, rivalries and political corruption. Ms. Elias was elected in a private ceremony, by a small group of Peruvians, when usually this election is celebrated in public events broadcasted by national TV.
To make things worse, Jimena’s father is former congressman José Elías-Avalos, who owns the company that was the main sponsor of this private event (San Juan Bautista University). Several people are saying that Mr. Elias "bought" the title for her daughter bribing the organizers, and they based this accusation in the fact that one of the members of the "Miss Peru" committee, Maria Trigoso-Pinto is also a secretary at San Juan Bautista University and one of the pageant's main funders. Wait, she works for Jimena's father, and she gives her salary to the beauty pageant? (watch video of Peruvian TV in Spanish.)
José Elías is also under investigation for receiving bribes from incarcerated mafia leader Vladimiro Montesinos, while he was in public office. Recently, Mr. Elias asked a judge for permission to leave Peru to attend this event and to "witness" his daughter’s participation. This request was denied, some said this was an attempt to escape justice. While all of this is happening, Jimena Elias don’t seem to care about what other Peruvians think about her.
Well, I was born in Peru and I care a whole lot about my first country. I think beauty contest are not relevant, but unfortunately they are for most Peruvians, and just like most people from any Latin American country, they believe that this contest is a matter of national pride.
Jimena Elías is pretty, she is actually a very good looking Peruvian woman, and I would love for any Peruvian woman to succeed in whatever they want to achieve, and regardless of their looks, I root for Peruvians all the time. But I also believe that is a real shame for our national pride that we are represented internationally by someone who obtained access to that participation, after an irregular selection process, and under accusations of corruption.
It's true, she is not to blame for her father’s corruption as a politician, but as an adult person with enough morals (I hope) and a responsibility with her participation as “Miss Peru," I believe that she knows well what some people had to do for her to be in Mexico City. And she should know that is just wrong. Besides, her father's university is in part her property as well, in other words she financed her own selection. That sounds to me as corruption.
Jimena Elías should resign of her participation and immediately return to Peru.
That action would send a strong message to Peruvians, that means do matter when it comes to achieve success, it would tell Peruvians that beauty and personal influences mean nothing when the laws are broken, and that justice should be applied to everyone equally. What a best way to represent your country, than doing the right thing and leaving a legacy of a good example.
Is that too much to ask for Peruvians? Or perhaps we are not “there” yet.
VIDEO: PRIVATE ELECTION OF "MISS PERU 2007"