Image Source: CatorceSeis.com
Mirella Paz Baylon, 19, from Lima Peru, has defied social norms of what it takes to secure a top ten spot in a national beauty pageant.
Mirella, who is an architecture student and participant of the 2016 Miss Peru Universe pageant, is the first ever plus-size model to compete for a major beauty queen title in Peru.
During the pageant semi finals, which were televised live on April 16, Mirella made it through the first round of 31 contestants and will now compete as one of ten Miss Universe Peru finalists later this month.
Throughout her pageant and media interviews, Mirella described overcoming the torment she underwent in school due to her size and shape. “People called me fat and said I was a hog… I had people talking behind my back,” she said. “I’m a little nervous but I’m happy I’ve put all my effort into it because I want to win Miss Peru Universe 2016.”
Her achievement comes at an exciting time for the curves community. Most recently, curvy supermodel Ashley Graham made headlines as the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated, which is known for featuring thin models on its pages as well as on its cover.
Truly speechless!!! This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn't beautiful enough because of her size. You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to. Thank you so much to the entire @si_swimsuit team! I'm so excited to be a part of your family. I love you all!!! #siswim #beautybeyondsize
And in late January, Mattel also made a huge adjustment to its brand by releasing an expansion of its Fashionistas line to include petite, tall, and curvy Barbie dolls–all of which are available in multiple skin tones.
We join in the celebration of inclusion and diversity and support Mirella and all women as they pursue love and happiness… on their terms.