Miss Universe Peru contestant Mirella Paz Baylon is making history as the first plus-sized competitor to reach the beauty pageant’s finals. The 19-year-old beauty burst into tears as she was selected to continue on to the Miss Universe Peru finals along with nine other contestants. Baylon’s admittance into the top ten finals marks the first time that a plus-sized contestant has made it to the final round of the pageant, and her fellow competitors seemed genuinely happy for the Miss Universe hopeful.
The Daily Mail reports that 19-year-old Mirella Paz Baylon is changing the Miss Universe Peru pageant landscape by becoming the first plus-sized model to make it to the pageant’s top ten finals. The Miss Universe hopeful says that things haven’t always been easy as a plus-sized woman. Baylon notes that she was tormented in school by classmates who called her a “hog” for her larger size.
“People called me fat and said I was a hog at university, and I had people talking behind my back. 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.”
The pageant contestant notes that prior to entering the Miss Universe Peru pageant, she dropped approximately 45 pounds in just three months through diet and exercise. She says the weight loss was not for the pageant, but rather to improve her health. The curvy Baylon stood out among the contestants during the swimwear portion of the Miss Peru competition as she donned a one-piece swimsuit alongside her bikini-clad counterparts. However, it wasn’t the most conservative swimwear that had La Republic talking. The publication noted that Mirella is a talented singer and has overcome extreme challenges to make it to this portion of the competition.
According to the Mirror, the Miss Universe Peru pageant organizer, Jessica Newton, broke down into tears alongside Mirella as the teen opened the envelope denoting that she would be moving on to the prestigious beauty finals. Newton, the 1987 Miss Universe Peru, has taken to Mirella and immediately embraced the teen as she wept on the stage thanking the judges for allowing her the honor to continue competing for the Miss Universe Peru title.
Mirella notes that it has been a long, hard road to get to the Miss Universe Peru finals and thanked Jessica Newton personally for her support. The judges for the pageant also seemed taken aback by Mirella’s poise, personality, and commitment to the pursuing of the Miss Peru title. Judges could be seen wiping tears from their eyes as Mirella cried in joy as she was moved on to the finals.
Though the judges have fallen in love with Mirella, the young contestant says that the judges were initially taken aback by her size when she arrived for casting as prior to the meeting they had only seen headshots of the young beauty. However, due to her sparkling personality, the judges quickly moved Mirella through the early phases of the competition, ultimately landing her a spot in the Miss Universe Peru finals.
The young beauty pageant contestant says she wants to “show the world” that larger women can also be Miss Peru.
“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, and because I got a lot of bullying over my weight at school.”
The Miss Universe Peru finals are slated to take place on April 23, 2016. Do you think Mirella Paz Baylon will encourage other plus-sized Miss Peru hopefuls to pursue their dreams and help reshape the image of beauty pageants?
[Image via Facebook/Miss Universe Peru]