While wet t-shirt contests and dancing for hordes of beer-soaked men usually doesn’t raise an eye when talking about sunny trips to Latin America, local residents are rightly outraged at the latest reports coming out of Colombia: a “Little Miss Thong” bikini contest for 6-10 year old girls.
The “Miss Tanguita” pageant (which translates to “Little Miss Thong”), which took place in Barbosa, was a children’s version of Barbosa’s annual “Miss Thong” pageant, and took place as part of a three-day annual river festival in the small city. While the young participants had to have parental consent, when videos from the pageant spread to social media, Colombia residents immediately took to Twitter to convey their outrage at the overt sexualization of the young participants.
Cristina Plazas, director of the ICBF, Colombia’s child protective services, was quick to condemn the pageant on Twitter, and also lodged a formal complaint with Colombia’s Attorney General, who is now investigating whether the program broke federal laws by exploiting minors. Meanwhile, Barbosa’s female mayor, Maryury Galeano, maintains that no laws were broken and the pageant was all in good fun. “I’m not inducing any children here into prostitution…all those who entered the contest had consent from their parents,” she told a local radio station.
While Galeano has said she will speak with law enforcement, no charges have officially been filed yet against the pageant organizers or the city of Barbosa. Though it’s hard to find a silver lining in the sexual exploitation of children, there has been the tiniest sliver one in this story: support to end the pageant and charge the organizers hasn’t just come from a small minority of feminists. Both men and women in Colombia have been flocking to social media and the press to express their outrage at the sexualization of young girls, with many claiming that women should be taught to value intelligence over their bodies.[Fusion] [Image via YouTube]
Original by Beejoli Shah @beejoli