NPR Story
12:35 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Tijuana Beauty Pageant Offers Prisoners Hope

SAN DIEGO — On Friday, a beauty pageant unfolded under bright lights in Tijuana. Among the high heels and sparkly dresses were barbed wire and armed guards.

Held at the La Mesa penitentiary, this beauty pageant was aimed at boosting the self-esteem of depressed female inmates, who are facing charges varying from kidnapping to homicide. It was inspired by similar events that have taken place across Latin America.

AsU-T San Diego reports, the “Our Inner Beauty competition” offered inmates the opportunity to rebuild self-esteem lost in prison.

The pageant was proposed by Jorge Razo, the prison’s chief psychologist, as a way of motivating the female inmates and improving their self-esteem.

“They’re human beings, and we need to recognize that,” Razo said. “Just because they’re sentenced or facing charges doesn’t mean they have to be sad and depressed.”

Check out photos from the evening

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