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Beauty pageants, a rather long-standing tradition in the province of Córdoba, are finding themselves dwindling as more communities in Argentina push for a more progressive and productive investment in their social calendars.

Headed by provincial legislator Liliana Montero, a new bill is being introduced which seeks to promote contests that center on ‘real’ attributes, rather than ‘beauty’; prohibiting the existence of competitions based on physical characteristics.

Instead, these contests will consider “intellectual, sporting and artistic achievements; or their social contributions and commitments”, replacing the former archaic judgements that assessed such things as how a woman looked in a bikini.

However, this encouraging move forward certainly isn’t the first of its kind; with Córdoba in fact joining the ranks of at least nine other municipalities in the country that have done away with the ‘elección de reinas’ (‘Beauty queen’ pageants). These include: Villa General Belgrano; Chivilcoy, Rio Grande, Saladillo, Villa Gesell, Villa General Belgrano, Villa La Angostura, Junín, Viedma, Resistencia and Coronel Suárez.

“While we have made great strides in building more equal relationships between men and women, we know that conditions that reinforce stereotypes, inequalities and gender violence persist in institutions,” said Montero.

Montero then went on to point out something that is not often highlighted: symbolic gender violence — which at times “appears in our region so subtly that it is almost invisible to us. This is what happens with beauty contests.”

This move also comes just a month after the replacement of ‘Miss Gualeguaychú’ in favor of a ‘Rony Award’ as part of the Gualeguaychú Carnival. This award can be received by a male or female on account of their “cultural knowledge”, “social awareness” and “knowledge of the city.”

Turns out 2016 might just hold a small Christmas miracle after all…