Maria Jose Lora 'Pride of Peru'
The First Peruvian crowned Miss Grand International
María José Lora is the first Peruvian to be crowned as 'Miss Grand International'. In the 5th edition of the Miss Grand International beauty pageant, the trujillana left the name of Peru on high when it surpassed 80 candidates in Vietnam.
María José (27) measures 1.78 m and grew up on the beaches of Huanchaco. She defines herself as a crazy and happy girl. As a child she was never characterized by having many barbies. She loved to ride a bicycle all the time or go fishing with her father when she might prefer to walk in jeans, shoes and without makeup.
Q: How were you as a child?
Maria: Very hyperactive.
Q: And that brought you problems?
Maria: Yes, my mom always wanted me to be in the house, but I never paid attention to her. Instead, she always got used to seeing me with my friends outside.
Q: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Maria: I always liked modeling since I was young. I wanted to be a super model, but I never thought of becoming a beauty queen.
Q: When did the crown become a dream?
Maria: I was in many personal growth courses, and that's when I realized that through that I could help our country and our people.
Q: We've known that you like boxing? Have you ever been bothered with the subject of what a male sport is?
Maria : I think they've never seen me how fine or feminine I am. I've always been like the 'Tomboy'. Even in the organization they laughed because I always wore hats, leather jackets and shoes. But I can also be feminine, I have my moments.
Q: What are you doing to keep the figure?
Maria: For example, in Thailand, I cannot surf, so I try to practice Muay Thai as often as possible.
Q: But you like to eat as well especially Peruvian cuisines, right?
Maria: Yes, actually, I can eat everything but when I'm in Peru. When living in other countries, eating becomes a little difficult for me, my stomach is very sensitive. In Thailand, fortunately, I can eat very well but in small portions, until I'm satisfied and that's how I stay.
** Maria has lived in Thailand since winning the pageant in October 2017. However, she is almost always out of the country because she constantly travels with the 'Miss Grand International Organization' to reach her main objective, to try to promote MGI's official campaign to raise awareness of stopping wars and violence.
Q: What was the most difficult part of the pageant?
Maria: The pressure of Peruvian fans including my family and the Miss Peru Organization. They wanted me to deliver the best of me. Every little thing matters and that's why I felt stressed. Then, Miss Peru Organization let me do my things and I felt calmer.
Q: How is your routine?
Maria: "I'm dead baby!" (laughs) My trips do not stop. But for now, I have some free time in Thailand and I relax. Then, when the season of Miss Grand Thailand pageant begins, which is the most important pageant including 77 provinces across the country and we have to go to almost all.
Q: What do you want to achieve on a personal level with this experience?
Maria: I want to use all of these experiences for the future. I believe that every moment of my life goes through something. I am currently learning to be patient and to know how to listen; because I am a person who has always done what I wanted. I feel that life is preparing me for something in the future and I have to make the most of it.
Q: And as being a queen?
Maria: Create awareness of what is happening with violence in the world. I also want to continue being an inspiration for young people, let them know that if you work hard and focus on what you want, you can fulfill it.
** In 2017, she competed for the Miss Peru Universe crown. Due to time issues, Jessica Newton, the President of Miss Peru Organization, chose Prisila Howard as representative for that year and María José as Miss Grand Peru. Since then her preparation was accentuated.
Q: Do you think that your choice bothered the girls you were competing with?
Maria: I guess it was a surprise for everyone, and for me, too. But I am very sure of myself and I knew what I had. Maybe it may sound bad for some, but it's not because I believe in my hard work that I've prepared for so long and that I was sure to win. The other girls were beautiful and had their potential, but I was not paying attention to them, but to myself. This is because the most beautiful or intelligent one does not always win, but the one who has everything together.
Q: Still can you compete in the Miss Peru Universe?
Maria: Not anymore.
Q: What do you think about your successor 'Miss Grand Peru 2018', Andrea Moberg?
Maria: I love her. She has a lot of potential, she knows how to speak and she is strong. If you can speak English well you have many chances to win and she is one of my best friends.
** In addition to her beauty, Majo captivated the panel of judges for the Miss Grand International 2017 pageant with her speech regarding the campaign 'Stop the War and Violence'. She said she wanted to raise her voice to spread a message of peace and make people who are affected by wars be taken into account.
Q: What will you do when your reign ends?
Maria: I would like to continue working in Peru contributing to the empowerment of women.
Q: How do you define Peruvian women?
Maria: Strong, hard-working, affectionate and cheerful.
Q: What would you do to stop the violence towards a woman?
Maria: Life imprisonment seems extreme but that is what has to be done. There are many significant laws that still have not been issued for Peru. The punishments have to be more severe.
Q: And what do we as women do?
Maria: Speak, many remain silent. We should not remain too silent.
** Thanks to Miss Peru Organization
Photographer : Segura & Vilela ( HOMME )
Makeup & Hair by : Garry Cullampe
Stylist & Coach : Lutty Lobatón
Here is the link to the magazine (Originally in Spanish)