Brazil, known for its beautiful beaches & beautiful people, is home to the biggest pageants in the world. Each year, Miss World, Miss Universe, & Miss Earth are crowned in the country. And at the Penitenciaria Feminina da Capital in Sao Paolo—South America’s largest all-female maximum security prison—so is Miss Max.
Unlike traditional pageants, the contestants competing for the title of Miss Max are currently serving long sentences for crimes like drug trafficking, kidnapping, and even homicide. They are, however, judged using the standard pageant criteria: beauty, poise, & talent—plus their record of good behavior. This year, LGBTQ inmates can also vie for the title of Mr. Congeniality.
Broadly travels to Sao Paolo, Brazil, to capture the days of preparation leading up to the crowning of Miss Max, which includes runway training from a professional choreographer and a day of hair & makeup courtesy of some of Brazil’s best stylists. They also talk with the incarcerated contestants about how a beauty competition can help them temporarily escape the monotony of their lives behind bars.