Pics from a beauty pageant in a Russian women's prison

In what appears to be a beauty pageant held at a prison in Russia, scores of women gather around a makeshift runway in the courtyard as their fellow inmates strut their stuff. I don't read Russian, but the photographs alone tell a great story.

More photos here [via Zaeega (Japanese)]


  1. You definitely don’t want to be the “winner” of the beauty pageant at the men’s prison.

  2. That is awesome. And some of those are very good looking ladies. At least they have something to do and they are not consumed by boredom. Very important ingredient in reforming an immate.

  3. There’s a very good short documentary called “La Corona” that covers the same sort of beauty pageant in Bogota, Colombia. It was nominated for the 2007 Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject. I think it’s only available in the US through HBO.

  4. Well the Ukraine girls really knock me out /
    They leave the West behind /
    And Moscow girls make me sing and shout /
    That Georgia’s always on my my my my my my my my my mind

  5. I may be mistaken, but it looks like the photos are a mixture of various places, since a few look like they are from Peru (at least the flags on some of the security uniforms look like the Peruvian flag, and the ethnic diversity in those pictures remind me of Peru).

  6. Side note: Zaeega is a really popular subculture blog in Japan and is considered the Japanese BOING BOING even tough the blog is totally NSFW.

    The headline illustration is drawed by Grape Brain: an ex-member of FURI FURI (one of the most famous toys design collective from Harajuku).

  7. Asked my Russian husband if he could tell what this is.

    His response (quote) –
    god only knows
    someone dumped a bunch of photos under the heading
    “How women spend time in prison”

    So there you go.

  8. #8: I agree. One of the signs has a giant S on it, which doesn’t exist in the Russian alphabet. Some Eastern European women are outrageously beautiful, though, so I’m not really surprised this goes on.

  9. @#2, after going through the Russian website, I wouldn’t want to be one of the winners of the women’s pageant either, considering what their audience looked like.

  10. @ #5, YES. The word “swimwear” has been and forever will be pronounced with a v in my family. When I was accepted to fashion school my dad paraded around the house crowing: “DayVEAR, EVENINKVEAR, SVIMvear!”

  11. …love how someone tied a bunch of unrelated pics together and tricked us for a minute.

    –Weston Oslo

  12. @Miss Jess #17


    Actually, that would be EVENINGVEAR. At the end of a word and before unvoiced consonants, G becomes K; before voiced consonants such as V, K becomes G.


  13. Anyone have a guess as to what that thing next to the runway in the first picture is? My first thought was, what’s that small monkey with a crow’s head doing there?

  14. I’d rather be in prison than have to use one of those Fender portable PA systems seen in pic 14.

    Terrible, just terrible equipment.

  15. No this is Russia. Remember that the russian flag is red, white and blue. Russia is a very diverse country. This is about Russia not Peru, Mexico or whatever.

  16. It’s kind of interesting how simply making a statement about the photos creates the illusion of a unified meaning for them. Suppose instead of saying this was a collection of photos of women at a beauty pageant in a Russian prison, we were to say it was a collection of photos showing “women around the world who have been inspired to emulate Sarah Palin”?

  17. @ Sabik # 19,

    That rule doesn’t always hold true. In particular, voiced “V” doesn’t change the sounds that precede it. That’s why words like “SVET” aren’t pronounced “ZVET.”

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