Pageants all over the world have different profiles and target different markets. Some pageants look for swimsuit models for magazines, some look for models for the fashion industry, some look for new faces into tinsel town. Some also claim to be engaged in identifying ambassadors for welfare activities and programmes.
I saw some portions of the Miss Universe pageant 2010 that rocked Las Vegas. And as it has always been the rule, than the exception a damsel from Mexico (a third world- or may be developing country) was crowned .And Miss India Ushoshi Sengupta not only drew flak for her fancy dress kind costume and also she lost out.
Nevertheless Mexico a developing country won the title. And that would suffice and serve well the purpose behind this expensive well marketed joke of fancy dress competitions. The many multinational manufacturers of women’s beauty products, swim suits and costumes stand to gain, because a woman from the third world, a developing country is now their mascot, and ambassador. And their sales in the impoverished third world will get a flip. New markets and vistas will be opened up.
Ostensibly as it has always been claimed, the goal of these damsels is to eradicate poverty, bring forth child welfare, empower women, world peace etc. In 2002 (I wonder if I got the year correct) the beauty pageant did do something for peace in Nigeria. When ethnic and religious violence against such events went out of control. Wonder what an impoverished country like Nigeria could do for world peace by hosting such an event. The pageant organisers had to run lock stock and barrel.
I’m not ipso facto against such pageants like Miss World and Miss Universe. But my question is what have they achieved other than triple the sale of cosmetics and expensive women’s accessories. Big marketing syndicates have gained. And the damsels who have won tactfully enter the highly rewarding theatre of activity, films and advertising.
We have such a few cases here in India too. The The Aiswaryas, the Sushmitas,the Priyankas, the Lara Duttas,the Omana Kuttans all have got the one way ticket to Bollywood and have made it big. In what way have their crowning, fame and name ameliorated the perils of women? In what way have these ladies contributed to women’s welfare and empowerment? I remember some of these ladies declare ostensibly at the pageant when asked about their ambition, and aim in life. “Poverty eradication, children’s welfare, women’s empowerment”! What laudable and magnanimous goals!
Mother Teresa was not a beauty queen by these yardsticks and bench marks.And was never turned to by these pageants .But yet she have done during her life time much for peace , for the dis-Publish Postempowered,the dispossessed and the meek than all the beauties can ever dream of or claim .
And the bottom line is what constitutes ‘beauty’?