Friday, May 14, 2010

Beauty Pageants

So, I was Facebook surfing, as you do, and came upon an interesting fact, there is a pageant known as "Miss Beautiful Morals" in Saudi Arabia. I was intrigues, to say the least. I commented to my friend who brought it up on her comment feed that in a deeply religious society, the contestants would be judged on their piety. Instantly, I looked up this phenomenon, and the description is as follows:

"The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants' commitment to Islamic morals... It's an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman's body and looks," said pageant founder Khadra al-Mubarak.

Decadence is not the first word that comes to mind when I see beauty pageant contestants outside the Islamic sphere of influence. From what I have seen of Miss Universe or Miss America pageants, I see women who, for one reason or another, are on a stage wearing a smile (and not much else) They are asked questions, asked to do stupid human tricks, and then one is crowned as top dog. I do find it interesting that from the Saudi perspective, Western beauty pageant contestants are being oppressed, not being told to be authentic, or called to embellish themselves in some way. The Great Satan may be guilty of a great many things, but I declare that we are not guilty of having our beauty pageant contestants being decadent. Sure, some choose to get plastic surgery, but how is that being decadent? Also, when the contestants are being asked questions, those are meditations on the human condition, they're not fluff!

But, if people want to have their alternate pageant, have at it Hoss!

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