So…it’s been mentioned that as a photographer…I am supposed to be more conscious and apparently appreciative of those things in life that we call “beautiful”. And yes, nature, some architecture and often, people too…are all things that can inspire a like or lust within. But, all too often, these contests are contrived and lack those spontaneous moments that create a joy in our appreciation. Without even addressing the concerns of women and girls being paraded like cattle…to be judged, scored and rated by farmers, bitches and ex-tabloid fodder, we can hopefully all see the ills in these contests.
We know there’ll be leggy blondes, brunettes and the token number of non-whites too…and we know that as good as these women may look…that most will have sadly been selected, either as contestants or as winners, will have been so by those with ulterior motives or no clue at all. Interview sections all too often betray this superficial beauty…revealing a less than inspiring mind behind the sparkling eyes. None of this may seem that important…after all…”eye candy” sells TV, magazines…even islands! On the plus side for girls from small and poorer nations…it’s often a one month free holiday in a nation you might otherwise never have seen…even if, as is for some, it’s necessary to sell your frock when you get back…just to pay the bills…
Where it becomes annoying to me personally, is when a small island like Saint Lucia for example, that can barely afford to educate it’s population without copious handouts from the likes of China and Taiwan…somehow manages to find the cash to run so many of these pageants, sending girls all around the world and all with no measurable benefit to it’s economy. It’s said that folks see Saint Lucia on TV…and it boosts visitor numbers as was claimed by it’s exposure in the Bachelor shows. Then again, it’s claimed that churning out has-been artistes and having them mime at the yearly jazz festival does that too…though that’s also extremely questionable!!
Where it becomes totally ridiculous is when the nation you’ve adopted, (or has adopted you), becomes the object of ridicule from those looking at the professional values of such a contest. For example, this year…someone decided to dress an attractive girl in the required national costume…but not in something truly representative of a Caribbean nation…but something resembling a 70’s Goat Herding outfit…much more suitable to some old classic Bavarian porn movie! But if that was the idea, they did it well…because if cheap and tacky was the plan…then I pronounce that the outfit won, and sadly, so did many spectators…internationally!
So, I think that if we ever want to get this world free of superficial appreciations, and move society toward a humanity that really is capable of an appreciation for honesty, true value and substance…then we can start by ending these dire, soulless pageants…and lock them into Room 101!
(images credit to original photographers)