News on Sunday

Young professionals - Beauty Pageant : objectification of women or beauty with a purpose

Every year, different beauty pageants are organised around the world and even in Mauritius.

Normally, the beauty pageants are competitions that focus on the appearance, skills, and techniques of the people competing. While proponents of beauty pageant argue the competitions promotes beauty with a purpose, opponents state that it is more the objectification of women.

Darshita Sewoogolum : “Main focus on physical beauty”

Beauty pageants were created for the purpose to display the intelligence and other talents that a woman possesses, states Darshita. “The main focus of the audience tends to be mainly on the physical beauty of a woman rather than her inner beauty. Girls tend to go on very harsh and strict diet in order to lose excess weight and eventually these girls develop various types of eating disorders, and neglect their health. Likewise, contestants go crazy about artificial beauty. From heavy make-up, to fake eyelashes, hair extensions, or some pretty extreme things such as plastic surgery and unhealthy dieting practices, many pageant participants engage in behaviours focused on changing themselves to become more perfect.” 

Yoginee Oumadevi Currevanden : “Giving women the tip to lead”

The second runner up of Miss Tamil Mauritius 2016- 2017, Yoginee disagrees that beauty pageant is meant to objectify women.

“People fail to see how we are prepared to be more diplomatic and how to deal with social issues.

We also learn how to use our title to contribute positively in society, like fighting for autism or diabetes or cancer.

The competition is about giving women the right tips to lead the world they live in. The society should being judgemental.”


Nellina Pillay : “It lays more emphasis on external beauty”

Nellina believes that beauty pageant is a topic which is highly controversial due to its different interpretations about beauty. “Throughout the years, beauty contests have laid more emphasis on exterior beauty rather than on interior beauty. For instance, age is an important factor to be considered when entering a beauty pageant. The age limit to enter one like Miss Universe is 27 years old. This raises an issue. Are women after this age limit no more considered as beautiful? This depicts the reality of these beauty pageants. Furthermore, those winning the competition act as role models for the younger generation. A contestant in my opinion should mostly reflect and be able to demonstrate the acquired cultures, values and attitudes of her country at national as well as at international level. It is true that the trend is changing mostly due to globalisation, but it is the mindset of people who should also change.”

Maloupe Glorine : “A way to promote our country”

Beauty contests have been set up with the aim of promoting fashion and beauty of our island across the world, says Glorine. “Year in and year out, many potential candidates participate in the competition to distinguish them from each other. Beauty contests certainly have pros and cons. Candidates are given the opportunity to experience the ups and downs of the contest as well as to build in a friendly relationship with other girls. It is also meant to market our multi diversity, our values, peacefulness, hospitality as well as to introduce our country on an international platform. We should not ignore the fact that beauty contests in the same way contribute towards the advancement of tourism industry.”

However, she feels that beauty contests do to some extent objectify women. “The participants need to pose, smile and wear two pieces swimming suits to present themselves. It is true that some parts of the competition are interesting but it should be made more natural than being an artifice. Candidates should be given the leisure to demonstrate their potentials more in terms of bringing their initiatives on the front in helping our country. A beauty competition should be a mix of bringing beauty with talent and mind rather than fashion. This perfect combination could be sought and implemented in days to come.”

Seemran Lobit : “It is inspiring young women”

Beauty pageants such as Miss Mauritius, Miss World, and Miss Earth are inspiring many young women to prove themselves by demonstrating their intelligence, talent, personality traits, glamour and mesmerising beauty, says Seemran.  “We form part of a society where beauty and physical appearance matter more than beauty and intelligence. Some people judge candidates by their physical appearance rather than their way of thinking and rationality. The voting process of such pageants are similar to marketing oneself and showing one’s best abilities to get votes. Ultimately, it is a segment of the society who objectifies women and beauty pageants somehow encourage this poor mentality. The aim of such competitions should be reframed and not viewed as beauty trophies as it feints to be.”

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