BY: Dan Phale*
According to the old wise folks in my homeland beauty is an empty calabash. Surely the only thing which beauty holds is pride; and pride only goes the length that one can spit. It is in this view that I hereby present my strong argument against the notion of beauty contests.
Let me begin by saying that I have never been – and shall most unlikely be – convinced as to why really some people do organise and/or conduct, or participate in, what they term as beauty contest or beauty pageant. Except that what I mostly observe is an exhibition of nudity in the public, and nothing important. Usually the contest focuses on judging and ranking the physical attributes of the ladies; and sometimes it is based on their personality traits, intelligence, talents, and answers to the Judges’ questions in an interview.
Secondly, I feel all the inclination to, and I hereby, draw the attention of all and sundry to a biblical philosophy that any person was created by, and in the image of, one God, as per Genesis 1: 27. And for purposes of English language, an antonym of a word beautiful is ugly. In this regard the implication is that the objective of the beauty contests is to single out the beautiful ladies from the ugly ones. Now look, if one lady is singled out and crowned as the Queen of beauty, then who will be the Queen of the ugly ladies? Ironically the one God who created us all does not have two different images, the one which beautiful and the other one which is ugly. In all the wisdom, I find the whole idea of having beauty contests to be very irrational, inhumane, and discriminatory. Oh yes…!
Now let us look at some of the issues that are involved in the process of searching for the so–called Queen of beauty. Actually the process leaves quite a lot to be desired. Ladies longing for a title and crown are subjected to various examinations, two of which are what are in this article. The contestants are paraded, whereby each one catwalks, sexily swaying her hip. And what baffles me most is the fact that more often than not the contesting ladies do put on scanty clothes which would not be recommended or accepted by my late grandparents who were the strong defenders and advocates of our cultural values… I mean, it is absurd to suggest that a lady’s nakedness be a measure of her beauty. In a sharp contrast, scanty dressing is a factor which gradually triggers moral indecency among the youths. In other words, nakedness and beauty are two different issues altogether.
Additionally it sounds very funny to witness a lady being interviewed by the so-called judges on issues that are not at pal with beauty… I remember having laughed my lungs out one day a few months ago when I watched on one of the popular television stations where irrelevant issues arose.
“What is your highest qualification, young lady?” one judge asked.
“I‘m a degree holder in social science studies,” the young lady answered proudly.
“Why do you want to become a Queen of beauty in this country?” the second judge asked.
“Let me assure this board that I shall ensure that I and my fellow youths should contribute towards social and economic development of our country if I am crowned Queen of beauty.”
“Kk–kkk–kkkk, the impression here is that without emerging victorious in the beauty contest that young lady would not take part in the social and economic endeavours of her country,” I laughed before switching off the television.
Of course somebody may attempt to defend the notion of staging beauty contests on a mere basis of a long historical background, citing beauty festivals which were celebrated in the ancient world during the medieval era… Nonetheless, we don’t have to emulate such practices that are more likely to weaken our human dignity in terms of cultural and moral merits.
In effect these contests have the viability to make people have wrong perception that girls and women should be valued principally for their physical appearance. Furthermore this idea exerts great psychological pressure on ladies to conform to the conventional beauty standards as set by the organisers of the contests. As such ladies are prompted to spend unnecessary amount of money and time on fashion, cosmetics, and hairdos in an attempt to adorn themselves. At times ladies are negatively influenced to go for slimming therapeutic programs to the extent of harming their own health.
In a nutshell, a beauty contest is undesirable everywhere. Otherwise beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.