Are Events Like ‘Beauty Contests’ An Insult To Womanhood?
“Globalization today means exploitation of natural and human resources from a third country as in India by transnational corporation to reap Lion’s share when it enters our daily life and seeks to capture our personal values and gender perceptions into commodities.”
When ABCL and Godrej Ltd. arranged a Miss World contest in Bangalore, much controversy was ignited in the name of our traditional and ethical values, our honour for the women was reportedly going to winds with the holding of such competition in India. The moot question was : Are such events an insult to the womanhood?
There were not less than 28 organisation, resisting the event. The matter was heard by the court and the plea that such events are against our culture, was dismissed by the Karnataka High Court.
The ABCL and Godrej Ltd. questioned the propriety of such Hullabaloo over the pageant, when Indian girls have been taking part in international beauty contest since mid sixties ? Why after two years Sushmita and Aishwarya gained victory over the crowns representing. India women to the world, were welcomed? Why when every other metro city, college and school, locally conduct a ‘Miss’ so and so contest is not obstructed by any organisation ? What can India and Indian women lose if we held beauty pageants in the country ? Why all the organisations and other opponents keep silence, when still greater obscenities and vulgarities are dished out in commercial films, and duly certificated by the censor board ? What of the Konark and Khajurao sculptures and all other explicit temple carvings, where dance and beauty contests are knowingly being arranged ?
The organisers of beauty contests all over the world have intermingled the beauty with brain. The girls are reportedly chosen Miss World, Miss Asia, Miss Universe not only in reference to their beauty parameters but also their intelligence by way of answering some trimmed questions to judge their I.Q. They are given several crowns with specific features like Miss Beautiful Hair or Miss Photogenic, Miss Beautiful Smile etc. to sell the multitude of products spewed out the beauty industry. It can’t be taken as a just coincidence that most of the beauty queens now-a-days are discovered in the developing countries with vast population and a good market potential to sell the products meant for females.
Most of the women these days attempt their luck in beauty contests and desires to be Miss Universe. They know how to smile their way into the heart of anybody and everybody.
No doubt that beauty indicates prototype the female form and women’s body language and determine bodily movements to satisfy the lustful craving of the male eyes. The women are being publicly exposed almost nude and judged on the basis of her vital statistics amounted to an insult to womanhood to some extent. Several women’s orgaisations and feminists group opposed the holding of such pageant in Bangalore on several grounds not all related with women politics, morality, nationality are intermingled in a pot p6urri of hysteria. These women group never opposed the holding of such contests out of India, but made much hue and cry when the same kind of event are held in India. How and why could they hold, Indian woman more pure, their dignity a bone of contention if a bunch of adolescents were paraded seminude in the country? It was also argued that such seminude dressed girls, could also be seen at sea-shores for example in Goa, Cochin etc.
The point of holding such contests was not of culture, but it is more of promoting cosmetics, in this commercial world. The corporate dealing in cosmetics are always -in search of virgin markets to enhance their profits. Nothing can facilitate market expansion than fashion parades, fashion shows and beauty pageants.
Beauty pageants are an exercise to dovetail the female behaviour with the likings of males, so the premium were placed on the synthetic smile, smooth movements of body, made up face and moisturised skin with beautiful hair.
The present boom in electronic media, the vast coverage of such contests have accelerated the commercial viability of such pageants. A beauty is acceptable only if the demands of a particular product in the market are met, if the packaging is proper and promotion is up to the mark. Beauty, in short, is what the beauty business define. Crowning girl from developing countries as Miss World, Miss Asia, Miss Photogenic is all part of this commercial game.
All the violent protests and destructive approach taken by the opponent of the beauty pageant, did more harm than good to the feminist caused by giving an impression that these protestors were restricted to a reactionary and lunatic frenzy.
These were feminists who argued that beauty contests give an opportunity for women to express their feminists and part of the sexual freedom for which she is entitled as human being. Some argued that opposing to holding such contests in India, is like chaining the Indian women in the old traditional values and ethics which are not at all acceptable to the modern Indian girls because the old traditions and values were posed on the women forcibly by the threat. of so called kings and foreign rulers.
Since our country is a democracy which guarantees several fundamental rights to the citizens, so opponents of the event have right to oppose, the organisers have right to organise, the contestants have right to contest. In brief, holding such events, does not constitute an insult to the womanhood. The ill is not in holding such contests but is in the minds and thoughts of an individual or group.