TODAY -

Learning from Miss beauties

Free Thinker *

Miss Kut at 'Kut 2017' at 1st Manipur Rifles Ground, Imphal  :: 01 November 2017
Miss Kut at 'Kut 2017' at 1st Manipur Rifles Ground, Imphal on 01 November 2017 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



According to you, who should get the highest salary in the world? The winning reply was "mother should get the highest salary", for taking care of the whole family and nurturing & moulding the children.

After listening to this sapient reply of Miss Chhillar I have considerably changed my opinion about these beauty contests. Normally I do consider such contest a rat race in futility also and a show of pomp and vanity which is highly commercialized and exploitative.

In my second thought I have a strong feeling that given a chance this platform of beauty pageant can be a wonderful medium of preaching powerful ideas for bringing about positive changes in the society.

Every year or every season or every festival we have been organizing innumerable Beauty Contests namely Miss Hill-Valley, Miss Imphal East (without West), Miss Sekmai, Miss Lamka, Miss Mao, Miss Ukhrul, Miss Jiribam, Miss Moirang Bazaar,Miss None, Miss Moreh and so on. These Contests are area specific.

Other series of beauty contests based on the nomenclature of fauna and flora are Miss Siroi Lily, Miss Sangai, Miss Orange, Miss Pineapple, Miss Lemon etc. There is another set of contests for the institutions like Miss GP, Miss TG, Miss DM College, Miss University and so on. Festival related Contests are again quite numerous; for instance Miss Kut, Miss Ningol, Miss Gangngai etc.

Why can't we use these platforms to promote beautiful thoughts and also expedite some useful deeds? For example the winner of our Sangai Beauty contest may lead the campaign to protect Sangai and its habitat for one year. Her campaign will be funded by Worldwide Fund For Nature (if reachable) or by the Ministry of Environment and Forest, government of India (if possible), the Forest department, Government of Manipur (if convinced); in the worse scenario her campaign may be funded by Sangai Lovers.

Miss GP may take care of the punctuality of the college for the whole academic session (Principal may agree). Miss TG shall ensure the wearing of uniform (Principal may empower her to do so).

Likewise Miss Imphal can be the champion of cleanliness in the Imphal city. Her work may be tied up with the concerned Municipalities, Mayor and MAHUD minister etc. Miss Siroi Lily may campaign for protecting and promoting the exotic Siroi in cooperation with the local authorities, villagers and the State Government. Let us try to attach one noble cause for each and every Beauty Contest we organize.

In a local level beauty contest there were five judges in the jury. A jury member asked a question to one of the finalists. The questions was, 'if you were made the Prime Minister of this country for a moment and given the power to take a decision, what decision will you take and why?'

I was pleasantly surprised by the reply from the young girl, "If I am made the prime minister for a moment to take a decision, I will make right to food a fundamental right; no want should die of hunger and starvation". It was really touching to see the level of understanding and awareness of our youngsters.

Globalization of beauty should not traumatize the idea of beauty of a local culture in an ethnic village. The beauty of Congos or the Eskimos or the Mongols must not be spurned or discarded by the overwhelming standards of neo-beauty sponsored and promoted by the multinationals. The global beauty yardstick must always be "beauty of the brain is more beautiful than the bodily beauty".

Long ago I had an informal discussion on the concept of "beauty" with Pabung Syam Sarma (doyen of Manipuri cinema). He said, and I still remember, that "the concept of beauty is fast changing not only in our society but also in the entire world because of the international competitions on beauty which are shown worldwide; this is universalization of the idea of beauty; in fact before the advent of TV, every society and every culture had its own peculiar idea or concept of beauty; for instance 'mitlaobi/pajombi' was considered ugly in our society, but today these are considered as elements of beauty".

Jury: May I know your name?
Contestant: My name is Miss GP College.
Jury: I mean your good name?
Contestant: My name is not good.
Jury: anyway tell us you name.
Contestant: 'Ekaithibi'.

The laughter inside the open auditorium was uncontrollable; such mind boggling question answer sessions make the flaunting more enjoyable and entertaining. Stage fright has gone, confidence level is very high, but proper grooming is necessary for our girls.

I believe our girls will prepare themselves much better in the times to come with the help of Google Baba. Above all 'beauty with a purpose' ought to be the motto of our beauty pageants. Miss Chhillar (Miss World) has started her noble campaign for bringing down the price of women's sanitary napkin.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on December 14, 2017.


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