March 23, 2018 07:50 AM NPT
By: Kalu Maila
The other day, I was at a café with a friend of mine talking politics. I guess that's what men do when they meet for coffee because nothing else is worth talking about when there are pressing matters of the state to discuss. When we were teenagers we talked mostly about heavy metal bands. When we were in college, we talked mostly about the opposite sex. Pamela Anderson was one of the ladies that we frequently discussed.
When we finished college and became young professionals, we still talked about the opposite sex but now our crush moved from those with bikini bodies to smart and intelligent women. Now, politics excite us more than anything else and the funny thing is that most of us are not even engaged in politics at any level at all. I guess talking about politics is what makes us not go into deep depression. It is like our anti-depressant.
We could have talked about cricket and how our national team finally gets to play other test-playing nations. But we did not because we know that our athletes are talented but our sports officials tend to make more money than the players themselves. It’s a topic that can send us into depression.
Yes, we have read about corruption stories in our football association, cricket, or any other sports association in town. It seems that many people want to be chairperson or member of the executive committee of such sports association not to help the players or the sport but to profit from it. At the other table, was a group of young ladies who were talking about the pros and cons of participating in beauty pageants.
Every year, the winner of the Miss Nepal pageant receives nasty comments in social media. But eventually, we fall in love with her and realize that she was the best choice after all. And we also have like hundreds of beauty pageants across the country. We have Miss SLC, Miss 10+2, Miss Mongol, Miss Aryan, Miss Newa, Miss Tamang, Miss Western Region, Mrs Nepal and many more. It seems that companies organizing such beauty pageants seem to make all the money while the participants do not really get much in return except learning to do some catwalk, and maybe an ad or two for the winners.
But Miss Nepal is a whole different ball game. The top three do get some exposure and participate in international beauty pageants around the world. Some who did not even make it to top five have made quite a name for themselves in other sectors. And many Miss Nepal winners are actively engaged in media works as well.
But why do our smart and beautiful ladies fail to make it to the top 10 of international beauty pageants? Some say it’s because we are short and most of the beauty pageant contestants from other countries are at least five inches taller than ours. It could be but you don't have to be six feet four inches tall to win a beauty pageant. If that were the criteria than most of the winners would be Dutch.
Some say, our ladies do not know how to carry themselves or speak like a Nobel Prize winner. Well, that could be true but it's not because they do not know how to carry themselves or speak confidently. It's because they have not received adequate training here at home. I think we should all pitch in and even pay for better trainers for our winners this year. Countries like Venezuela and Philippines go crazy with beauty pageants. Kids young as six years old participate in training classes in hopes of becoming Miss Universe 15 years later.
Thank God, we are not that crazy and our ladies do not resort to cosmetic enhancements yet but it's about time the organization organizing the Miss Nepal pageant focused more on helping the winners get enough training and resources to compete in the global stage.
There is nothing wrong with participating in beauty pageants. A few years ago, a cousin of mine decided to participate in Miss Nepal and she made it to the top three. From a shy girl, she transformed into a smart, confident, and energetic woman after she participated in one of those international beauty pageants. It was great to see her transform herself and I’m sure that she will do great in whatever field she chooses. Our women have potential – it’s just that we don’t do enough to push them forward.
Some people complain about bikini bodies. Yes, wearing a bikini and walking around the stage is part of beauty pageants overseas. Instead of frowning or making nasty comments about it, we should encourage our beauty pageant contestants to hit the gym, hire a trainer, and a dietician and work it out to make sure that they are in better shape than the rest of the contestants out there.
Someday, our own daughters might want to participate in Miss Nepal. We cannot say no but what we can hope for is that if they make it to the top five and have the chance to answer the so-called 'it' question and make us proud by giving the best answer. Well, it will be up to the judges to grade the answers but it's about time we asked our sisters and daughters to join a debate or an elocution team at school and start practicing today. After all, practice makes perfect.
The writer is a house husband who believes in changing, if not the world, the community he lives in one person at a time. Reach him at email@example.com