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December 12, 2010

Miss South Africa DOES objectify women

Photo by Rosengurtt
12 December 2010

I don't have DStv as a matter of principle, but I happened to have the opportunity to catch a bit of the judging for potential contestants for the Miss South Africa pageant on Mzansi Magic.

I was truly shocked at what I heard - so much so that I couldn't bear to watch the programme anymore.

The pageant claims that the ruling Miss South Africa should "shine as a role model and ambassador" for South Africa, but nowhere do they say the women who rules needs to be perfect. They even go so far as to say the following: "The idea that a "Beauty Queen" is just for show and only judged on her exterior beauty is certainly not relevant in the search for our ambassador".

Admittedly I did not watch the show long, but if the judges were using the terms I heard in judging just two women, certainly the same kind of prejudices would apply for other women?

And the terms I heard were completely unrepresentative of the so-called commitment to not focusing on the physical attributes.

Phrases such as "her calves are too skinny" or "her boobs are too small" should surely not be phrases applied to a competition that makes the claims as stated above.

And once they've judged the poor women on the skinniness of their calves or the tininess of their bosoms, this will certainly change the way they think about anything else she does, because this is the first judgement they had made.

It is so strange that society has no problem when women are objectified, and women who are being objectified have no problem with it, even to the point of claiming that they didn't feel objectified at all.

Is wearing that crown so important that you need to forget that the pageant should really be standing for women who are real and might have skinny calves and that it's ok?