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Don’t get me wrong; I’m all in for celebrating women and their achievements.
Celebrating victories in a pageant is another thing though. I won’t be a hypocrite and claim that I have never enjoyed watching it. I did. I used to watch and secretly idolize a few candidates.
But I noticed that watching it nurtured a desire for me to be one of the glorified contestants. I caught myself daydreaming about how glamorous it would be if I had the chance to be thrusted into the limelight that magnifies how amazing and beautiful the contestants are.
I wanted to be like them, and I was willing to work as hard to resemble them, but I knew it would be a lost cause because I did not win the genetic lottery.
I did not have the physical features that the beauty pageant industry was looking for. I knew this the moment I locked my eyes on the screen as each contestant showcased their signature walks and genetic advantages.
I cut my affair with pageantry when I started asking the big whys in life.
I specifically asked, “Why do I watch beauty pageants?”
Do I watch them because I love seeing beautiful women on screen, pitted against each other and then knowing someone, in the end, will either have tears of joy or tears of pain?
Do I watch them because I love seeing beautiful women who look like they have it all, but whom I could never resemble?
Do I watch them because the contestants inspire me to build a bigger platform for my advocacies but only after becoming smart and beautiful enough for a few people’s judgment?
Do I watch them—especially international beauty pageants—because I want to see my country’s representative showing the world we are home of the best female species?
Do I watch them because each contestant gives me a better picture of how women in their own country are like?
I did not have a convincing answer as to why I should still watch them, so I called it quits.
>> I don’t want women to have a limited stage to show how amazing and beautiful they are. Women are amazing and beautiful just the way they are, and the stage to show that could be any space in this world.
>> I don’t want women to feel validated and proud of who they are only after winning few people’s approval. Women should be proud of who they are, and no one but them should have the power to approve that.
>> I don’t want women to have a voice only when they win a crown. Women are a friggin’ living crown, and all they need to do is own it.
I am not watching beauty pageants anymore because I am watching you and rooting for you!