What is the elimination process in the global beauty pageants?

Dear Editor,

I promised myself that now the silly season has arrived, I will not confine my writings to every political tin-cup tempo, jumping to every beat. My contributions will reflect different flavours between the political vibes. As long as there continue to be Miss Universe and Miss World pageants, for so long will I be watching. I’ve been doing that for years, though I’ve grown weary of those here at home. Not that I’m saying that pageants are bad here; the villages, communities, towns ought to keep challenging their young girls, it’s just that they are so frequent and insipid they don’t pique my interest – they are the flat regular same same.

The fact that international pageants take place in different parts of the world is one reason for attracting interest; there is so much to expect. I remember when there was one in Panama a few years back the story behind the Panama Canal held my attention, and as they shift from country to country so the histories and stories become colourful and intriguing. But don’t get me wrong; I’m not obsessed with them, considering them to be the most wonderful show; far from it. There are many interesting things to observe, OK, but they are definitely not the best of shows. You see artistes in performance who are no big deal, doing nothing spectacular. Even though they are not quite up to it they are propped up, sold and accepted. I’m betting pennies to pins that our Guyanese artistes here and about can hold their own, matching and out-matching some of those mediocrities; they just need a break in the limelight. But as they say, you can sell anything once you package it well – not that they don’t have the best as well, but we do see a lot of them not up to scratch bouncing around with microphones on stage. But just what do those filthy rich celebrities care? They couldn’t be bothered; they see them and don’t see them, hear them and don’t hear them.

Over the years I’m yet to learn just how they go about the elimination process; eighty, ninety beautiful, adorable young women from across the globe bedecked in glowing gowns of various design are spread across an imposing and exquisite stage. There is splendour galore and each is a queen in her own right, yet within minutes fifteen are selected. Tell me, is this magic selection done by those 8, 10 judges there and then? Just what do they look for? And then there’s all that fuss about the intelligence segment where the intellect and sharpness of wits are tested. This doesn’t hold water judging from what I’ve seen, for really if it was so then Miss Jamaica would not have been placed 5th; it just doesn’t add up.

For me these global pageants are more than what we see and think. We have a proverb here for it, “More in the mortar than the pestle.” Come on folks, use “yuh kidney”; what we see and what those organisers are looking for are not the same. Understand that in these world pageants we ain’t really know the game. Our Nikita Barker got one thing smack on, which I have to commend her for: she said as reported that she believed the pageant was politicised and spots had to be guaranteed for those countries that had invested much in Miss Universe; the girls who truly shine had to fight for the remaining spots. For that deep, insightful observation I place her within the top ten. But what can we do except to keep enjoying the show, shouting and picking ‘we’ pick, hope that ‘we see we girl’ at least for a second or two. We have to settle for “Look, is she coming now, yeaaah! We see she, we see she,” and wait until she decides to return.

One thing I think our local organisers should ask our girls to do when they go to these pageants is to look for a fascinating story to bring back to our people, if not the crown, like Reeya Majeed did some years ago when she brought back from Thailand (I think) that poignant story ‘Golden Flower’ to share with us. Once more like so many other countries, for Guyana it was an also ran.

Yours faithfully,
Frank Fyffe


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