Malawi and it’s hate for beauty queens

Today is the day!

Fourteen beauty queens selected from across the country will today be battling it out at BICC Lilongwe for the Miss Malawi crown. The event has been heavily publicised by Zodiak and the team; and from the look of things, the organisers have been doing a terrific job. Only one girl will be crowned by the end of the evening, closing the curtain on the long race it has been.  However for some contestants, the real battle might have just began.

Deciding to run for Miss Malawi has got to be undoubtedly one of the hardest decision a girl can make. I mean, putting yourself on the national stage to be judged on your looks?  That requires guts. I should believe one goes into such a competition with the belief and confidence in their looks and abilities to fulfill the requirements of such a role. However I doubt if they all come out with the same belief and confidence they possessed while going into the race.

Malawians are brutal.

I do not want to dwell on everything that has been said about the contestants, just one comment I read off Nyasatimes. One “Le Colone” had this to say;

Koma ku Malawi komvetsa chisoni ndithu. So these skinny shabby looking girls consider themselves beautiful? Pitani mukaone pa Nairobi, Maputo, South Africa, Addis Ababa ndi Lusaka.

“…..So these skinny shabby looking girls consider themselves beautiful?….

The idea that only a special section of the population have a right to feel a certain way about themselves is truly disturbing. I am tempted to think maybe as individuals this type of thinking in our society is what really holds us back; this idea that certain feelings, goals, ambitions are meant for a secluded extraordinary that were born to win and succeed.

We are perplexed when we see someone that resembles us, whose past and experiences we share go out on their way to break through the boundaries we have set for them. We are quick to point them out because just like we have condemned ourselves to the average life, they too should do the same. How dare they? what do they have that we do not have? And maybe that is the problem…

We fail to realise that life is for the ordinary person. You and me. No one is born extraordinary. I know there are some people are that are born into great families, with great genes and with superior intelligence. But that does not mean they have a monopoly over that. Everyone can feel the way they want to about themselves and anyone should be able to dare and dream beyond their currents state. Life is for the ordinary. As a society we have got to learn to let people be free to curve out an extraordinary life for themselves; without projecting our own insecurities on them.

The sad reality is that while we would have gotten over the Miss Malawi fiasco after tonight, some of these girls will go back to their homes questioning their self worth and whatever confidence they had built before the competition. And that is a battle that rages in silence but whose impact we see in our own fears.


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