NAIJA

THE ALARMING RISE OF BEAUTY PAGEANTS IN NIGERIA

Screenshot_2015-09-09-10-12-31-1It is alarming indeed the sudden rise of beauty pageants in Nigeria. Once upon a time, pageants were a thing of pride, beauty and definitely something participants would hold in high esteem and non-participants would long to partake.

Now what do we have? We have pageants like Miss Ultimate Nigeria, Miss Dazzle Nigeria, Miss VIP Nigeria, Queen of Trust Nigeria and a host of others. A bunch of irrelevant and inconsequential gatherings of 15 to 20 females where the winner gets a car, cash prize and recognition as the Miss, Face or Queen of whatever the organizers deem fit.

I remember back in University, every weekend someone would come into our hostel and distribute flyers asking us to purchase their pageant forms and stand a chance to win a car and represent Nigeria in an international competition. And all the girls would be ecstatic as soon as they heard “international”.

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Some of these forms sold for 3,000 naira. Others for 5,000 naira and remember a particular one that sold for 10,000 naira – under the guise that if we bought it for that price, we would automatically be placed into the top 5 position at the pageant finale. How ridiculous does that sound?

My question is what exactly is the point of these pageants? What morals are they teaching our young girls? I have happened to meet some of these so called “beauty queens” and to be honest; I was quite disappointed at their manner of conduct, dress sense and even manner of speech.

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Most of them lack the self confidence and carriage of a Queen and more or less have their managers as their spokesperson. They can barely keep up with a conversation and above all do not even have a goal as to why they even became a beauty queen in the first place.

Funny enough, the winners of these pageants have “Pet projects” where they are supposed to give back to communities. How many of us have actually heard of these projects or benefitted from them? So I ask again, what exactly is the point of the entire pageantry if not to pay it forward?

Rumor has it that most of these girls simply use these means to meet the rich and mighty all in the name of getting “sponsors” for their “pet project”. Apparently, there is usually an agreement between the Queen and the organizers where the organizers link them up with the rich and mighty sponsors and in exchange, they get 20 or 30% of whatever financial benefit is realized from the link up.

I hate to actually imagine what goes on during these supposed “link up” but I think we can all pretty much figure it out. This is probably why becoming a Beauty Queen is now more or less a “career” in Nigeria. As you start off from the bottom and after one or two crowns, you are seen driving the best cars and living the good life. What a shame!

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I also remember a particular young and good looking young lady who without a doubt was uneducated (avoidable grammatical blunder). After she struggled to get admission into the University, she decided to contest in the Queen of Aso Beauty Pageant and came out the winner. She later went on to compete in the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) pageant and came out in 5th place as Miss Ambassador Nigeria. She then represented Nigeria in the Miss Ambassador International competition which she also won and ended up getting selected by the Miss Tourism organizers to represent Nigeria in the Miss Tourism International competition.

This young lady in question is about 30 now if not over and despite all the “crowns” she has won, all the cars she has driven, all the countries she has represented Nigeria in, she is still not a graduate of a university and is unfortunately still unable to correctly construct a sentence or have an intellectual conversation that does not revolve around money, cars or pageantry.

If that is the so called “good life” then permit me to say it is a very PATHETIC one!

Ladies, I honestly do not know why some of you are so eager to become “Beauty Queens” but if the end goal is a “get rich quick scheme” then it is quite unfortunate and all I can say is good luck to you.

A Queen is selfless; a Queen gives back to her people. A Queen carries herself with grace and accords herself with respect. And except you are ready to act like a Queen then you simply do not deserve to be one.

To the organizers of such ridiculous beauty pageants out there, shame on you for choosing to exploit young girls the way you do and I really hope these girls figure out sooner than later that they are not just some pawn you can use to get whatever you want.

Are you a reigning or ex beauty queen? Or do you know one? Kindly share your take on this.

Feel free to comment and share your opinion and suggestions.

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-OUR

21 replies »

  1. The opinions expressed here are very decisive and well founded. In recent times, I have seen a rag-tag band of young ladies in these so called pageants and it is almost laughable. They are almost two for a dime these days. The erosion in all our values seems to have also taken its toll in this dimension. When I read or listen to some of the younger generation speak, I practically blush from the embarrassment at the poor level of English, ethics and mannerism. Very pathetic.

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  2. Hmmm I don’t know, I always wanted to be a beauty queen. I mean it’s never going to happen, because of my height, but I still want it. Lol

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    • Lol Lydia! When there is a will, there is a way. Your inspiration should be Kate Moss. She conquered the modeling industry at a time when only 6ft models were even considered.

      But as long as you don’t compromise your morals and self esteem just to be a Queen then go ahead! I’m sure you’ll make a terrific Queen 😉

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  3. @Viva. Beautiful piece here. I once wrote on something close to this. It’s really shameful and annoying how some girls tend to sell out their personalities/compartments for some cheap popularity. Some girls go into pageants cos they see others going or cos they feel it’s all about the physical beauty thing. They go into it goalless,with no defined reason or whatsoever, why they are partaking in such. I have par took in some reasonable pageants(Miss Nig 2010 n others) n won some crowns too. But my dear, it took personal hard work and determination. I had my pet project drafted even before I started pageantry- just in case I become a winner. I had an earlier plan. As an ex queen,i tell u, I do not have a personal car. Not bcos I don’t want to, but because i didn’t want my moral conscience to prick me. Heaven and earth was promised when I won my crown but I saw non fulfilled. Why? Because as they’l say “nothing goes for nothing”(if you know what I mean). When you refuse to pay ‘backyard homage’, then, you are left to swim the lagoon alone. The so called high and mighty even think all queens to be slots cause no respect is granted. But you know what? I wouldn’t blame them. “It is how you lay your bed you lie on it”. To my dear intending queens. Go there and be different, use your beauty and your brains not your beauty and your body please. If you put in your best and still do not win, forge on. Maybe that isn’t your crown. If you really want to give to the society, do something that’l attract people to you. Let your beauty attract people, and let your personality make them stay. You will definitely get help from them in whatsoever you have decided to do. Goodluck
    Thanks Viva for bringing such up once again.

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    • Bless you Tumi for this wonderful comment. Like I always say, I love it when readers collaborate my opinion with their real life experiences.

      It’s really sad what pageantry has become in Nigeria these days and I really do hope these girls realize that there’s more to life than driving big cars and wearing designer clothes.

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  4. First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was interested to find out how you center yourself and clear your head prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out. I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Many thanks!|

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    • Thank you Ivan for your comment but to answer your question, most times I write in the middle of the night when it’s really quiet and calm. It helps me concentrate better. Also, when I write, I do not bother to make sense just yet. I simply write and write all I can about the topic then after writing, I edit and arrange everything to make sense. You should try it out. Good luck!

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  5. u are spot on..google Bayelsa Queen High School pageant..no more maths and science competition again its pageant.
    it is.actually a sign of economic faillure the country has no real economy of hardwork pays in due time,
    Lets face it Nigeria does not reward brains and talents like it does who.you.know..
    this coupled with the materialism/greed of Nigerians… everybody must hammer and drive that car and live that lekki lagos lifestyle by all means ..(in the name.of Jesus)
    so the girls feel it best to sleep around with oga in uni, landlord, oga at the office to get jobs..
    the economy is not based on hard work it is based on “who you know”..
    everybody wants to do entertainment (cheap money lil brain work)..either do a pageant as a girl or do yahoo / music as a guy or host events and try to make money
    how do you feel when you go to banks or companies and see young girls working with only a few young men. Are there no young men looking for work? But the young men have no uncle whilst the young women.who have no uncle have what to give in.exchange.
    Kudos to you i thought i was the only.one who noticed it..
    i was enraged when I saw the high school pageant which means when we want to in Nigeria we know how to organize for things..

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    • Thank you Neka for your comments. To be honest, I think all minor pageantry should be banned. It is becoming ridiculous. Our young girls are being led astray. It’s such a pity.

      Maybe if they didn’t have these pageant organizers to hook them up with these big men then maybe they would look for other legit opportunities to make money. Such a shame!

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  6. Reblogged this on A Loco Viva Voce and commented:

    Hello people, it’s THROWBACK THURSDAY. Every Thursday, I will be reblogging a post from the blog’s archives to give new readers a chance to catch up on posts they missed.

    Today’s post is about all the numerous beauty pageants out there.

    Read, Share and Enjoy!

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  7. It’s indeed scary. I really do love entertainment, loves acting and writing a lot. But, the irony of it all is that I simply can’t sit and watch any nolly wood movie without noticing one or two blatant faults. To the beauty Queen thing, hmm.. Its also very comic, I love pageantry, started it as little as 3,but to think that the Queens I see today, pray persistently that the, ‘oshomole-like-hussy’ come thier door step the moment they leave the stage, is in itself frustrating. Or better still, be the baby mama of some big name entertainer. Its a free world though, but very discouraging to aspirants like me. They seem to have less vision… Thumbs up to past beauty Queens that decided to make something outta thier life other than being some big man’s leach. Anyway, blogger, it’s a nice work that you are doing here, keep it up and let’s pray for better visionaries as Queens.

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    • It’s very sad indeed Viv. The things our generation have turned the whole pageant thing to. I really hope sooner or later they realize they are doing themselves more harm than good. And as for you wanting to be a beauty queen, it’s good to aspire to make a difference in the world today but I must warn you that I’ve heard cases where if the queen refuses to comply with her “aristos”, she could get dethroned by the organisers. You know the organisers get a cut from all the nonsense. So if you’re not getting money, they don’t get paid and they definitely frown upon not getting paid.
      So make sure you know what it is you are getting into so you don’t compromise your morals. Thanks for reading!

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