Our Take

Don’t drop the swimsuit

Don’t drop the swimsuit

Bowing to pressures of political correctness, organisers of the Miss America pageant have decided to drop the swimsuit round from this year’s event. This will no doubt be hailed by gender equality activists as a huge victory. Shrill cries for the dropping this from similar competitions such as Miss World and Miss Universe are certain to follow. If that happens, these contests will degenerate into a quiz contest or an IQ test for women. Arguably, physical appearance is not the ultimate test of a woman’s beauty but to reduce such competitions to judging only intellectual prowess will make them dull, boring affairs. When they began, such contests were exhibitions of female beauty as conceived by men, something which many women today may find offensive.

But over the years, the contest rules have evolved in an attempt to marry beauty with brains. The female form, worshipped for millennia by poets, artists and aesthetes, is an integral part of a woman’s persona – something which distinguishes the female of the species from the male. To judge a woman’s figure is essential to rate her grace, poise and attractiveness. After all it is not a unisexual world; our creator did not ordain it as such. To ask “Why can’t a woman be more like a man,” as Julie Andrews did in ‘Mary Poppins’ is rather irrelevant in the age of gender parity but that does not mean that the distinction between the sexes must be forcibly ended. We cannot endorse the decision made by Miss America organisers and wish other contests of the kind would not emulate this retrograde idea.



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