Pageantry and politics frequently come to an interesting cross section as some political views may believe pageantry goes against what they stand for. The Egyptian Parliament is grappling with the question, “Does pageantry belong in our society? And if so, should it be overseen by the government?” (Read: Do Pageantry and Politics Go Together?)
About the situation
The Miss Egypt pageant is coming into controversy following the crowning of Miss Egypt World 2017. Recently, a member of the parliamentary Human Rights Committee, Solaf Darwish, stated cameras were installed in the rooms of the contestants and photos captured from the cameras showed immoral behavior. One of the contestants, who remains anonymous, decided to drop out of the Miss Egypt pageant after claiming to be subjected to abuse. Two of the judges also excused themselves from participating in the Miss Egypt 2017 event. (Read: How to Tell If A Pageant Is Rigged)
Following the accusations by the contestant, Darkish commented on the pageant in an interview with Al-Monitor by saying, “Miss Egypt Pageant 2017 has stirred public discontent… I do not want to cancel beauty pageants. I only want to temporarily suspend them until the government and the Egyptian parliament agree on mechanisms to regulate them in line with the norms prevailing in Egyptian society and assign a specific ministry to supervise them.”
While it is unclear how the Parliament will handle this issue, pageant organizers seem to be in favor of government oversight. Mahmoud Najah, the founder of the Queen of Elegance pageant, said that “having a single authority in charge of organizing beauty pageants will serve our interests.”
About the criticism
One contestant launched allegations that the Miss Egypt pageant was entirely focused on physical beauty rather than whether a contestant could be a good representation of the country. In response to the accusations, pageant organizer Amal Rizk published two screenshots of conversations with the contestant. The first was Rizk asking the contestant to lose 15 pounds and the second was dismissing the contestant from the competition. (Read: Miss UK Forfeits Crown After Being Told to Lose Weight)
Many people in Egypt also believe that pageants generally conflict with Sharia law. Most of the criticism comes from the idea that judges need to examine the body and appearance of a contestant in skimpy or sexy clothing, which fundamentally contradictions the teachings of Sharia.
What do you think of government oversight in pageantry? Let us know below!
Have a great news story you’d love to see covered on Pageant Planet? Let us know here!