The politics of Beauty
Incase you, like me, came late to the hearing, the crowning of Miss Ethiopia 2009 was held at the Intercontinental Hotel on Saturday, January 17/2009.
The Winner, a 22 year old Addis Ababa University Student from Gambela.
According to the interview ETV’s reporter had with the judges (that aired yesterday afternoon), the decision couldn’t have been more unanimous. Ms. Chuna Okok/Okaka has been found beautiful “both inside and out”. [A concept explained by one of the judges as: gracefulness, the confidence with which a contestant holds herself, the fact that she can come up with an intelligent response at the drop of the hat, etecetra etecetra].
A fellow-judge has added how it’s no secret to any of us that Beauty pageants held in the last 60 or so years in Ethiopia have been selecting their queens from, mostly, the Northern part of the country. This pageant, he hopes, has proved how Ethiopia is a multi-cultural country where beauty comes in all colors.
Crowned Miss Ethiopia 2009, and winner of a 60,000 birr worth of Diamond, (whose own father didn’t know she was one of the contestants until she won, which she realized wasn’t a dream when the congratulatory-calls started flooding the next day) agrees. “This isn’t just my victory” she told ERTA, “it’s a victory to all girls who weren’t given this opportunity. I hope my crowning would encourage other, less confident, beauties to come out”.
In response to what she’s planning to do with her beauty, she’s hoped she’d put it to good use “if allowed to render her free-of-charge service to an NGO” (whereupon the undersigned held her chest, to support the heart she felt would break, and observed how it seems to take more than being crowned “the most beautiful woman in the land” to kick your self-worth up a notch).
According to Ethiopian Village Adventure Playground, the organization that devoted the last two years to prepare the Pageant, Miss Chuna Okok/Okaka would take part in Miss World Cultural Heritage of 2009 due to be held in Namibia this year. Deal with it!
Here are photos of the contestants.
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