A 'beauty' contest in Saudi for the morally beautiful

Beauty contests are money-making machines...
One thing that I'm certain I'm never going to see is a Saudi Arabian candidate in Miss World or Miss Universe (or even the Philippine-sponsored Miss Earth). Even though I've only seen a few of Saudi women's faces (because most of our employees wear niqab -- that black veil Muslim women wore over their faces), in my opinion, Saudi women possess good-looking features: pointed nose, deep-seethed eyes, beautiful teeth, pearly skin, etc.

Imagine then my surprise when this morning I read about 'Miss Beautiful Morals', a beauty contest in Saudi Arabia.

“The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants’ commitment to Islamic morals . . . It’s an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman’s body and looks,” Khadra al-Mubarak, the event’s founder, said.

Here's how the pageant works: The nearly 200 contestants will spend the next 10 weeks attending classes and being quizzed on themes including "Discovering your inner strength," "The making of leaders" and "Mom, paradise is at your feet" - a saying attributed to one of Islam's most important tenets on respect to elders.

Contestants will also spend a day at a country house with their mothers, where they will be observed and graded by female judges on how they interact with their mothers, al-Mubarak said.

Now in its second year, the number of pageant contestants has reportedly tripled (from the 75 women who participated in 2008). The pageant was opened to women between 15 and 25, and the winners will be announced in July somewhere in Safwa. The title merits $2,600 and the runner up $1,300.

The photo, courtesy of Yahoo, is that of Khadra al-Mubarak showing brochures of the 'Miss Beautiful Morals' contest.

My take on the subject

Saudi women are beautiful. They can easily trounce their opponents if ever they join these so-called 'decadent' beauty contests.

But all the beauty contests we see on television are there for business. To rake money via paid adverts, paid sponsors, paying public, exclusive rights, etc. Is Miss Beautiful Morals no different? I think not. I may commend it for having a different set of criteria than the trite swimsuit/gown/Q&A routine of other beauty contests, but if you're really a woman with morals, would you flaunt it for money?

14 Responses

  1. RJ says:

    Ito na nga siguro ang madalas sabihin ng mga kasali sa Bb. Pilipinas ar Miss Universe pageant tuwing Q&A portion ng patimpalak: "...the real beauty lies from within!"

    ...talagang ipinakita ng KSA beauties ang totoong kahulugan nito. U

  2. Marlon says:

    Hehehe...interesting idea for a beauty contest "este Miss Beautiful Morals"...kanya-kanyang trip lang talaga yan siguro.

  3. Ken says:

    ang galing di ba? nebz, i definitely agree, mas magaganda ang mga saudi women, pero do they have the brain? seriously...

    When it comes to morals, this is very interesting, i mean, the world definitely need this.

    What about Search for Miss Universe Moral...morally clean, socially decent, and well, physically beautiful and mentally capable to engage...meron pa bang ganitong woman? hehehe...

  4. This is an interesting pageant, very different from what we are used to. But again, like Miss Universse, Ms. World, etc... what is it really for?

    Who will dare act immorally when you're under the watchful eyes of judges? And can they really judge someone's "morals" in ten weeks?

  5. Garando says:

    ...i guess the "talent portion" is out of the question then? So much for seeing more baton twirling.


  6. parang big brother ang setting kung lahat sila mag stay sa one house....


  7. The Pope says:

    Well this is just a perfect pageant for women - Miss Beautiful Morals.

    It doesn't require to show bikini clad ladies, it doesn't require highly educated women to join the event, at hindi rin kailangan na laging Ingles ag isasagot sa Q&A portion, Bb. Pilipinas, o Miss Philippines ang contest tapos ingles ang tanong kailangan ingles din ang sagot, we are really sick.

  8. Badong says:

    hmm…interesting. Tama ka na hindi mo na talaga kailangan pang sumali sa beauty pageant na tulad non para ipakitang isa kang babaeng may ‘moral’. Even if they say na they do it to promote whatever, in the end, they’re still after the prize. Maybe they have a different scope and definition of moral after.

  9. A-Z-3-L says:

    this is a break for Arab Ladies...

    pero if Moral is the issue here, dapat they spot a female arab somewhere tapos parang paparazzi na susundan. atleast, hindi nila alam na they are being judged as a contestant. kase as for me if alam kong there is a cam in front of me.. aba! kesehodang magtutuwad ako oras-oras at maging polite sa kahit sino at kunyaring hahabaan ko ang patience ko para lang manalo dito!

    madmaing pretentions na pwedeng mangyari. mahirap i-determine ang tunay na winner. dahil lahat naman kayang magpretend.

    sana maging successful sila...


  10. Sardonyx says:

    Nebz, may tama ka! :-) Well said by everyone here and yes if you're a woman with morals I don't think she would flaunt it just for money, nakakawalan ng moral yun di ba ...malamang gagayahin din ng mga pinoy yang contest na yan hehehe

  11. witsandnuts says:

    This is interesting. I agree Arab women are very beautiful. I'm mesmerized when they take off their abayas in the washroom. As much as I agree, too, with Kenji's last portion of comment (first line).

  12. NJ Abad says:

    Great post!

    Would love to be asked to sit as one of the judges in this Ms Beautiful Morals... hahaha.

    Guess that when I get out of the ala PBB's accommodation after ther contest, i'll be like our headless shrimps here!

  13. Francesca says:

    the beauty within, is true, but we are in this system where those having the best outside personality got the first priority. Look at what happen to susan boyle.

    About that morals ek ek of this beauty contest, if there's only glory as reward, i would still prefer money,hehe.

  14. Ruel says:

    I think KSA just wanted to preserve their culture and morals of their women especially that KSA is becoming a multi-cultured kingdom.

    It is an interesting contest, I suppose.

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