I never know how to feel about pageants. They’re clearly about vanity but the adult women who participate in them obviously know that. Do we get up in arms about promoting vanity or do we just let whoever wants to participate celebrate that specific flavor of beauty? I have no clue.
On August 30, women of Saudi Arabian, Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian and Algerian decent will compete in a Miss Arab USA Pageant. The idea is to promote the beauty of Arab women and the cultural garments they wear. It’s intended to be empowering not objectifying and to help Arab women embrace their beauty as a people.
A contestant Dena Mekawi said she felt pressured to hide her Arabian roots and would tell people she was half Italian or American to avoid judgment, she is hoping pageants like this will make future generations more comfortable representing who they are. Mekawi said, “Girls can look at me, the queen, or whoever wins … and feel proud of their identity,” she said. “You can be fashionable and wear the hijab.”
This sounds like it might be pretty cool and empowering.