Pakistan is a country with few of the most beautiful women in the world. However, Beauty pageants didn’t rhyme well with the country for many decades. And those who knows the beauty conceptualisation in Pakistan would say that a Muslim women is not allowed to show off their skin in public or to prove their beauty by getting into pageants.
According to a Pakistani feminist Amna Buttar “In Pakistan, we are trying to get basic rights for women: right to marry, right to divorce, equal opportunity for job and education, and issues like Miss Pakistan create problems for this movement. An average Pakistani young woman does not want to wear a bikini in public, and for her it is important to have equal opportunity and all focus should be on that, and not on a pageant where only the elite can participate.”
But Sonia Ahmed, President of Miss Pakistan World, defended the event as a movement to express one’s rights and freedom to do as one wishes. So it was not easy for her to organise the pageant in Pakistan so she decided to organize it outside Pakistan,
Miss Pakistan World is a beauty pageant where the winners represents Pakistan in various pageants. Till date, it is the only original Pakistani beauty pageant that is internationally recognized in the world. The contestants of the Miss Pakistan World pageant are Pakistani girls who reside all over the world, as well as the participation is open for the girls from Pakistan, as well as dual nationality holders. Miss Pakistan World has been running since 2002 and has expanded to launching Mrs. Pakistan World as well as Mr. Pakistan World.
The pageant sent girls to Miss Earth, Miss Grand International, Miss Asia Pacific World and many minor pageants but the organisation had to go through lots of ups and downs. But finally in 2014, Shanzay Hayat broke the spell of non-placement into pageants by advancing in Top 20 of Miss Grand international 2014 and the same year she also went on to represent Pakistan at Miss Asia Pacific where she landed in top 14, this was the first victory by Miss Pakistan organisation and after her placement, lots of stunner started taking part. The best example is Anzhelika tahir who won Miss Pakistan tittle in 2015 and represented Pakistan in two international pageants, World Miss University and Miss Supertalent of World 2016 , in both pageants she ended up as 2nd runner up, proving that a Pakistani women is nothing less and she is as beautiful as every other front-runner.
It’s just a matter of change in perception of the people that requires Beauty Pageants to be accepted as any other contest and not just a flesh show off contest. We do hope to see Pakistan allowing full fledge pageants soon and it would be great to see the country making waves across the globe.
Author: Zain Ul Abedin Sabir