Beauty contests are so not my thing! And yet…………


The Miss World contest took place today and Miss France narrowly missed out on the crown which went to Miss Philippines.

Who cares I hear you say? Well, not me. Usually. Beauty contests – and let’s be honest this is what Miss World really is – have always left me totally cold.

They are as embarrassing as they are outdated. Who cares that a girl looks pretty? In a gown or a swimsuit, whatever. The 30 seconds segment the girls get to tell the public and judges that they love animals, children, old people, and that they really, really want to save the world are as awkward as the swimsuit parade.

But this year was different; the current Miss France is my cousin’s cousin.

She’s not actually related to me but she is to some of my family on my mother’s side and they have talked about this contest ceaselessly for the last month. Talked about it, campaigned, etc….. They’ve done so much in fact that I couldn’t help but take a slight, very slight interest in the outcome of the bloody thing.

So, today, approximately 127 young women competed to win the Miss World Crown.The contest was held in Bali with some rumoured 675 policemen brought in to ensure security was tight – Islamists had threatened to disrupt the ceremony a few days before, branding the contest a ” competition for prostitutes.”

Er, right. That’s a bit harsh really. Not every one of those beauties will end up married to some fat, balding businessman with an equally fat wallet. Maybe about half of them?……..but I jest. I’m sure the girls will all have glittering, rewarding careers…..

Anyway, Miss France, Marine Lorphelin, 20, was Miss Burgundy and is now a “dauphine” to Miss World. She is by all accounts very pretty but she is also, more importantly, bright. And that’s what puzzles me. Why would someone who got a distinction for  her baccalaureat and got into Medicine bother with a beauty contest? No matter how prestigious. A quick poll around the family didn’t provide a satisfactory explanation. She had “made a promise to her grandmother” apparently. What, to enter a beauty contest? Really? Why? It all sounds rather x-factor like to me.

Still, my family wouldn’t, or rather couldn’t, give me anymore than that. And since Marine is rather busy conquering the world with her smile these days, I couldn’t – to my chagrin – ask her myself.

The contest itself……what can I say? It’s rather tedious – I wouldn’t rather watch paint dry – but it’s a close second, like Marine herself. Beautiful, over made – up women,  who smile so fixedly that I suspect the smiles will remain frozen on their faces for all eternity. A lot of vacuous talk, blah blah blah…. and eventually, the three remaining beauty queens vying for first place. How did they determine who should be in the top three? I have no idea, the process was not apparent to me but then again I may not have been paying enough attention to this riveting competition.

In any case, Marine was in the top three, yay! But after announcing Miss Ghana at third place, Marine’s name came next. Boo! She’d missed out on the top spot.

I could hear my family’s outcry from my house. Or almost. And Miss Philippine burst into tears as well but that’s because she was crowned Miss World. Good for her.

Within minutes of the results being announced, my cousins invaded FB with statuses praising Marine…. “You’ve done us proud…’re the winner in our eyes…..blah blah blah”.

Apparently Marine would very much like to go back to her Medicine studies and now that the Miss World title has eluded her, she can. She wants to become an obstetrician or a paediatrician. Brilliant. I can’t help but think this is what she should have concentrated on all along but, hey, who am I to judge. She’s just had a crazy six months and a taste of the celebrity life and why not? She’s still only 20.

And I have gained so much kudos from most of the guys I know because of her. “You’ve actually met this girl? She is SO hot! Wow….” And so on. The guys, I’m not surprised and I expect nothing less; guys are incredibly predictable after all – but even some women have been strangely impressed – and I find that weird. It seems that no matter how meaningless those beauty contests are, they still make an impression on some people. Even people who should know better.

I bet Marine is going to be a fantastic paediatrician ( I think that’s the one she’ll go for, she did tell TV crews, like, a thousand times in the last few months that she just loved children ) and she is sure to be very successful in her job. It’s not everyday you can take your children to see a doctor who was once Miss Burgundy….and Miss France…. And almost Miss World.


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