For some countries, pageantry is a civilized war of beauty, intellect and charisma. The ordinary girl who possesses the raw materials of a true queen undergoes at least two to three months of rigorous training with the crème del a crème of the countries experts. The end result is a redefined human being in mind, body and spirit.
In fact, the contestants for the pageants in many countries are trained to see themselves as ambassadors of the principles of life and conduct themselves always in a manner that is befitting of a queen.
At the end of their training, contestants are reborn with the understanding that they are to continue a lifestyle that goes beyond the one year reign as Queen. This is the case with many, even those who participate in the Miss World pageant for example.
In essence—the woman who chose to compete must understand that she can never go back to the image she left behind.
With this in mind, ponder for a few moments the upcoming Miss World Guyana Pageant and how our beauties are usually prepared for this “civilized war” as opposed to their counterparts abroad.
This year, several young women will be vying for the title of Miss World Guyana. The selections thus far prove to be a knock-out combination of elegance, class, sassiness and charm. Most know by now that only the best , will be selected to represent Guyana at the International level.
But the truth is most of our winners for several years only get as far as saying –“Name, age, Miss Guyana.” And that’s the end of it.
But it must be asked, do we (specifically , the pageant organizers) really prepare our women to the best of our ability? In fact, do we take pageants seriously? I am coming to that.
Permit me to highlight India. When contestants are chosen for pageants they are housed in a training camp for approximately one month where meticulous training is done. During this period, the young ladies are refined in several areas. These include fashion and styling, Heath and Fitness, modeling, spirituality, conduct and seminars on how to exude the presence of a queen.
Each category is headed by an expert who is designated to training the women and transforming them into queens. Even a dermatologist is hired to ensure that skin care is paid attention to. A hair specialist, dental surgeon, a diction coach, grooming expert and a makeup artist are also attached to the transformation boot camp.
The training in essence is done to transform the women’s understanding of womanhood and life. This process of course is not just about aiming for physical perfection, as delegates undergo several training seminars on the “do’s and don’t’s of proper conduct. This is a very important aspect of the programme as contestants, if chosen to be the queen, will have to interact with diplomats, ministers and even heads of states. They are even trained on how to speak on controversial topics.
It was also impressive when I learnt that a queen must also possess a certain tone of voice and as such, women in India are given several lessons in voice intonation. And just when you thought this must be the ideal power transformation programme, another element was added.
In India, past queens were summoned to deliver presentations to the potential winners on how they can possibly secure the title and sound advice on how to answer the sometimes, “dreaded final question” was imparted.
I wish to state as well that research has indicated that in other countries, training is even done at a more stringent level in comparison to India’s.
In Venezuela for example, the world of pageantry is much like a national sport. In fact, pageant preparations in Venezuela have been described as being somewhat bizarre. Many have even referred to the preparations school there as a military camp. In that Spanish speaking territory girls are taken to a beauty school high in the mountains where they are told to lose 20 pounds, eat tuna, pineapple and “green leaves” and made to run, lift weights, hike, swim and do yoga every single day. And it does not end there. The contestants are coached to perfect their physique, speech, makeup and modeling.
The aim is to “make them perfect.” And imagine this, the contestants are on the go from eight in the morning to ten at night. Things get a lot more difficult for those who are headed for international competitions, as they have to remain at the school for as long as one year.
Additionally, natural beauty is often times tampered with, as there is the affordable option of plastic surgery. Many of the contestants in Venezuela explore the options of getting nose jobs, liposuction and breast implants. The beauty school even employs dental doctors who have been known to cut girls’ gums so their teeth look bigger.
And those are just a few of the reasons why the world of pageantry is described as being bizarre in our neighbouring territory.
Admittedly, some of the preparation tactics are extreme, but it goes to show how much effort and money Venezuelans put into having their country well represented on the international scene.
Now based on the aforementioned , one could see that there is a glaring contrast between Guyana and other parts of the world. Our training package for delegates is often a walk in the park. Given the fact that the contestants are often chosen just two to three months before the pageant, one can detect by that alone that a significant degree of work cannot be done during that time. In some instances, there is no serious and professional training in diction, modeling, mannerisms and conduct. And hardly is there provision for proper and strict Health and Fitness sessions. In fact, there is hardly any provision made for dental care or spiritual classes and life lessons and or even preparation or classes for the final question. I will stop there.
It really leaves one to ask what exactly are we preparing our contestants to deliver on the international level. And more importantly which part of the pageant preparation are we actually taking seriously?
To be continued…