At the moment, the world of beauty pageants reminds me of a jungle where all shots are allowed. And that’s a shame!!!
How did I come to this disastrous vision?
The pandemic has caused a lot of organizations to question themselves, but above all it has allowed the freedom of speech, and what we have discovered is not pretty, pretty.
More fifteen years that I have worked in the backstage of pageantry, for which I have always had a passion since my childhood. It’s not the stage that attracts me, but everything that happens in the backstage and the different steps to succeed in making you dream in front of your television set, which are only a tiny part of the life of a miss.
However, for the past few years, I have been overwhelmed by the bad image that certain organizations reflect, throwing shame on the whole of this world. Indeed, I am a little tired of having to explain regularly to my entourage that this environment is not limited to glitter and glamour, which they observe sitting comfortably on their sofa. Pageantry turns out to be much more complex than it first appears. Behind these very well-oiled shows, there is a daily life far removed from the dream that producers sell us during pageants.
I hear some people claim that beauty pageants are old-fashioned. If that were true, I don’t think a billion viewers would get excited every year watching Miss World or Miss Universe. The pageantry is constantly evolving over time to be in alignment with society, with the times. We are celebrating the centenary of the first beauty pageants right now. Only a handful have survived since the 1920s and their survival was only at the cost of numerous adaptations in the face of obstacles (such as numerous feminist demonstrations that wanted to ban them) and changes in society. I have always been impressed by their ability to transform themselves to meet the expectations of their audience, but also those of the candidates.
Others tell me that they convey a degrading vision of women. It is misunderstanding this environment, since the image “Be beautiful and shut up” of the candidates has been shattered for a long time thanks to the work of organizations which transform these chrysalises into leaders who count in today’s world. But it is true that the behavior of certain directors, of certain sponsors does not help to get rid of this unflattering and outdated image.
For the past few months, speech has been freed and I was dismayed to learn of the bad experiences that some of them could have during their reign. I am happy that justice in most cases has taken up these stories to investigate and prevent harming certain directors who sleep for some in prison following accusations of rape, sexual touching and even pimping… He was time to do some cleaning, because such behavior should never happen. But alas, it was the case and too often the victims did not dare to speak, some having suicidal thoughts in the face of the walls they encountered when they wanted to warn of these crimes.
The young people who enter in pageantry often do so with an ulterior motive. The vast majority wish to use their title in order to guarantee a future in a field inaccessible to them, or else they have the will to support causes that are close to their hearts by publicizing them, by providing them with funds or by orchestrating actions to allow their development.
Thus, everyone has their own motivations when they embark on this adventure, but it is regrettable when committees disgust them with pageantry, break their wings in mid-flight.
Another misconception that I often hear about contests is that everything is a foregone conclusion. Nay! Nor am I saying that this world does not have a few bad apples that we were able to spot during our investigations and our meetings. During research, I admit that we have encountered “crooks” who do not hesitate to use contests for their own purposes and who extract money from certain naive aspirants by selling them an inaccessible dream.
This is the case when these committees do not respect their own rules, own regulations, that they change according to their desire without taking into account the law. Similarly, not communicating the terms of designation of the winners or even the final grades remain points that make me go out of my hinges.
But I can assure you that for a large majority, the directors are above all enthusiasts, who do not count their hours, nor their means to make their pageant live and thus put stars in the eyes of the candidates. They bring a unique experience to young people with big hearts, but sometimes lacking in self-confidence. They bring a unique experience to young people with big hearts, but sometimes lacking in self-confidence. In this way, they learn to take an interest in the world around them, to reach out to a community in need or to speak in front of an audience. Most of these winners told me that winning a sash gave them the opportunity to grow and become responsible and enterprising adults. They have opened up to others and understand that a simple smile, a quick hello or a wave of the hand can fill the heart of the person who receives it.
It is by thinking of these volunteers, these enthusiasts, that we imagined this new project which emerged following numerous complaints that we received and numerous investigations that we carried out.
October 15, 2022, will see the birth of the European Pageantry Federation.
Like what exists in the USA, but also in Benin, it was time to create in Europe an independent organization whose sole purpose is to bring together the committees, to promote their development and training while respecting the values of each, but above all by undertaking actions to promote and encourage professional ethics within these various organizations. We will develop a strong “code of ethics” that will define the standards of ethical and respectful conduct within pageantry.
It will not intervene in your eligibility criteria or in your rules, unless they are contrary to the law, since each competition is unique and depends on the values that its founder wishes to instill in it. The Federation will be there to ensure that they are respected from A to Z and to reassure the candidates of the smooth running of the contests.
The aim is to promote fair and ethical competition between committees in each European country. Our desire is to see each competitor flourish and grow through successful experiences in stimulating and rewarding competitions.
All committees can exist without going to war. There is a place for everyone as long as everyone respects the other and their values. The Federation will strive to value each of its members as long as they respect the code that we wish to deploy within pageantry and which will regularly evolve over time and our discussions with the members.
The Federation does not forget the candidates and all those who work behind the scenes to help them achieve their goal, since it will be delighted to welcome all the good souls who wish to work with it in order to develop a healthier and more ethical.
She also provided support to all candidates, who would experience trauma within an organization. The Federation will investigate, if necessary, all the abuses brought to its attention to ensure their veracity in order to denounce them, but also to allow the freedom of speech so that all this stops. We will also provide them with the necessary elements to be able to defend themselves.
So join us.
Founder and Chairman