Rai’s bold and blunt statements regarding the prevalence of unethical practices within the competition have sparked controversy.
The 2010 Miss Nepal contestant, Samriddhi Rai, has given us a sneak peek into the grim reality of beauty pageants concealed behind all the razzmatazz. Here are the top four things she’s revealed about Miss Nepal:
1. Beauty pageants are unethical
The criteria for winning and partaking in beauty pageants have always been based on looks and outer beauty. Any competition that proclaims its winner on the merits of someone’s height, figure, and looks is morally wrong. These pageants set unrealistic standards of beauty for men and women, and they are also detrimental to the self-esteem of anyone who does not meet the set standards.
2. Being liked by organizers matters
As per Rai, Gopal Kakshapati, the Chairman of Miss Nepal, admitted to denying Rai a spot in the top three just because he didn’t like her. She then shares how devastating it can be for girls from small families carrying big dreams to be shunned just because a particular organizer doesn’t like them.
3. Beauty pageants aren’t free from nepotism
Rai also accuses Miss Nepal of being another industry where nepotism and favoritism are still prevalent. She shares that coming from an influential family plays a substantial role in winning the crown. However, Rai also clarifies that some years of Miss Nepal are fair while others succumb to predilections.
4. It’s all showbiz facade that sells fake dreams
Miss Nepal essentially sells a dream to young women—a dream of success and accomplishment that can be fulfilled if you look, talk, and walk pretty. After being captivated by this dream for years, Rai woke up to see the facade for what it was: a platform where wealthy businessmen and women make money out of young women and their products. Having lived within and without the glamorous world of beauty pageants, Rai departs with words of wisdom for young women. “You don’t need beauty pageants for empowerment; education is your real empowerment. And you certainly don’t need many businessmen telling you your worth.”
Rai’s bold statements also attracted The Hidden Treasure’s (THT) attention. As a result, THT issued a statement on their social media page denying Rai’s claims.
And Rai didn’t hold back either. Here’s a sassy response posted by Rai in retaliation.
Where do you stand on the issue? Is Miss Nepal just a facade? Or does it empower women? Do let us know in the comment section.