Where are all the tall GOOD-LOOKERS!


Our story, ‘Sri Lanka…the land of Beauty Pageants,’ in the Thursday Island of August 29th, did wake up quite a few, and the feedback, from readers, was simply great.

Most wanted to know why our tall, good-looking girls are seldom, or never, in the frame, where beauty pageants are concerned. And the answer is simple.

We did check things out, for our readers, and the response was what we expected.

They all felt that a good many of the contests weren’t organized in a professional way, where the final results would indicate that the best have been selected. Some spoke of favouritism.

"And, that’s precisely the reason why most beauty pageants are shunned by those who have what it takes to be a true beauty queen’" says Madu Awanthi, who does our Beauty Tips column.

"I believe most recognised beauty pageants do have height requirements – if one is to be crowned winner," she added.

Yes, we did check and Madu Awanthi does have a point: the vast majority of winners, for the more prestigious pageants, are between 5’6" and 5’11". This, I’m told, is because the pageant organization wants to promote a woman that has modelling potential, on top of everything else they look for in a winner.

Our Beauty Tips writer went on to say that it’s not impossible for a petite woman to win, but she must be that much better in all other areas.

I guess all other areas would definitely include beauty and brains, and we need to think seriously about all these requirements when selecting a winner to represent Sri Lanka – in any beauty pageant.

Anyone representing Sri Lanka goes as an ambassador of goodwill and she must also be in a position to talk about her country to the rest of her colleagues. And, when she is back home, charity work should be her priority – not social media.

For male pageants, height, too, is crucial to literally ‘stand out’ on the stage.

The trope ‘tall, dark and handsome’ reflects and reinforces this aesthetic, and while ‘dark’ has given way to fair skin, tallness remains idealized.

With hardly anything special to offer, at an international event, most of our contestants are invariably knocked out in the early rounds, in the main contest.

Believe me, I was also told that people living in the countries, that host some of these beauty pageants, don’t even know of the existence of such contests! And, we make such a big sound about them. What a waste of time and money!

Certain Franchise Holders mentioned to me that it’s difficult to get sponsors to help them put together a proper contest in order to select a suitable winner – hence the reason for them nominating a contestant who is able to pay a substantial fee, and also buy their own air ticket.

Well, if a proper contest cannot be worked out, then why go ahead with that particular beauty pageant – to satisfy whom!

Known sponsors, I spoke to, regarding this subject, said they are reluctant to get involved in these beauty pageants because there are dozens at the moment and most of them are not properly conducted.

"We don’t want to soil our name, and our product, by getting involved in some of these half-baked events," a marketing officer, of a leading firm, told me.

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