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Beauty, with history

india Updated: Jul 15, 2008 22:52 IST

We’ve seen it over the years. The announcement of the winner of the Miss Universe contest and along comes the beauty clutching her face, breathing gratitude and how much she will now be working for world peace and becoming the new avatar of Mother Teresa.

Well, this year’s winner and other contestants are a little different. Oh, they do want to work for non-violence and all that but they have interesting histories. The winner from Venezuela takes it all but she does not owe her poise to her concern for the world’s poor but to the fact that she was a kidnap victim once. The contestants this year are no slouches as seen in the case of Miss Albania, a professional basketball player, Miss Argentina who has paranormal experiences and Miss Antigua and Barbados who is fascinated by snakes. And to top it all is Ms Angola who was in a plane crash while trying to escape civil conflict in her country.

Who said that beauty contests were about boring platitudes about saving the world? The contestants’ own interesting preoccupations make the whole contest much more fascinating for us ordinary folk who have had it up to here with the sickening do-gooder spiel. We look forward to ‘beauty with a purpose’ and the more outré, the better.