Beauty Pageants: Lokking over and beyond beauty and stereotypes
Windhoek ‑ Modelling is mostly perceived as a “girl’s thing” thus this stereotype makes it difficult for young men with the desire of modelling to live their dreams.
However, young men like Quinton Ouseb and Monde Gabriel former and current Mr Polytechnic of Namibia overlooked the stereotyping and lived up to their desires.
Quinton Ouseb, 4th year Engineering student describes himself as outgoing and dedicated. “I never thought of modelling but the positive feedback I got from people motivated me and since I had a lot of free time I decided to give it a try. Winning was not my main aim. However, when I started auditioning it all got real and I started enjoying it,” says Ouseb.
He adds that the experience was very stressful and it changed my life in a way as I met new friends and it opened up a soft side in me. “This title gave me the confidence to step out of my comfort zone”.
Asked whether he accomplished all he wanted to during his reign, he says, “There was more I wanted to do but time was really limited, however I did most of the things I wanted to do. I mostly wanted to inspire and encourage fellow male students to partake in Mr Poly since it’s mostly perceived as a ladies thing.
When it comes modelling, one really can never judge solely on looks, as pageants are unpredictable.
“I never underestimated anyone as every guy has a special thing in them,” says Gabriel. “I did not prepare myself well last year, which led to me not winning the crown. But I let persistency take over and I told myself not to give up and that was my motivation to partake this year.” Gabriel says, “The experience made me realise that when you fight for what you want you will certainly get it. Even so, the title did not change who I am. Lastly, I would like to tell the people who lost to never give up and that one fall makes you stronger.”
Meanwhile, some Namibian media houses have been helping redefine beauty pageants to look beyond beauty. A Namibian radio station, Energy 100FM, took the lead in 2003 when it inaugurated a beauty pageant with the sole purpose of raising funds for charity to, among other things, support education. The projects support primary school learners as well as those from previously disadvantaged communities like the San community.
One such project is the Farm 6 Project that not only supports with funds but also stationery, toys, school uniforms, gardening tools and food items.
This year, Energy 100FM will use the Miss Energy 2013 beauty pageant platform to take a stand against gender-based violence that has become an alarming issue within society.
“We will use this platform to recognize and appreciate Namibian women from all spheres of life and with that said the theme for the pageant is ‘Celebrating Namibian Women’,” says Emma Areses, Corporate Communications Officer, Energy 100FM.
This extravagant red carpet event is set to take place on October 4 at a Windhoek hotel. All Namibian women from 18 to 25 years are urged to enter the pageant. Registration closes on September 17.
Former Miss Energy 100FM, Thusnelda Shiimi, says, “Being crowned Miss Energy 100FM was a once in a lifetime experience which made me grow in mind and spirit. Thus I want to encourage the next lady to be crowned, she must be courageous and make a difference because she can.”