There’s always a bit of negativity and stigma surrounding beauty pageants. Child beauty pageants in particular are often shamed.
Shows such as “Toddlers & Tiaras” give us a behind-the-scenes look, while films like “Miss Congeniality” help us laugh at the lighter side of things.
Now a beauty pageant that began in 2012 is getting quite a bit of notice due to its unique and unconventional requirement.
To enter this competition you only need one thing — to be a Holocaust survivor.
“It’s something special. I wouldn’t believe that at my age I would be a beauty,” 2018 Miss Holocaust Survivor Tova Ringer told The Times of Israel.
While the pageant is reportedly receiving some backlash, this contest does not appear to be disrespectful in any way.
In fact, a closer look reveals this contest is about inner beauty. A celebration of the strength and courage of the women who survived the Holocaust.
The Times reported thousands of people attended the contest, held in October. Among the audience were ministers, public figures and Nazi death camp survivors.
Ringer expressed her delight at being crowned the 2018 queen. “I’m very happy,” she said. The great-grandmother lost much of her family during the Holocaust.
Now a documentary called “Miss Holocaust Survivor” is in the works. The campaign to bring these survivors’ stories to the world has a mission in mind.
The Kickstarter campaign for the documentary explains the history behind the pageant and why it’s so important to those who participate.
“Dr. Izabella Greenberg, a psychologist working with Holocaust survivors at Yad Ezer, noticed that women in particular had a sense of diminished self-worth…” the campaign page explains.
“They had no opportunity to get to know their bodies, to feel pretty, feminine, appreciated, loved. In short, to feel beautiful.”
— Roberto Gagnor (@RGagnor) November 24, 2018
The idea behind the “Miss Holocaust Survivor” pageant is about “[reinforcing] the survivors’ sense of self, to give them back at least a bit of their own self-worth, using the glitzy frame of one of our time’s most recognizable shows.”
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