As part of a project about beauty pageants I’ve been working on for university I spoke to one pageant winner who takes women’s rights seriously. Clara Belle is Miss Durham 2011 and a feminist.
Read the article here.
I personally do not agree with her take on feminism as you will probably have guessed from this post but it was really interesting to talk to her. She spoke a lot about what I’ve started calling “individualist feminism” because that’s the only way I can describe it. She says it’s about “doing what you want to whether or not it promotes equality between the sexes. It’s individualism as well as feminism.”
“I’m not damaging. I know I’m part of an industry that could potentially be seen to be damaging. But I personally am not”, she says.
This kind of thinking is alien to me as feminism in my eyes is about making change for the whole global community. Women and men are not equal and so we can’t justify doing these kind of competitions.
I could see the argument for pageants in the UK if women, like Clara with a degree and drive, had the same chance of getting a place in the cabinet or editing a newspaper as a man of the same age, with the same degree and the same ambition. Only then can they be seen as ‘harmless fun’.
I will write a bit more about my experience of watching a pageant and how it is still a cattle market within the next couple of weeks.