Salaam to all lovely readers,
Watching Borneo Hornbill Festival, Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan and other traditional/cultural-oriented beauty pageant never failed to keep me on wondering one thing - do beauty pageants really contribute to the society? And if they do, is this contribution a positive or negative one? Winners, care to explain?
To begin with, I have asked (randomly) few contestants and audience (during the competition). The main question I asked was simply if they believe beauty pageants contribute to society. Of all the contestants (and audience), only few numbers do actually contribute to society; and out of these, some said that they contribute positively. These results that I got from a small percentage of the general public were similar to my beliefs and were the outcome that I had expected.
In my honest point of view, pageants promote good for the community most is through the chosen winners and the responsibilities that they have. In the case of Borneo Hornbill Festival and Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan, the winners are expected to utilize the platform to carry with the duties in a positive way. Such as promoting culture; collaborate with any tourism boards; speaking at public events; publications; be actively involved in charity works and many others.
Veeky Leonora-Andria, Kuman Iban winner, Borneo Hornbill Festival 2011. She is an active blogger. She has been a consistent writer since winning the coveted title. Already a cultural enthusiast, she wrote in her blog, "The information from my blog is mainly from what I see, I read, I experience, I feel....I believe that the things that I write is true to me and I tried my very best to convey the truth of what I know."
Paren Nyawi, Mister Brilliant Smile/finalist, Keling category, Borneo Hornbill Festival 2011. He walk the talk. Winning the hearts of BHF fans, he used the platform as a stepping stone to promote Borneo (Sabah/Sarawak) cultural biodiversity through several approaches - blogging, visual/printed promotions, modeling, road shows and lots more cultural-oriented activities.
Ricky Kimwah, an educator from a Lunbawang descendant, is an enthusiast in discovering his root through travelling in the rural area of Sarawak. He was one of the judges (together with Veeky and Paren) during Borneo Hornbill Festival 2013.
Next, we have Dianni Murni Kayar, Unduk Ngadau Kadazandusun Murut Johor State Level 2013 Winner/Top Fifteen Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan Sabah State Level 2010. She is a flight stewardess for Malaysia Airlines. Her career helped her to travel all around the globe and exposing herself with a unique cultural experiences. She enjoyed taking photos featuring people and cultures, and share the captured moments with others.
And the list goes on...!
On the other hand, joining pageant will also mean exposing ourselves extensively in a positive way. Contestants will be able to develop new friendships, get scholarship money/prizes and most importantly gain a greater self confidence. The sense of achievement that came through exhibiting the accomplishments will motivate a contestant to become an even better person.
All in all, I have come to believe that pageants do in fact contribute to society in positive way. As the very beginning there are positive aspects (and negative aspects), but mostly positive. Although the contribution pageants make is at a limited scale it is still important. Aside from giving me some good entertainment, pageants serve the purpose of discovering new leaders, letting people promote good causes, acting as a means for contestants to show their accomplishments, as well as many other positive things.
Dear Borneo Hornbill Festival 2013 winners, make this reign the most exciting and satisfying experience possible. Be prepared to take the ride of your life. Let the public witness your hard work, your positive attitude and the stunning image you display. We, the judges, agreed to choose you because we can see the potential in you, and together with the rest of our friends out there will give you extensive support in whatever field you are doing.
Best of luck to you in your future endeavors.