By Mehdi B. Idrissi
By Mehdi B. Idrissi
Morocco World News
Fez, February 19, 2012
Competition. A human criteria that with time reached absurdity. Beauty pageants are no more than its ultimate aspect of inanity. It started with dogs’ pageants then bird beauty contests until it reached women around 1854. I hope you see as I do the comparison made here and how diminishing it is to a woman, who fights on a daily basis to be acknowledged around the globe and treated as equal to her fellow men.
This kind of extravaganza is an American invention. Here in Morocco no such thing as Miss Morocco existed when I was growing up (or if it did exist , never really mattered ). But we had what we call the “Cherry Queen”, a local girl chosen during Sefrou Cherry harvest festival to be part of the parade. However it was more of a local tradition held in a small town where young girls were known by name and it had never gotten that big until of course the media meddled in very recently. I have been to one of those parades , and I could see that the festival was more centered around the harvest, the fireworks, and the Cherry Queen was only a part of the show and was not given more importance that any other portion of the day.
However, times have changed now. We are nowadays more a colony than we were when the French were here. Morocco has been very influenced by the European and American waves, whether it concerned fashion, music, life styles or like recently beauty pageants. What one needs to know is that there is a big fat thick line between being open to other cultures and being influenced by other cultures.
In our case it is more of an influence. We are people who welcome strangers, who respect cultures (Most of them, the reference here is to the Amazigh culture that is being fought against by its own people). Nevertheless, our people tend to duplicate what others believe or do regardless of their compatibility with our mother culture or our Islamic religion. Just because it is cool, easy, or different. Now I am not going to go into the religious view about the legitimacy of such contests because it is a very controversial subject and moreover let’s face it, how much of our own religion do we really follow? Does is it really come to events like these or the Mawazine festival to start being a problem? What I am more interested in are the Moroccan women.
The Moroccan woman, and I say this from a very honest stand point, is the strongest pillar (if not the only one) of this society we live in. She is a symbol of beauty, courage, tenderness, intelligence, wisdom and education. She succeeds where schools and programs failed. Now choosing one of them to represent all of those values would be unfair to the million others. Let alone choosing the wrong one.
If you look closely at our local society, you could see that we can divide our women into two sections. The first one would concern our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, neighbors. Now they might not still keep that sparkle they had during their younger years but the warmth of their hearts, the beauty of the smiles they still show after all the sacrifice they’ve made, or the pain they might’ve been through, the compassion of their words and the wisdom of their thoughts are enough to make them all win miss history of the universe!
The other section would be the younger one. Our sisters, cousins, friends… a more independent generation , more active in the work fields, more intelligent perhaps , more proud and confident, free spirited would be a nice word to describe them.
Personally, when we talk “Moroccan woman” I see both categories. And if you want to represent her, it’s either you pick both… or none. The unity of our women is what makes their strength and distinguishes them from any other women in the whole world. I followed closely on a period of 2 years the Miss Maroc (Miss Morocco) 2011 and 2012. And to be honest while looking at them I didn’t recognize the authenticity of our women. I saw girls who were told what to do, what to say, how to stand, how to smile, how to speak even. And just from that I sensed the first contradiction. Our women don’t accept to be told what to do (at least, not anymore), our women are too proud to give up any part of their personality to create a prototype that the crowd would like. So to me these ladies (whom I have nothing against on the personal level) are only representing themselves and nothing more.
I have been asked not to judge, and that the selection of these ladies did not only depend on how beautiful they looked (Question mark concerning that as well) but also on their intellectual level. All I saw was a bunch of girls trying different dresses, and wearing different kind of make ups. I would’ve loved to see them on debates about subjects that matter. Yes because now women are everywhere, politics, science, business… But sadly I did not. And when I heard the Miss Morocco 2012 speak in a TV show, it was all a load of non-sense.
Egocentrism, lack of modesty, lack of touch and style are the biggest personality traits I saw in those Misses. Nothing like the values that characterize the actual Moroccan woman.
When Sara Mouatamid the current Miss Maroc of 2012 was asked why she entered such contest, her response was that “she wanted to be Miss”, and she appeared more excited about all the advantages this status gives her, between money, cars and travels than winning for women in Morocco. When again asked what in her opinion was the reason behind her win she responded: “I think I represent the true Moroccan beauty, authentic and natural”.
Mehdi Bourakkadi Idrissi, is a student at the Faculty of Medicine of Fèz-Morocco. Co-founder and member of the directing Committee of the NGO Teach4Morocco. He Interested in education, sports, social media, religious topics and politics.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial policy.
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