Young Manipuri girls welcome lifting of Miss Manipur ban
In 2012, women's organisations across the state decided to call a ban on all beauty pageants. They deemed the pageants to be anti woman and stated that they degraded woman as these contests tend to turn woman into "commodities." Fast-forward a few years later and we see that the ban has now been lifted. The Miss Manipur contest will now held once again and young girls and aspiring contestants are a buzz about the lifting of the ban.
The reason for calling the ban was anyhow questionable as the people who protested against these pageants found the outfits worn by contestants questionable. The whole point of having women's rights groups are to ensure the rights of all women and that includes the right to choose whatever they want to wear irrespective of any other person's opinion.
Speaking to Angeline Chanu, a Manipuri model who lives in Mumbai, she is quite happy that the ban has been lifted as she has stated, "From any angle I don't see anything wrong in conducting a beauty pageant. The older generation has not been able to accept change; they fear the extinction of old traditions. As far as women are concerned when you see the pageant clothes they are fine but even a little body exposure has a negative impact on the minds of the elderly people."
Dhanupriya Ingudam, a young professional from Manipur also expressed her opinion stating that the lifting of the ban is a positive step as today many people are getting into modelling and this is a good platform to gain exposure and confidence. She also stressed on how there is no reason why Manipuri traditions and attire can't be a part of the pageant. Although beauty is a part of the beauty contests, how a person carries oneself is more important irrespective of whether they wear revealing clothes or traditional outfits.
There might be a generational gap but that does not give any organisation the right to call for bans as this would just amount to moral policing. The lifting of the ban is however still conditional and there are a list of rules and guidelines which are to be followed. These 11 points are to serve as guidelines for the Miss Manipur pageants. Calling of bans seem uncalled for as beauty pageants not only help young girls in terms of their career but also celebrates the essence of being a woman irrespective of what outfits they wear. We should be able to celebrate beauty and intelligence which what a beauty pageant is all about.
(By Jessica Passah)