I’m not against beauty pageants. It isn’t easy to find candidates for these contests, and it is even harder for candidates to be handling the pressure and stress of countless eyeballs staring at them (most likely for all the wrong reasons) as they parade and perform on stage. All due credit to all candidates for their courage to step on stage.
Beauty pageants have “disappeared” from our TV channels. I think it is a good thing. Some time ago, I attended the coronation of Miss Earth Singapore and concluded that environmental conservation will be a lost cause if it depended on pageant queens.
The evening opened with a cringe-worthy line: “If beauty can launch a thousand ships, it can certainly influence people to help protect and preserve the environment.”
Credits though, for putting a somewhat positive, albeit tacky, spin to “sex can and will sell environmental conservation.”
Anyway, for an event that sets out to discover champions for the green cause, wasn’t it an awful shot in their own foot to be serving food with disposable plastic utensils? Besides that, I am very suspicious about the sole emphasis on education outreach. There is no doubt in the importance of influencing the youth, the leaders of the future, with the green cause.
But what about effecting change now, especially in the corporate and business realm? I had attempted to dig out answers for this question, only to be countered by Mr Howard Shaw, Executive Director of Singapore Environment Council, that we cannot put key progress indicators in this aspect. Which leads me to suspect if any attempts were even ever made, especially after Miss Nicole Chen had skirted the question with distractions like her sleeping without air conditioning and talking to people young and old about environmental conservation.
Also in question are the sponsors of the event, in particular, Sa Sa Cosmetic. Having introduced that her company has made deliberate efforts to control air conditioning temperatures and reduce the use of paper by using both sides, I do wonder if they make a concerted effort as they source for products manufactured by environmentally and socially responsible companies. Though, it is understandably difficult to monitor as they are ultimately a retail chain.
Being the coronation night, there was a question and answer segment for the finalists. Unfortunately vague questions, with the exception of one from Jessica Trisko, Miss Earth 2007 triggered plenty of “smokescreen” answers from the candidates. Some even went as far as quoting obscure and unverifiable quotes from famous personalities and loosely link them to a very vague and general concept of environmental conservation. With a full year of training to understandand imbue environmental conservation into their blood, I was honestly expecting more specific, succinct and passionate answers.