I just read something which blew my mind, and not in a good way: Israel has just crowned a "Beauty Queen" in a new pageant, called Miss Holocaust Survivor. Some three-hundred women from ages 74 to 97 across the country registered for this event, billed as a "celebration of life" by the pageant organizer, who also stated that physical beauty was only a small part of the criteria used to judge the contestants.
My gut feeling is, I am appalled and disgusted by this. How do you even dare to "judge" a person's horrific experience like that? One person's holocaust experience is worse than another's, and so merits winning? How do the losers feel: as if what they went through during this terrible time is not important? Not worth recognizing? I think I would feel better about a program featuring survivors' personal stories, and recognizing them for fortitude and bravery and character. But having a beauty contest to show bravery? That is a trivialization of their ordeals. Here is an excerpt from the AP article on Fox News:
The contest, part of Helping Hand's annual "cultural" night, included a lavish dinner and music at a Haifa reception hall. Some 600 people attended, including two Cabinet ministers, Moshe Kahlon and Yossi Peled, himself a Holocaust survivor.The women, ranging in age from 74 to 97, clearly enjoyed themselves. Wearing black dresses, earrings and necklaces, and sporting blue-and-white numbered sashes, they grinned and waved as they were introduced to the adoring audience. Music played as the contestants walked along a red carpet, introduced themselves and described their memories of World War II."I have the privilege to show the world that Hitler wanted to exterminate us and we are alive. We are also enjoying life. Thank God it's that way," said Esther Libber, a 74-year-old runner-up who fled her home in Poland as a child, hid in a forest and was rescued by a Polish woman. She said she lost her entire immediate family.
I still think it's bizarre. What do you think?