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The crowning of 60-year-old Alejandra Marisa Rodriguez as Miss Universe Buenos Aires lately has the potential to redefine magnificence requirements. Rodríguez will now signify Buenos Aires within the nationwide choice for Miss Universe Argentina, scheduled for Might 2024. If profitable, she is going to proudly signify Argentina on the Miss Universe World contest, slated to happen in Mexico in September 2024.

By way of her historic achievement, Rodriguez is now the primary lady of her age to win the celebrated magnificence pageant. One other 47-year-old mannequin, Haidy Cruz, has additionally been making waves worldwide since she was chosen to signify the Dominican Republic in Miss Universe 2024. 

Final yr, the Miss Universe Group eliminated an higher age cap for the competition. The restrict was 28 years earlier. Final yr, it additionally grew to become the primary magnificence pageant to function contestants who’re married or have youngsters. Consequently, Guatemala’s Michelle Cohn grew to become the primary mom to qualify for the pageant, whereas Miss Universe Nepal was topped its first-ever plus-size winner.

These steps not solely encourage ladies to embrace their individuality but additionally sends a robust message that magnificence is aware of no limits. 

Magnificence pageants have been held extensively in any respect ranges the world over for years now. However they’ve been accused of objectifying ladies, specializing in their appears and physique, relatively than expertise. Younger ladies members are skilled by communication specialists to parrot beneficial responses to the Q&A periods in such pageants.

“Persona and intelligence (not when it comes to educational laurels or excellence) is what makes a human being stunning – so does the artwork of being humorous and the fervour for doing one thing for others,” says Indira Roy Mandal, a psychologist based mostly in Kolkata. “A 60-year-old being topped in a magnificence pageant is a reminder to all of the aspirants that age isn’t any deterrent to any competitors; one can be taught and do higher with age relatively than sulk about it.”

The age cap in such competitors breeds a notion amongst ladies that they’re a perishable commodity.  For 58-year-old Ajanta Burman from Goa, it was a dream come true when she received Mrs India Worldwide 2023 organised by Aasherwad Consultants. She says, “Who says magnificence has an expiry date? Within the competitors, age, form of physique or top weren’t the factors. It was nearly being a girl of substance….My style life began at 58. Designers observed me and I get calls to advertise their merchandise and commercials, because of the altering notions round magnificence during which style isn’t just for youth. Girls might be stunning at any age,” provides Burman.

All the idea of bodily magnificence is flawed. Societal requirements like ‘honest and clear pores and skin’, ‘slim determine’ and ‘symmetrical bodily’ options have an effect on younger ladies, who’re swayed by on-line content material on social media. There’s additionally strain to look younger at any value. It isn’t unusual to see younger ladies present process beauty surgical procedures to align with such requirements. Neither has any main magnificence pageant chosen a ‘actual lady’ as a winner up to now. There is no such thing as a hurt in celebrating bodily magnificence, however a girl is much more than that.

Ms. Mandal says, “Physique shaming is rampant, it severely hits the vanity of individuals. There’s an infinite have to sensitise ladies. The conditioning to really feel nugatory over appears begins from a really tender age, usually within the household itself, and that must be addressed.”

(Bharti Mishra Nath is a senior journalist)

Disclaimer: These are the non-public views of the creator

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