I know it’s pretty cold up in that area of the world but come on, now … There’s got to be a better way of wiling the hours away in prison other than having inmate beauty pageants, no?
The annual “Miss Spring” contest allows the incarcerated women to do just that: wile the hours away, practicing all year for the annual beauty pageant. Which, if won, allows the woman early release from her term of service.
“Miss Spring”, according to participants, is not so unlike “Miss America.” The women are allowed three get-ups, spiky stilettos and all, the obligatory catwalk to upbeat music and the nerves that go along with participating in a life-changing event.
Now, I’ll be honest with you … I’ve never been a pageant fan. I’ll occasionally watch a few minutes of one here or there, just appreciating the beautiful women who make their debut, but the whole idea of a beauty pageant, to me, is completely ridiculous. It’s asinine, backward and detrimental to female societal growth. And to hold such events in prison, where people are sent to focus on their repentance for crimes or rehabilitation from drugs and the like completely throws me for a loop.
The program is designed to integrate women into prison society, thus preparing them for a re-entry to civilized life. The prison’s beauty pageant tradition started approximately five years ago and costumes were fashioned out of supplies on hand such as towels, plastic trash liners and the like. As the pageant’s popularity rose, better provisional clothing was brought into the facility for the female prisoners to don.
Preparation for the event takes weeks, according to directors and inmate officials and as said above, prepares the women for life on the outside. While I don’t doubt that the event is an attempt to take some of the rougher edges off these women and it does more than likely create a sense of family and camaraderie, it hardly prepares the inmate for “life on the outside.” It more or less seems to be going from the frying pan into the fire. What about the emotionally-charged woman who landed in prison to begin with for prostitution, which was a result of poor self-image and objectification by men? This does nothing for that particular woman in question. It only sets her up to be knocked down by the cruel rigors of society in a country where there is no apparent form of post-prison rehabilitation.
While the event certainly has some positive points, it has just as many negative aspects that could truly damage a fragile woman’s perception of reality. I think this particular prison system, which doesn’t formally have a “re-entry into society” program, should focus more on the necessities and high demands of living as a crime-free individual (male or female) and not so much on a frivolous event like a beauty pageant.