If you don’t know who Samriddhi Rai is, here is a short introduction to the beauty, according to her Facebook profile:
- Former Bureau chief at M&S VMAG, Kantipur Group
- Former Head of The Himalayan Times TGIF
- Former Sub-Editor at ECS Media
- Former Feature Writer at Kantipur Publications
I know Samraddhi as a singer and a model. She had participated in various beauty contests and an outspoken personality.
She had won Miss Personality title in an international beauty contest, Miss Toursim Queen International 2011. (Here is – My report on the event)
And, she had also won an international title – Miss Press Princess (a gossip report on Samriddhi)
She had also created a controversy when she told about caste system in Nepal. (Report here)
Samriddhi has spoken about the latest Miss Nepal audition ‘Makeup Kanda’. Here is what she has to say:
“I have been, what you can call, a thorough connoisseur of Beauty Pageants – watched it, emceed it, participated in it, judged it – done it all. So, I can tell you with surety that beauty pageants are no more than a marketting gimmick, where women are objectified. In the name of giving a platform, young women are groomed to put importance on their physical attributes – to look, walk and talk their best. And all of this superficiality parading around under the cloak of â€œwomen empowerment â€œ is probably the biggest joke. But I was a part of this joke a couple of years ago, and therefore I have to tell you this. When young girls come seeking for my advice if they should join these pageants, my answer has always been – itâ€™s the fakest thing youâ€™ll ever be a part of, but join it for the fun, the experience, but donâ€™t ever take it seriously! And this is both for the participants and the audience at large.”
More of Samraddhi’s statement:
“Whatâ€™s happening now with the audition tape is no more than bursting of a bubble where in our society had put this pageant on a pedestal. If you want to support and be a voice for empowered women – support fantastic Nepali women who have been working relentlessly in causes that actually matter. Sorry my dear Nepalis but beauty pageants are nothing more than just for your entertainment. Itâ€™s not a platform for women empowerment.
Take it as a sport. Where a participant is trained, without mercy, to walk confidently in 5 inches of heels, to wear make up like a professional, to look and present yourself the best after all youâ€™re representing your country on the pageantâ€™s international platforms (a bigger platform of superficiality on a global scale). And as far as I know Rachana Gurung Sharma was doing just that. She was preparing a young girl with no idea what she was getting into, the harsh ways of the game she has chosen to play.
“I just want my Nepali brothers and sisters to understand that beauty pageants at the root of their being are designed to judge someone on the basis of their appearance – its got it all wrong from the get-go. So donâ€™t expect these pageants to find you women pretty from inside and out with a good heart and character – because theyâ€™re not designed to do so. And if you must have your sisters, daughters or friends joining the pageant despite of knowing about itâ€™s superficiality – then go by all means, and go with your A-game.
“So your bashing the judge in support of the young girl is truly futile because thatâ€™s a tape from the audition round of a â€œbeauty pageant.â€ Do you see how ironic this is ? This is not Miss-good-heart-good-soul-Nepal, this is Miss-who-looks -walks-talks-the-best-to-put-up-a-good-fight-internationally-Nepalâ€™ in this fake platform of absolute fakery that has no use in life but is a great marketing ploy for advertisers and a good mileage for women in showbiz.
“So with this chapter maybe we should all stop idealising beauty pageants, as I once guiltily did, and just be in the know that after all this was all created for entertainment- and havenâ€™t you been entertained with this incident! Time to really think.”
To Samriddih’s comment, Miss Nepal 2009, the reigning Miss Nepal when Samriddhi participated in the contest in 2010, Zenisha Moktan expressed her dissatisfaction by telling, “You might be right on some level… but this is mean! so much for someone who advocates love, support and positivity! Disappointed Sam… I truly am!”
To Zenisha’s comment, Samraddhi responds, “How is it mean Zenisha? I havenâ€™t bashed anyone except stating the truth of what Beauty Pageants really are.”
And, a longer response –
“Zaan we donâ€™t need to this man. And when have I belittled you guys? I have nothing against the participants or the winners. All of you girls are bright and beautiful and I would never have anything wrong to say about you or any of the Miss Nepal winners, come on! If Iâ€™m speaking up for women, I wouldnt be bashing another woman – thatâ€™s ridiculous. Youâ€™ve got this all wrong. In a nutshell I just said beauty pageants are a marketting ploy where women are judged on the basis of their appearance. But despite of knowing this if you still want to join in – do it and have fun! Donâ€™t take it too seriously. Thatâ€™s all. Youâ€™ve gone for your international pageant and so have I. We all know what happens there. Especially in intl pageants itâ€™s the countries with the big money, those who can bring big cash to the organisers walking away with the titles. And in the context of Nepal, Miss Nepal is a platform for young girls wanting to do something in the showbiz. It provides a great mileage for them. Their social media following gets quadrupled overnight and with that kind of attention these winners can really use it to their advantage or voice out issues that matter. Yes the contestants and the winners learn a lot in the journey, as any other experience, and make a lot of new friends. That said, it still is a money making business. Itâ€™s a spectacle for us – itâ€™s entertainment. My only objective in writing this Facebook status was that young girls who are passionate about joining these pageants know what it really is about. They can still have fun and still win and still be awesome just like all you winners. But that doesnâ€™t change the fact that beauty pageants at the end of the day are shallow and not a platform to be idealised. Also please ignore any hurtful comments here. Letâ€™s rise above it. All love babe.”
My take to the whole issue
Samriddhi’s view is a very unnerving and pessimistic view of the beauty contest. Samriddhi’s problem is Girls are – groomed to put importance to look, walk and talk their best. Isn’t that important? Everybody should learn to look good. Talking is really important in every profession. I am not sure about walking but, it doesn’t hurt to walk in a better way.
When you go deep into any profession – it is like that. There is a lot of meaninglessness – that is why Bhagawat Gita talks about zeroness (sunyata). I don’t say Air Hostess are just the waitress in the sky (some can argue that it truth). Even teachers (or the professors for that matter) – are just giving away the same thing every year to different unsuspecting kids.
Samriddhi was disappointed she didn’t win any title in 2010. When things didn’t go as she expected, she found reasons to blame. It is not about beauty contest. It is about every profession. All of them have bad side and good side. If you go on talking about bad players and bad influence in a profession, you could find hundred of them.
Beauty contest are beauty contest – to search beauties. One shouldn’t be confused beauty with brain and brain with beauty. A beautiful personality might have a great brain but, she still should care about her appearance and look pleasant. A smart beauty conceals her ugliness and glorifies it to make it sound like it is beautiful. If you are not smart enough, that is the your problem.
Samriddhi is worried that these contests are “marketting ploy”. Everybody knows they are marketing ploys, rich people can easily influence the result. Only those who knows them and plays their way around such reality deserve to win. Now, I am more confident, Samriddhi didn’t deserve Miss Nepal 2010 crown.
What do you think? Please comment!