The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Controversy

So I heard from Myne that the winner of the ‘Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria’ contest has been announced, but there’s some controversy surrounding the winner. It seems that some people are unhappy with the choice and feel that she’s not beautiful enough to deserve the title.

I’ll say that I’m not fussed one way or the other, though. In fact, I am unhappy with the whole MBGN contest idea. I always say of communities of people, “show me your reward system, and I’ll tell you the kind of community you are”.

So when a community pays so much attention to rewarding someone based on physical beauty, young people, especially – are going to get the message that spending lots of time on making yourself physically beautiful is their best bet.

I find it disappointing, because Nigeria really does not need more beautiful people right now. What the country needs are people who are intelligent; people who are creative; people who are entrepreneurs; people who show compassion towards others. At the end of the day though, I guess that the world is big enough for all kinds of contests to be held, and the MBGN organizers are doing their bit.

Still, I would not mind so much if I saw that there were contests held in Nigeria to reward the kind of people I have spoken of above. But I don’t hear that much of these kinds of contests; either they do not exist, or they do not have the same amount of money channelled towards them, and therefore the publicity is much more muted compared to the MBGN contest.

And yes, I know that these beauty contests aren’t supposed to be about beauty alone. The contestants are asked questions to assess their intelligence, too. But nobody is really fooled. The reason the contestants parade in their swimsuits is not because the judges want to assess their intelligence. And at the end of the day, a four-foot, 200 pound girl who has an IQ of 190 is NEVER going to win the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria. (Hint: there’s the word ‘Beautiful’ in the contest name.)

In case I’m coming off sounding like a reactionary, I must make it clear that I’ve made my peace with these contests. I understand that people obviously like them, and that’s why they continue to hold. I’m just waiting for the day when I become a billionare; then I can spend my money promoting and organising my own kinds of contests – contests to celebrate people who make a real difference in the lives of others.

How many people are with me, or am I talking to aspiring beauty contestants?

As for those who are quarreling over who won, and who should have won, I’m surprised this kind of controversy doesn’t occur more frequently with beauty contests. They’re not like track and field contests where it’s very clear how to decide the winner. Instead, the decision rests with a group of judges who idea of beauty may go against what conventional wisdom holds.

By the way, what is the conventional wisdom on beauty? Height? A defined nose? A long neck? A clear complexion? What? Please I really need answers here from the connoisseurs. Myne surprised me by saying she liked the neck on the second runner up above, and that she should have won. Hmmm...

Back to the topic of selecting our beauty queens. I'll throw in an out-there idea. :)

Let the judging of the MBGN be open to a popular vote; let the people decide who is truly the most beautiful girl in Nigeria. That way, no matter the kind of girl that emerges as the winner, nobody can protest since the People Have Spoken. But I suspect this will never happen, because it’s way too much effort to organise a vote on this matter. So to all those still complaining, shhh...


This piece was written by Atala yesterday. I still think the runner up should have won :)