New Holocaust Themed Beauty Pageant in Israel is Pretty Questionable [PHOTOS, POLL]
I recently read a story that pretty much made my jaw drop!
In Israel they held a very different type of beauty pageant, the ‘Miss Holocaust Survivor’ had 300 women from around Israel enter the pageant and 14 women continued on to win the…crown?
Now, I can understand wanting to help the survivors realize they are still remembered and honored after the terrible things that happened to them during the Holocaust, but a beauty pageant? That just seems almost morbid to me, even a little offensive. I have the story from USA Today.
HAIFA, Israel (AP) — Grinning and waving, 14 women who survived the horrors of World War II paraded Thursday in an unusual pageant, vying for the honor of being crowned Israel’s first “Miss Holocaust Survivor.”
Billed by organizers as a celebration of life, the event also stirred controversy. In a country where millions have been touched by the Holocaust, many argued that judging aging women who had suffered so much on physical appearance was inappropriate, and even offensive.
“It sounds totally macabre to me,” said Colette Avital, chairwoman of Israel’s leading Holocaust survivors’ umbrella group. “I am in favor of enriching lives, but a one-time pageant masquerading (survivors) with beautiful clothes is not what is going to make their lives more meaningful.”
The women ranged from 74 to 97 years old and were dressed in black dresses, tiaras, and blue and white sashes. They seemed to be smiling and enjoying themselves during the pageant. They gave a background of the winner of the pageant:
A four-judge panel consisting of three former beauty queens and a geriatric psychiatrist who specializes in treating Holocaust survivors chose the winner. Hava Hershkovitz, a soon-to-be 79-year-old, was banished from her home in Romania in 1941 and sent to a detention camp in the Soviet Union for three years. Today, she lives in an assisted living home run by Helping Hand. “This place is full of survivors. It puts us at the center of attention so people will care. It’s not easy at this age to be in a beauty contest, but we’re all doing it to show that we’re still here,” the silver-haired Hershkovitz said.
A popular blog editor in Israel had something to say about it himself:
Gal Mor, editor of the popular Israeli blog “Holes in the Net,” said Thursday’s pageant was well-intentioned but misguided. “Why should a decayed, competitive institution that emphasizes women’s appearance be used as inspiration, instead of allowing them to tell their story without gimmicks?” he wrote. “This is one step short of ‘Survivor-Holocaust’ or ‘Big Brother Auschwitz.’ It leaves a bad taste. Holocaust survivors should be above all this.”
I definitely agree with Mor, maybe this was meant to be intended as a good thing but it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Let me know what you think about this!