Miss Bronze Uk Scholarship Pageant Launch . Judging the poise, culture and beauty of the black woman
From October 18-25 2014, the first African/Caribbean Miss Bronze UK Scholarship beauty pageant will take place in Portsmouth UK. A year before what promises to be one of the most ambitious beauty/brain pageants in the UK, a big launch of the event will hold at the Marriot Hotel, Portsmouth on Saturday October 19th 2013.
Miss Bronze UK is organized by non-profit organization Arts 4 Survival and aims to empower women to realize their full potential through on-going training after they are selected. Unlike most pageants, physical beauty will account for just 5 percent of the judging criteria and 10 percent for dressing. The rest will be brain power of the contestants.
Tickets for the October 19th launch are on sale and you can buy them from the pageant website here
Arrey Esther is the founder/CEO of Miss Bronze Scholarship pageant. She has been speaking to Chi Mbangsi
Q Why a Miss Bronze Uk Scholarship pageant?
After a period of mind searching, I finally settled with the name Bronze. My initial inspiration for the name came from makeup foundation shades for dark skin complexion, then secondly the toughness and hardness of the metal Bronze.
Toughness as a quality can be attributed not just to metals or objects, it could as well reflect the manner in which people react when they are faced with life stressors. On the other hand hardness could depict resistance to distortion.
Both toughness and hardness are relevant when we talk of empowerment. In the Old Testament for instance, when I read through the story of how David beat Goliath, it is just so empowering and inspiring. This story empowers the leader inside me. This is a typical story which reinforces the relevance of toughness and hardness in human existence. It is a story of determination and mental toughness. This is my drive and source of inspiration.
In a nut shell, the reason d’etre of the Miss Bronze UK Scholarship pageant is to EMPOWER women of African and Caribbean origin. Transforming women who have fear in them to women who like David will gather their nerves and self-confidence to resist the any odds .
We want to create a new generation of leaders who are problem solvers.
Q. Some analysts have said there are too many beauty pageants aimed at Africans in the UK?
I do agree with your there. Under critical analysis, I realized they are similar but in majority of the cases, they are geared towards specific group of Africans which makes it restrictive to others. For instance as a Cameroonian, I will not qualify to take part in Miss Ghana and vice versa. Considering there are 53 African countries, there will be lots of beauty pageants to cater for those countries.
Q. Just how different in concept is your own pageant from the others?
The title already set out the main difference. My program is a Scholarship pageant and it is not only about the physical beauty of a woman. The concept I use looks more into the inner beauty and brains of a woman. In a majority of beauty pageants, contestants are restricted by size, are judged through several stages of competition most of them about their physical attributes like their eyes, smile, beauty, glamour, etc.
In the case of Miss Bronze, there are no restrictions in size nor height as long as you have the mind to transform yourself from one level to another. Most women technically qualify. Our areas of competition will be; Photogenic – 5%, Interview – 20%, Fashion sense – 10%, Evening Gown/attire – 15%, Talents-20%, Academic Scope & Knowledge 15% and Cultural appreciation 15% . Contestants are not going to be judged against the other contestants but rather by their own merit. This program excludes the culture of beauty pageants which easily rejects contestants who are not beautiful enough.
We offer a much more controlled milieu where by less effort is required in the looks department for women to qualify.
This pageant has been designed to teach young women how to fish and thrive in times of hardship. Each contestant will be trained in survival life skills.
It is designed to showcase beauty in a different light with much more focus on intelligence, poise, leadership, elegance, self-development, organisational and time management skills as well as your ability to multi-task and think well on your feet.
I strongly do not believe in putting young women in a position to walk the aisle in bikini with the concept of empowering them.
We are mindful of criticism that beauty pageants are degrading to women.
With all this in mind, this event is out to bring a positive light to pageantry. Being physically beautiful, slim or fat will not guarantee to earn the contestants a crown.
Q. What will you say qualifies you to organize the Miss Bronze Uk pageant?
I have the dead-on attitude to be the Miss Bronze UK pageant organiser as I possess the skills and right attributes which warrant me to serve as one. Besides knowing what I possess in me, feedback from day to day interaction with others has helped to point some of my qualities.
I am tenacious, as I believe in learning and continuous improvement with the passage of time and not giving up at the first sign of trouble.
I have genuine love for my community and the people and not the sugar coating type of love. I love to see others experience real growth and not shield them from attaining such growth. I have a good Sense of humour and I am a very flexible person.
Q What are the long term goals of the pageant and what has been the reaction of the target group of women to your event?
Our goals are many and varied; to promote education , the eradication of poverty, social exclusion, cultural awareness and exchange, children’s welfare, national and international volunteering.
We also support a host of other good causes including women’s social and economic welfare, animal welfare, environmental protection, through the organisation of, and the provision of support for, community events and functions, etc.
Our objective is to empower and transform women to make a difference in the community.
Q Who are some of your sponsors and what are you offering that might attract them to partner with your organization?
It is a challenge getting financial support and I personally thought making my own effort first could motivate future funders. You need to make an effort to show others you are serious.