THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY PAGEANTS... OR NOT...

There is much discussion in the world about the progress made in the role of women in our society, and rightfully so given women so often copped the rough end of the pineapple for a long time.

Our chat this morning with reigning Miss World Australia, Sarah Marschke, exposed just how far we have come, although there’s still more to go.

Even Miss Virginia, who went on to become Miss America, donned a plain science coat to prove her intellect… and won.

The notion of pageants, or quests if you prefer, being all about looks are long gone, and that can only be a good thing, as is on display with our Tunarama entrants who are all about the charity fundraising.

But there are elements of society which continue to try and make these quests about the physical… and, sadly, it’s the industry I’m in.

No, not radio per se, but the media more broadly.

Print and online media (Irony alert, I know) are the biggest perpetrators of this, with the obsession around looks, and clothing, merely serving to perpetuate old stereotypes and attitudes.

Check out any Hollywood awards ceremony, or even a football awards ceremony here in Australia, and what is the biggest question of the reporters to the gents? It invariably goes to their professional achievements.

But what is the main question to the female stars?

Rather than needing a sundial or calendar, or even wrist watch, you’ll need a formula one clock to measure how long it takes for the topic of fashion or jewellery to come up.

And this so often comes from those who proclaim themselves to be the most forward thinking of the media.

Karl Stefanovic, for all his faults (and he has plenty), exposed this beautifully by wearing the same suit for a year with nobody noticing.

Tunarama has the right idea when it comes to quests, pageants if you want, so let’s try and focus on what people do, not men or women, but PEOPLE do, rather than what they wear, when it comes to, well, any aspect of life.