The Miss Universe pageant is not new to controversy, specially in this year's pageant. First, the host country Russia's draconian anti-gay laws have persuaded openly gay TV host Andy Cohen to boycott the pageant by not returning as the co-host. Second, Russia refused to grant a visa to Miss Kosovo Mirjeta Shala because her country is not recognized as a legitimate country by the Russian government; consequently, Miss Kosovo's good friend, Miss Albania Fioralba Dizdari, decided to withdraw from the pageant as a symbol of solidarity. Third, it is reported that Miss Georgia Janeta Kerdikoshvili has also been denied a visa allegedly due to Russia and Georgia's hostile relationship over the disputed territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
And here's the latest controversy: 27 contestants have been selected to walk the runway during the Tony Ward Couture Fashion Show at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia on Wednesday, October 30th. These contestants represent the following countries: Australia, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Ukraine, Nicaragua, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Panama, Sweden, Turkey, Venezuela, India, Great Britain, France, Japan, Spain, Belgium, Canada, El Salvador, Austria, Lebanon, Russia, Philippines, Thailand and USA.
Below are the head shots of the participants. Notice that no single black contestant was chosen, not even the popular Yityish Aynaw, the first black Miss Israel. What gives? Who made the decision to select these 27 contestants and on what basis? Could it be that the Russians in general are racists towards black people, and therefore do not wish to see black girls on stage, even though many of them are stunning, professional models? I guess we will never really know.
|Miss Israel Yityish Aynaw
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MISS UNIVERSE ORGANIZATION
By Rafa Delfin