Monday, May 7, 2012

The Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Controversy

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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 :)


  1. So Myne loves long necks.
    Sound piece, Atala. Your quips made me laugh.

    1. On would be beauty queens or fashion models, yeah :)

  2. i'm relieved that this post wasnt written by myne

    1. LOL...don't be shy to add a comment, OK?

  3. After last year, I lost faith in the MBGN competition.

    1. I've not really been following for a while but I agree that the standards seem to have changed over time.

  4. Long necked?....hmmmmm,maybe at this point,i should start dieting so that i can have an elongated neck too. Think i would win?.....actually,when i read the head line on facebook,i instantly jumped at reading.....however,i guess i did not exactly get what i was hoping to see?

    I will soon get to my own controversy but before then,i agree with the 'intelligent' thing. Our females should be encouraged to embrace their culture and develop themselves rather than dwell and rely on their well-made up faces. Its no wonder that some end up with PET projects that donot last after their reign.

    I think Nigeria needs potential discovering ladies with respect to academics,politics,science,finance,administration,art....and any sector of life we can think of.

    Now to my own personal controversy!

    Please has anyone seen most of the MBGs representing each state?...pray tell! How come typical Igbo girls stood for Kwara,Ogun,Lagos,Osun,Oyo and Ondo!....not to talk of Kogi..and other Hausa states?....I believe the aim or one of the aims of the MBGN BP is to represent each states through the ''damsels''. Although i did not see the event,i can already imagine the Igbo face with Osun tag wearing what?.....a yoruba traditional attire?...

    I asked a friend and she told me candidates who registered for the MBGN were fixed into several states. I stand to be corrected but, looking at the faces, i doubt she was wrong! Does it mean we no longer have ''beautiful'' girls in these states who are worthy to be sent forth?

    To say i'm bothered is an understatement.

    1. Hi Oligbinde,

      I wondered about the state representations, too... but I doubt if you would get many Hausa girls taking part in these kinds of contests, and I guess that the organisers of these contests want all the states to be 'represented', like they do in similar competitions throughout the world.

  5. Anon, what is there to be relieved about. Abi you no sabi read English to understand the post? Abeg carry ya sef go!

  6. Good write up

    Our true problem well spelt out: The Youths have little to no historical experience but are merely drifted and lost in the turning gyre called globalisation, which isn't at all global as we all know the Man behind the curtain

  7. As if MBGN is not enuf, dem kon get 'Small Miss World' contest - Check Linda Ikeji's blog. What is dis world coming to? not enuf to coropt young women, dem must coropt young girls too?

  8. Small Miss World?....OMG!!!..what in the heavens is that? our little girls are now to be exposed to such confused agenda all in the name of being beauty Queens?...where are the Nike Oshinowo of this world?...and the Helen Prest- Ajayi?....these are intelligent and well cultured women. When you see them,you don't doubt the fact that they ever wore the crown.

    I don't have an issue with the Beauty Pageant thing...not at all. However, the system has made it up to be without morals,culture,dignity and heritage. Where is the joy of womanhood? You tell me. I await a BP where any girl representing us internationally would be so intelligent,brilliant,sincere and honest in her speech that the world would give her a huge ovation.

    As for our liitle girls, it seems the next time you see a pre-teenager, she would be posing in front of a mirror imagining herself clad in bikini, and catwalking in front of a huge audience. This might not as a matter of fact be bad in itself, but i raise my eyebrow where you ask such girl ''what next after you win the crown?'' and she answers...''nothing really''...'' i want to travel all over so that i can have lots of beautiful dresses and my face would be all over the international magazines''.....

    Trust me, it won't occur to her at some points that she has to be educated first! So where do we go from here?

    Should African BP be so restricted to the now conventional 'shapy' structure? Do we really portray our heritage by that?....i read Prof Wole Shoyinka's book.....i have forgotten the title now....where the village baale and the 'half baked' school teacher where fighting over the village belle. I'm so sure she must have been an African Beauty indeed to behold. But where can we get such Beauty now adays?....again i say, the truth is yet to be felt.....

    Maybe if the organisers re-strategize,maybe just maybe..we might yet get things right......

    1. You're talking about "The Lion and the Jewel". There are lots of pretty girls in Nigeria, and I'm not really against the MBGN since it gives the contestants a chance to go on to Miss World. But as for the "small miss world"? Tufia! Please let's not import "toddlers and Tiaras"into Nigeria. It's one of the most horrific things that I've seen in the name of celebrating beauty

  9. True! I think the runner-up was robbed! She should have won. But then, Isabella Ayuk has paid her dues. She's been contesting for so long now (this is the 4th time, I heard) and I think fate just decided to give her this one!

  10. I totally agree with Atala. I only wish the organizers of such events look out for pretty, intelligent and very creative minded Nigerian Girls and our young people should in turn, read books, source information, understand their culture and what the society expects from them.

  11. I dont have a view (lol, i suppose i should just read and leave abi lool.).

  12. So true Atala. Sad how such superficial competitions thrives(and with major sponsors too) while the more intellectual ones never pass the one season.

  13. LMAO.....I love the sound of Atala's fingers......all I can also say is "sshhh"
    First of, the "unanimously beautiful" ones never apply to contest, so the judges are left with those who actually contest.
    Secondly, just like Atala said, the definition of "beauty" is way to subjective....and really, for a country like Nigeria, given all that we are facing, finding the MBGN is the least of our worries. Our priorities are really in order...

  14. LOL... Beauty is on the inside as far as I'm concerned and you have said it all, "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" | Until we come to this realization, we'll continue to dabble into the wrong things.

    - LDP

  15. You're right on point, Atala and events like this will in stereotypical fashion, further cast women as objects of physical attraction and do little to project the image of creativity, talent and endeavour we all know they're capable of.

  16. blessings.....
    too much time spent on superfical things, beauty is subjective anyways. Who gives a rats a**. More important things to worry about in life that squabbling over "beauty" which is fleating.

    Have a blessed day.

    p.s. you comment on my post "If walls had ears" intrigued me and teased me now am curious, what did my steam of consciousness writing tell you about how I think?

  17. Nigerian girls are lovely and great.


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