Beauty pageant winners are often bestowed with grand ambassadorial titles: Miss World, Miss Universe, Miss Intergalactic. We accept these designations without much thought. It’s just for fun, right? But two new pageants in the Philippines are turning that assumption on its head, using the lofty language of a traditional pageant to encourage environmental activism among its contestants.
Last month Miss Teen Earth Philippines and Little Miss Earth Philippines launched their search for girls aged 4-17 with the slogan “Our Nature, We Nurture.” Their goal is to promote environmental stewardship and sustainability by incorporating elements into the pageant itself. Contestants will compete in four categories, including casual and formal wear, a question-and-answer portion, and a regional costume made out of organic or recycled materials. All candidates will also be encouraged to participate in Meatless Monday during the screening process.
Captured Dream Productions, the pageant’s owner, partnered with three advocacy groups to bolster its message: Project Headshot Clinic, the Climate Change Commission and the Philippines chapter of Meatless Monday, founded by Dr. Custer Deocaris.
“Based on initial discussions, the contestants all over the country will be promoting and doing their own Meatless Monday programs in schools and offices. Winners will be judged partly on how creative and effective their programs are,” said Deocaris.
The winners will each receive half a million pesos worth of cash and prizes, and Miss Teen Earth will additionally receive foundation support for a chosen environmental project to be established in her community.