After a decade-long absence, the Miss World contest is back in London, but feminist organizations are set to protest against the beauty pageant, which they call a sexist event.
The Miss World contest doesn't have a pleasing past as far as its experience with feminist organizations goes. The protest in 1970 against the Miss World Contest in London was a spurring moment in the women's liberation movement.
Girls, will you turn around? host Bob Hope asked the contestants during the live event at London's Royal Albert Hall so that judges could get a 360-degree view of the participants in bikinis. Hope didn't have a clue that he was going to be pelted with flour bombs and tomatoes by feminists present in the show. Police later arrested five protesters, who were heard chanting: We're not beautiful, we're not ugly ... we're ANGRY!
During the Miss America pageant in 1968, feminists protested against the event. They encouraged women to threw out items like bras and girdles, makeup, pots and pans and high-heeled shoes, which they said, symbolized oppression. The protesters planned to burn all these items, but were stopped by police.
This year, protesters from feminist organizations like the London Feminist Network, Object, UK Feminista and Million Women Rise are going to bin items like porn magazines and fake scalpels. What they have intended to point out is the growing porn market and its effect on men's perspective over women, The Guardian reported.
According to the report, since Miss World was first held in London in 1951, there have been conflicts and in some ways the protestors can already claim a victory.
After an unrelenting feminist movement in the 1970s and 1980s, the beauty pageant was dropped by ITV in 1988. Although it came back to the screen through Channel 5 in 1998 and 1999, and on ITV in 2001, but it again disappeared from the world of satellite TV after that.
In 1996, wide-scale protests took place in Bangalore, India, over the hosting of the beauty contest. The swimsuit shootings had to be moved to Seychelles under heavy security.
This year, the Miss World pageant can only be watched online as even the tackiest satellite channels have rejected to cover it, according to The Guardian. It has further said the fact that satellite TV has rejected to screen the event is a feminist victory of sorts.
Protesters have also created a Facebook page titled, Feminists Protest Sexist 'Miss World' Contest 2011, to organize the demonstration.
The protest will take place outside Earls Court Conference and Exhibition Centre, London, at 3 to 5 p.m. local time Sunday.