It seems odd to consider the idea of updating anything about a beauty pageant. Arguably, beauty pageants themselves are holdovers from an era where women were encouraged to be nothing more than attractive role models for young girls so they could grow up to be good little housemakers and baby factories. Sure, one could make the argument that by owning their sexuality, modern women are taking back the pageant from such antiquated notions, but spend some time watching any such event and you’ll find the truth of it.
However, Katrina Hodge, the reigning Miss England, has successfully lobbied her country’s event to ditch the swimsuit competition in favor of a “sports challenge”, the exact nature of which remains to be revealed. “I think it’s nerve-racking enough for girls to get up on a stage and speak, let alone appear in a swimsuit,” opines Ms. Hodge. “It’s good the girls are being given a sports challenge in this year’s competition.” Yes, because there’s nothing more relaxing than being forced to perform feats of strength, dexterity, and endurance in front of a huge crowd.
Of course, being a soldier, Hodge has been through much more grueling trials, so it’s probably not without a touch of snark that she’s suggested this; she’ll never compete in the Miss England pageant again. However, this needn’t be occasion for mopeyness. Swimsuits are great, but picture this with me: a ring of sweaty contestants all struggling and grunting in a rugby scrum … is that not much much hotter than a mere bathing suit?