The Daily Beast published an interesting take on a recent beauty pageant. Miss Israel was crowned last month. What made this particular pageant an interesting story was the choice of winner: an Ethiopian Jew. The big Ethiopian migration to Israel in the 90’s certainly increased awareness of this community inside the nation, but its taken decades for this minority to feel totally at home. The victory of Yitish “Titi” Aynaw is a clear signal of the community’s growing acceptance by the rest of the country.
The Daily Beast didn’t just report on the story, but went the next step to investigate how members of the community feel about the victory. What was fascinating from this story is that many of the Ethiopians interviewed, while undoubtedly excited about the win, were also a bit apprehensive. They felt that Titi isn’t necessarily the most beautiful of the contestants, and that, maybe, she was chosen in a sort of “affirmative action type of thing.”
There’s no question she’s gorgeous. And while she may not be symmetrical in every way, she is striking. In fact, it is because she is different looking that makes her so lovely. Her whole package — body, face, skin color and Ethiopian-ness (if that’s a word) is gorgeous. If she was signaled out because of her heritage, then OK! Her getting special attention because she looks different is what this is all about. It’s about time we adored other types of beauty — not because of politics but because they are, thanks to their differences, actually more beautiful.
And of course, the fact that she’s going to open people’s eyes to the multiplicity of people’s looks is a beautiful thing too 🙂