Apparently, the Tourism Ministry thinks that the pageant hasn’t been “attracting the right girls under full LBC production rights.”
In an article titled, “Tourism Ministry will bring back ‘air of respectability’ to Miss Lebanon,” Simona Sikimic wrote,
“BEIRUT: The Miss Lebanon competition, an annual staple of the Lebanese Broadcasting Channel (LBC), will move under greater control of the Tourism Ministry in 2011 in a bid to clean up the pageant’s image.
The change, announced this week, has been introduced to ensure the competition reverts to being “a truly national one” and regains much of its long-lost respectability.
“Unfortunately, [Miss Lebanon] has become too commercial and is not attracting the right girls,” caretaker Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told The Daily Star. “What we are trying to achieve now is to get the pageant back to its former glory and restore the glamor and prestige which used to be associated with the competition.
“The atmosphere has become for models, not for real girls, and most families are not OK for their daughters to enter the pageant,” he added.
Miss Lebanon has always operated under the patronage of the ministry, which awarded full production rights to LBC after the Civil War. The announced changes will not impact the station’s coverage, but should ensure that the ministry plays a more decisive role.
“LBC will keep the contract. This is something that I cannot change and I respect the sense of continuity,” Abboud said.
The station has publicly endorsed the move and pledged to work with the ministry to “turn around the event.”
“[LBC] totally agrees with the minister that we should bring back the glamor to the event,” LBC said in a statement. They have also asked viewers to post suggestions via social media such as Facebook and Twitter.
However, the ministry is expected to dominate most aspects of jury and candidate selection, with the hope that with the government’s full and clear backing, hundreds of girls will apply, up from just 40 applicants in 2010. All interested parties are expected to submit applications directly to the ministry in April.
“It is especially important to make this a truly national competition because there are many critics that are trying to present Lebanon as a terrorist nation that is against beauty,” said Abboud. “But this is plainly not true. We have been a country of much beauty [natural and otherwise] for thousands of years.”
The framework of the competition will stay much the same, and the swimsuit part of the pageant will not be scrapped although higher value will be awarded to education.
A language requirement has also been introduced and 2011 hopefuls are expected to speak at least two languages fluently in addition to Arabic.”
So, the article asks for feedback from Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter, yet makes no mention of a Facebook page or @ handle to like/follow! FAIL!..a basic search on both of these sites reveal that the Miss Lebanon Pageant has no official social media presence whatsoever. They need to get on this, and ASAP.
Oh, and I can’t believe only 40 women entered last year! That number is shockingly low for Lebanon, no?
And whoever thinks Lebanon is a “terrorist nation against beauty,” as so eloquently put by Tourism Minster Fadi Abboud, obviously doesn’t know what they’re talking about!
If I was Rahaf, I would be soooo insulted that the Ministry issued this statement after my reign! Poor girl!
Anyway, I know at least one person who will be happy to hear that the Tourism Ministry will be (trying to) bring back an ‘air of respectability’ to the Miss Lebanon pageant.
Nia Soul from the blog, Beirut Beauty.
In her post titled, “The Votes Have Been Tallied: Rahaf Abdulla is Fug-nasty!” Nia had this to say,
“Dear BeirutBeauty readers,
I have stayed awake countless nights pondering the issue of Rahaf Abdulla and her crowing of Miss Lebanon 2010.
Is she really THEE most beautiful woman in Lebanon? Highly doubtful.
No offence to those who think she is a decent winner, but this girl is FUGGALICIOUS and I am not the only one who believes this. Google her name and you will find many bloggers like me who were shocked by her win.
I understand that Lebanon has an impossibly high standard of beauty that no woman can actually live up to. But impossible standards of beauty are the cornerstone of beauty pageants. We want to see hot women walking around the stage. We like to make fun of the ugly ones and envy the hot ones. It’s the sole reason we even watch that shit.
To say that Rahaf Abdulla represents Lebanese beauty is false.
How is this woman supposed to compete with other beauty queens in Miss Universe? She won’t make it past the first round!
Is it too much for us to ask that an incredibly hot woman be Miss Lebanon so she could have a chance to win Miss Universe so we can all celebrate her back home and have some national pride like we did with Rima Fakih?
Who were the Miss Lebanon judges this year? They need to be fired, with a quickness! Because they did not do a good job. It seems like all the female judges kicked out all the pretty contestants for some weird reason.
To LBC: CHANGE THE JUDGES!
PS. That is not a penis… It’s a penis-shaped lollipop which we sell here on BeirutBeauty! Contact Moi for further details.”
What do you think about the Miss Lebanon pageant? Is a language requirement enough to bring back an ‘air of respectability’ to the pageant? Is the Tourism Ministry up to the challenge? Especially after The Lebanon Blues debacle?