Sunday, 1 February 2009

Beauty Queens of Green

I'm not sure what to think about Miss Earth UK: the first eco beauty pageant, organised by Its heart may be in the right place, but the 60 girls from across the UK who gathered in Leamington Spa to compete for the chance to become an international ambassador for environmental awareness didn't all seem to have grasped the point.

We're used to beauty queens professing their desire for World peace and harmony, but these ladies are expected to prove they are "strong and effective advocates for Mother Nature". Some of them undoubtedly have a deep and abiding interest in ecological issues but others seem to think that wearing last season's River Island dress counts as recycling. In the end, though, Caroline Duffy who was crowned Miss Earth England proved to be a member of Friends of the Earth who volunteers in allotments.

Actually, I feel that a "more stilettos than sandals" approach is required to make environmental issues more appealing and that somehow we need to glam-up green. Maybe pageants like this can help. But I couldn't help a wry smile when I read that the essential piece of kit for contestants is a tub of good old petroleum jelly to make your legs shine and stop your lips sticking to your teeth when you smile. Now there's one product that needs a sustainable alternative if green beauty queens are really going to strut their stuff with sincerity.

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