Beauty has always been one of the forces of attraction in the world since antiquity and its hold on society has remained hugely profound up to the modern time.
The society’s perception of beauty is rudimentarily cultivated in people’s psyches that everyone is capable of identifying it and relates to it in one way or the other.
Throughout the landscape of time, societies have been influenced by beautiful women and creation. Even some of the greatest artists of all time like Dante and Leonardo da Vinci were influenced by physical beauty of women to produce their great art works.
A beautiful young woman in society has always been a form of attraction to many. The positive image she projects is important as this becomes a symbol of her vitality and worthiness. Through her charming beauty she develops a superficial connection between herself and society.
The universal language of beauty is attraction. This is the idea behind beauty pageant contest from which a beautiful young girl is chosen. She, while possessing beauty and wit, becomes the centre of attraction and adoration. In Malawi such a girl is Cecilia Khofi, the 2017 beauty queen.
Her role as a Miss Malawi is to appeal to society to consider the way population is exploding to the sky. It is a message that almost everyone has grown tired of hearing. Radios, televisions, newspapers have all carried the message of overpopulation and its damning effects on countless times—to the deaf ears of the citizenry.
Therefore, it was deduced, as a new measure to impress upon society the need to scale down procreation, a damsel be chosen to lead the national cause.
Her weapon to achieve this is in her newly created image in society—that of a beautiful maiden. This will soar her to spaces she would never reach before to influence the change that has eluded Malawians with obstinate vigour.
According to Dr. Jubilee Tizifa, a sociology lecturer at the University of Malawi’s Chancellor College, Miss Malawi will be able to convince her fellow youth on the consequences of overpopulation.
“As a young person, she will be attractive to her age mates and this will work to her advantage. Beauty will attract young people to listen to her,” she says.
Tizifa’s sentiments are echoed by Dr. Chiwoza Bandawe, a psychologist at University of Malawi’s College of Medicine and The Polytechnic. He asserts that it is a well calculated move to entrust Miss Malawi the responsibility of preaching the gospel of overpopulation to society as most youths will listen to her rather than elderly people.
“Young people tend to listen to each other. They always identify with one another and that’s where the advantage of Miss Malawi lies,” says the psychologist.
He continues to say that people see physical beauty as inner beauty. They perceive beauty as trust-worthiness in an individual. So they listen to whatever that individual says.
Studies reveal that the public wants attractive individuals. Physical attractiveness is a magnetic pull that draws people from the periphery to the centre that which is beauty itself.
“It is this centre of beauty that human beings by their nature, crave to be,” he argues.
Thus Miss Malawi is the centre of that attraction and for that, society will consume with gusto the sermons she will be preaching.
Tizifa, although doubting her ability to convince a section of the elderly in society, acknowledges the role her beauty will play in society. That is affirming that society’s perception of beauty is important consideration when choosing means to use in dissemination information as vital as that of overpopulation.
Only those individuals that society deems ‘credible’ as Bandawe puts it, will win over society and their message to them will be accepted with relative ease.
Even since the early times, beauty has been considered as an essential ingredient in life. Women have had that profound influence in societies.
A beautiful woman called Lysistrata from Athens inspired her fellow women of Greece in condemning war against Persia. Lysistrata persuaded women whose husbands were obsessed in fighting Persia to deny them sex until they stopped the war.
She was able to sway her fellow women and eventually, the war ground to a halt. Thus an attractive woman as Miss Malawi has a role to play in society.
Her appeal on the youth of Malawi will have a huge impact on society in general as about 70 percent of Malawi’s population is made up of the youth. Sadly though, it is the youth who are falling prey to the monster of early marriages or unwanted pregnancies.
The youth now have an attractive person who will inspire them with confidence. As members of society, the youth need someone they can hold in high esteem.
In Zakes Mda’s novel Ways of Dying, there is a beautiful girl called Noria whose enchanting beauty inspires people around her. When Noria was young, Jwara would have her sing to him while he sculpted the figurines. The rendition of songs from her possessed Jwara with a madness to carve figurines that surpassed sublime quality.
Later Noria would sing to Jwara’s son, Toloku inspiring him to draw imaginations on paper into reality. This was not an ordinary song from an ordinary person. It was a special song from a special woman—beautiful woman. May Miss Malawi, with her beauty, sing of inspiration to her society.