Models and beauty queens in the office of Miss Malawi and other similar offices are regarded as role models in society.
But while people hold them in such high esteem, their offices are associated with mischief, which, if not tamed sometimes leads to immorality. Most parents, too, may discourage their daughters from beauty pageant aspirations in guarding them against moral corruption.
Experience has shown that some beauty queens, instead of safeguarding their morals, tend to be swallowed in the ecstasy of fame, at times compromising both the integrity of the offices they hold and own dignities.
This raises questions as to whether the girls are adequately prepared for their accolades or only groomed for the red carpet.
Carver Bhima, a long time organiser of the Miss Malawi beauty pageant said apart from parades and looks, participants are trained in etiquette.
He said contestants are taught how to behave like young ladies and young gentlemen; how to walk, interact with people and phone manners.
“Contestants need to know how to carry themselves off the carpet and associate with people,” said Bhima.
He said specifically, beauty competitors are trained how to treat people of the opposite sex.
Bhima said people should stop associating the office with loose morals because if winners display such, it should not be attributed to the office but individuals.
“Participants are people from higher education institutions and know the importance of conducting themselves morally,” Bhima said.
Explaining the link between fame and behaviour change, College of Medicine Psychologist Chiwoza Bandawe said fame changes a lot of things within a person; one of which is to see themselves differently.
“Fame exposes people to many other people, resulting in a shift of personality. Basically, when fame happens, most people are not ready for it and it is not only models and beauty queens that change their behaviours – it happens to everybody- such as sports personalities and musicians,” said Bandawe.
However, Bhima, still on the defensive said it is not everyone who becomes famous that go on a moral rampage.
“We cannot run away from the fact that popularity attracts a lot of men for beauty queens. Men are attracted to beautiful women and once one attains the Miss Malawi accolade, she becomes a representation of the most beautiful woman on the land; hence, men will flock to her. But these women should be able to deal with them gently but firmly,” he added. n