April 7, 2019
For the past few days, a clip of Miss Nepal 2019 audition has been going viral in the social media platform.
The clip includes the interview session of a participant named, Ashmita Maharjan, by the panel of judges including Rachana Gurung Sharma. Sharma is seen asking Maharjan the reason behind not wearing make up and contact lenses. She proceeds to comment that it was disrespectful of Maharjan to not wear makeup for the audition, even when Maharjan responded that she had mascara on and did not know how to apply makeup.
This very clip has the internet divided, majority of audience defending Maharjan and attacking at the ‘hypocrisy of the beauty pageant’, while the rest, including few previous Miss Nepals are defending Sharma and asking viewers to watch the full video first, and not to attack at personal level.
The full video of audition shows that the intense question and answer session gets lighter and Maharjan was chosen for the next level of competition.
However, Nepali audience were quick to question on the concept of beauty pageants. They came to social media to express their disappointment on the preference of outer beauty over inner beauty and talent. The internet users called out the beauty pageant, Miss Nepal, for being the opposite of women empowerment and degrading women.
An online petition has been filed by Avishek Sanjel Chhetri requesting for boycott of Miss Nepal 2019 and states, “Rachana Gurung Sharma should publicly apologize to the contestant member and resign immediately as a judge on the Miss Nepal pageant.” The petition has been signed by more than 2100 in two days. Sharma has found herself in hot water after the clip went viral, she is being trolled and memes are heavily circulating in Facebook and Instagram.
On the other side, previous Miss Nepal, Malvika Subba, supported Sharma by making a post in Instagram. In the post she mentioned that it was Rachana Gurung Sharma who advised her to wear a simple make up and focused on inner ability when she was a part of the pageant in 2002. Further she defended Sharma by stating that it is the need of the time to look good on outside as well. In the same post, she also accepts that she does not correlate with the beauty standard set by the pageant.
Shrinkhala Khatiwada, the reigning Miss Nepal, posted a bare face selfie with #nomakeupandstillbeautiful caption after the viral clip. After a day, she made another post in Instagram accepting there is a problem with the concept of beauty pageant but asked to stop bullying an individual.
Nikita Chandak, Miss Nepal 2018, posted an Instagram story, where she wrote the fact that she also showed up for her audition without any make up. She also emphasized that participants should be notified on how to appear for their audition.
Samriddhi Rai, who was the runner up in Miss Teen 2006, won Best Personality award in Miss Tourism Queen International 2011, runner up for Miss Talent in the same pageant, participated in Miss World University and Miss Nepal 2010, strongly criticized Beauty pageant for objectifying women and labelled it as “marketing gimmick” in her Facebook post. Further, she writes “your bashing the judge in support of the young girl is truly futile because that’s a tape from the audition round of a “beauty pageant.” Do you see how ironic this is? This is not Miss-good-heart-good-soul-Nepal, this is Miss-who-looks-walks-talks-the-best-to-put-up-a-good-fight-internationally-Nepal’ in this fake platform of absolute fakery that has no use in life but is a great marketing ploy for advertisers and a good mileage for women in showbiz.”
Rachana Gurung Sharma has been the official choreographer since the inception of Miss Nepal in 1994. Miss Nepal is organised by The Hidden Treasure.
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२००२ को मिस नेपाल मा जादा मलाइ खासै मके अप गर्न आउदैन थियो, न त श्रोत साधन नै थिए। भाउजु को कुर्ता सुरुवाल लगाएर गए अनि सिम्पल मके अप। आत्मा बिश्वाश का साथ् बोले अनि सेलेक्ट भए। रचना माम ले सिम्पल मके अप लगाउनु पर्छ भनेर सिकाउनु भयो। आखा मा मस्कारा मात्र लगाए राम्रो देखिन्छ भन्नु हुन्थ्यो, नेल पलिश पनि नलगाउनु अनि ट्रान्स परेण्ट राख्नु भन्नु हुन्थ्यो। हाम्रो बौदिक स्तर मा धेरै जोड दिनु हुन्थ्यो। त्येस्तो training ले म माथि धेरै परिवर्तन लेराए। जसले साहस का साथ् बोल्ने शक्ति को हौशला प्रदान गर्यो। हाम्रो जमाना त्येसरी नै बित्यो। कुरा गरौ २०१९ को। समय बदलिएको छ। अहिले हामीले बाहिरी आवरण मा पनि उत्तिकै जोड दिन्छौ। अन्तर्वार्ता मा जादा चिटिक्क परेर जानु पर्छ जस्तो नुसका हामी सिकाउछौ र हामी expect पनि गर्छौ।मके अप ले आफ्नो व्यक्तित्व निखारिन्छ भनेर भानिन्छा। तर त्यो कम्पल्सरी हो भन्ने हैन . It definitely depends on where you are. रचना मेम संग को संगत त्यै बेला देखि भएको हो, वहा ले जे भन्नु भयो त्यो समय संधर्व कुरा गर्नु भएको छ। वहा को expectation भनेको प्रतियोगिता लाइ respect गरेर ध्यान दिएर आएको भए हुन्थ्यो भन्ने हो। मैले पुरा विडियो पनि हेरे। त्यो बैनी सेलेक्ट पनि हुनु भएको छ। Most of the times in Miss Nepal auditions , the questions asked might seem rude but the expectation is more on how the girl answers it. The beauty industry and beauty pageants can be deemed hypocritical at times. Having been a part of it once, and having grown in the years later, sometimes i dont agree to the beauty standards set. That is the bitter truth. But i would request everyone to watch the full video before coming to any conclusion. Link in bio