There’s a popular saying that beauty is only skin deep. However, one beauty pageant recently put a new twist on that notion.
As reported in the Daily Mail newspaper, organizers in Israel held a competition entitled “Miss Holocaust Survivor,” aimed at bringing out the beauty among survivors of the Nazi atrocities.
“They feel good together. They are having a good time and laughing in the rehearsals,” organizer Shimon Sabag told the newspaper. “The fact that so many wanted to participate proves that it's a good idea.”
The contest brought about 300 Holocaust survivors from across the country, between the ages of 74 and 97, to compete, but it has also garnered controversy and criticism.
“'I am in favour of enriching lives, but a one-time pageant masquerading (survivors) with beautiful clothes is not what is going to make their lives more meaningful,” said Colette Avital, an advocate for survivors.
There are still an estimated 200,000 Holocaust survivors living in Israel, some in assisted living communities.
One of the contestants, 74 year-old Esther Libber, told the newspaper the pageant was a celebration of life, and a statement that despite the horrors they endured, these survivors will continue to enjoy life.
What do you think? Is a “Miss Holocaust Survivor” a statement about the endurance of the human spirit, or does it belittle the Holocaust?