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Nuns in a Beauty Pageant, Miss Sister 2008

Making Tiaras a Habit: Nuns in a Beauty Pageant — Good Idea?


I'll watch any pageant, or any show about pageants but this one? I'm not sure. An Italian priest is organizing an online beauty pageant for nuns called "Miss Sister 2008." The aim of the contest is to fight the stereotype that all nuns are old and homely. The priest behind the plan says, "Nuns are a bit excluded, they are a bit marginalized in ecclesiastical life. This will be an occasion to make their contribution more visible."

And the answer to the big question I know was on the tip of your tongue is this: "We are not going to parade nuns in bathing suits." He continues, "But being ugly is not a requirement for becoming a nun. External beauty is gift from God, and we mustn't hide it." Visitors to the website hosting the online pageant are supposed to vote for the nun "they consider a model."

The effort, said to have been inspired by suggestions from nuns, has drawn criticism from the association of Catholic teachers saying, "It's an initiative that belittles the role of nuns who have dedicated themselves to God." The idea of showcasing nuns' beauty as a means of "making their contribution more visible," is an interesting concept. Is it an inspired way of bringing the life of a nun into modern times, or missing the point of being a nun altogether?

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