The Miss Great Britain pageant is loosening its application guidelines for the first time in its 65 year history, to allow divorcees and single mothers (previously banned) to fight for the title.
Our first thought when we heard this news was, what was the thinking behind this rule in the first place? When we last checked, it wasn’t ‘Mrs’ Great Britain so why give married women preferential treatment?
‘Beauty pageants have been stuck in the past, said Liz Fuller, the director of the event and a former holder of the crown, ‘they were run by men and their rules were to fulfill the typical male fantasy that beautiful young girls had to be virginal. I want to make Miss Great Britain relevant to today’s society. Though I’m not one to encourage divorce nor single motherhood, I accept this is increasingly part of the modern way of life and I didn’t want to discriminate.’
When the pageant began back in 1945 it was originally titled ‘Bathing Beauty Queen’. The winner was 18-year-old typist Lydia Reid, who won seven guineas and a swimsuit, after her bikini body was awarded top marks. Would a single mother with the same figure have been less worthy of the crown?
This year, because of the rule change, a fanfare is being made over Rachel Hatton, 27, a former communications specialist in the Army and the first divorcee ever to compete. Will the new politically correct judging system sway the contest in her favour?
Married, single, other… How about we wipe this question from the application and make it a level playing field?
By Amy Molloy