3 Dec 2012

Women's rights advocate says Miss South Pacific pageant outdated

4:48 am on 3 December 2012

A women's rights advocate says the annual Miss South Pacific beauty pageant is outdated and promotes a concept of beauty which Pacific women often don't fit into.

Ten contestants from around the region arrived in American Samoa over the weekend to participate in the Miss South Pacific Pageant, which is still going strong after 25 years.

Edwina Kotoisuva, from the Fiji Women's Crisis Centre, says younger girls in the Pacific are idealising the concept but she says participants are being objectified.

"We are promoting through these pageants messages that women are supposed to look a particular way, act a particular way, whereas when you look at Pacific women, they don't all fit into that, infact the way Pacific women are, are quite the opposite to what is being promoted through these pageants."

Edwina Kotoisuva says over the past 20 to 30 years Pacific women have become more vocal and assertive but engaging in things like beauty pageants set women back.