Over the last twenty years or so, beauty pageants of all sort have gone steadily out of fashion, in NZ at least. People have realised that, despite the talk of building women's poise and self-confidence, these events are actually painfully naff.
But without any sense of irony at all, organisers of the Hamilton 400 motor race bring us the Miss Hamilton 400 competition - because no car event can be complete without boobs.
If you click on each 'girl', you get a quote, like 'If I could be anything, I’d be a Ligar (half lion half tiger) cause it sounds cool', or 'Best thing that’s ever happened to me is having a Hair Straightner'. This is to remind us that attractive girls are not smart, and vice versa.
I guess women enter events like this one for a bit of a joke, but I have a strong suspicion that the pageant's spectators will be laughing at these 'girls', not with them. The panel of identically dressed women invites voters to make denigrating comparisons: 'that one's got a big nose', or 'that one's a mutt', or 'why did she even enter?'.
Good on these women for feeling beautiful and confident - but can we not celebrate women's beauty in a more respectful way?