Miss Nuclear Reactor? What next?

On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Russians are on a mission and I don’t like it one bit.

This is a part of the report:

"Russia’s turning up the heat on nuclear power—it’s on the hunt for Miss Nuclear Reactor 2009.

The online beauty pageant is inviting applications from women in the business of nuclear power, and is out to prove that industry girls don’t just have Dexter’s brains, but are drop-dead gorgeous too.

The girls complain that people wonder if working in the nuclear power industry means they have been mutated in some way by radiation. This, organisers say, only proves that more awareness on the subject needs to be raised in Russia."

I don’t get it. Why are similar standards not applicable to men? Would radiation not affect them? Instead of such a beauty pageant, could the men in the field not be paraded to show that no damage is done and they have not been mutated?

This is utterly demeaning and I find it difficult to believe that women with brains enough to qualify for such professions would be worried sick about their looks. Vanity is, no doubt, a part of the human psyche and men and women display it differently. But this isn’t about vanity, for a vain woman can flash her smile and talk about her achievements.

Everytime I read such reports something really gets to me. I have often talked about my appreciation for aesthetics and how wonderful it is that women do like to do themselves up. I have my own sense of what looks good or not and am not demure about it. However, there is a limit. Looks as a parameter of beauty is one thing, but to be judged by it in the professional sphere quite another.

When a woman is performing a surgery, it is her skill with the scalpel that counts not how flat her abs are; a writer’s use of words and the content of her ideas matter not the way her eyes dreamily droop as she pens them; an astronaut on a space mission has to go through the same rigours as men and it would be stupid to expect her to think about her brand of moisturiser; a sportswoman may bare her legs, but it ought not to be anyone’s concern whether she has depilated them or not. It is another matter that in this arena, endorsements have made sports stars into commodities, the females flashing knickers and cleavage.

That is fine as long as they are not doing so to prove that their work has not in any manner mutated them.

At least not in the manner envisaged. Transformation also translates into growth – a thought that must have been forgotten by those beauty pageant people.


  1. This may be a marketing gimmick to give a face lift for the sagging interest in Russian reactors.

  2. "Dexter’s brains"? That is cute!

    Wonder how people would react if this was in, say, Iran...

  3. Hehe...I think it's a cool idea!

  4. FV,

    This is the world of MCPs, they may have paunches, they may be balding, but the women must be of the kind that can compete with Ash or Shakira.

    Welcome to the world of the animal, aka the male.

  5. R.Alamsha:

    Just as people do not buy cars because of the models that are draped over them, no one will change their mind about Russian reactors.


    Aha, they'd call it Islamic patriarchal jihad...


    Yeah, and you are in Serbia...


    In the animal kingdom, the male does the preening...

    But, yes, men don't think they need to look good as long as they possess a sense of humour, even about their paunches.

  6. If I remember correctly, TIME magazine published list of HOT (male) scientists. As per TIME, objective was to promote healthy image.

  7. Farhan:

    I'd be interested in knowing more. I still do not understand the connection between 'hot' and 'healthy'.


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