Erica Robin's participation in the Miss-Universe pageant has ignited a strong wave of controversy in Pakistan's conservative voices as it is strongly condemned by government officials. Meanwhile, many Pakistani men on social media seem to be outraged by Robin's historic representation of the country at the global level.
In the 72-year history of the Miss Universe pageant, Robin will script history by representing her nation for the first time on the most prestigious international stage. But what are these controversies?
Controversy Erupts On Pak's First Miss Universe Contestant Erica Robin:
Women nominated for the most prestigious pageant beauty contest in the world, the Miss Universe pageant are often celebrated by their country. But Pakistan's first-ever representative in the beauty pageant, Erica Robin has ignited a wave of controversy by the conservative voices of the Islamic state.
24-year-old Erica Robin, a Christian from Karachi is going to represent Pakistan and is set to become the first Pakistani woman to be contesting in the prestigious Miss Universe pageant.
Robin earned the title of Miss Universe Pakistan by competing with four other finalists in a competition held in Maldives by the Dubai-based Yugen group. Robin was chosen for the title amongst Malika Alvi (19), Hira Inam (24), Sabrina Wasim (26), and Jessica Wilson (28).
Robin will now represent her country in the 72nd Miss Universe 2023 scheduled to be held in El Salvador in November where the 2022 crowned Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel will crown her successor.
However, some conservative voices in the country have criticized her participation in the pageant, arguing that it is un-Islamic and promotes indecency. They have also accused her of not being a true representative of Pakistan.
Controversy and Backlash:
Robin's victory has also been met with scepticism from some outraged Pakistani government officials as Senator Mushtaq Ahmed of the Jamaat-e-Islami political party called Robin "shameful" questioning "Who are these organisers and who are doing this shameful act?"
The Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar called her victory a "shameful act" and an insult and exploitation of Pakistani women. Kakar has also urged the country's intelligence agency to launch an investigation into how the pageant was held without the government's permission.
Those criticising Robin's nomination opine her to be representing a country that does not want to be represented as beauty pageants are rare in Muslim-majority Pakistan.
Robin has also received severe backlash on social media especially from the blistering men of Pakistan.
Erica Robin's Comments Over Backlash:
In response to the controversies on her nomination, Robin expressed her enthusiasm and confusion to the news outlet BBC, Robin said that it feels great to represent her country but she does not understand where the backlash is coming from. Robin guessed that the idea of her to be parading in a swimsuit in a room full of men must be causing outrage among some people.
Robin also recalled her answer in the second round of the pageant selection over Zoom when she was asked about the one thing she aspires to do for her country to which Robin replied she wanted to change the narrative of Pakistan perceived as a "backward country."
People In Support:
Despite the backlash, Robin has received support from many Pakistanis, including human rights activists, models, writers, and journalists. They have defended her right to participate in the pageant and have praised her for breaking down stereotypes about Pakistan.
Pakistani model, Vaneeza Ahmed raised her questions in talks with the Voice of America Urdu about why these men who are fine with International pageant competitions like 'Mister Pakistan' why do they oppose and criticise a woman's achievement.
Journalist Mariana Babar also tweeted congratulating Robin on her big milestone victory hailing her to be "Beauty with Brains."
The controversy over Robin's participation in Miss Universe highlights the deep cultural and religious divisions in Pakistan. It also raises questions about the country's commitment to women's empowerment and freedom of expression.
It is important to note that beauty pageants are a controversial topic in many countries, not just Pakistan. Some people view them as a harmless form of entertainment, while others see them as objectifying and demeaning to women. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they support beauty pageants. However, it is important to respect the right of women to participate in such events if they so choose.
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