I remember back in the day when Miss Egypt was a huge event. All the family used to watch, judging the girls from the comfort of our living room. But after all the political turbulence in Egypt, nobody is thinking of no beauty pageant.
I personally though it might be a lack of sponsors or fear of Islamists. When I did investigate, I found out that we do have a Miss Egypt 2013*.
Her name is Sarah Fasha, born and raised in the U.S. with fully Egyptian parents. Sarah is the granddaughter of Egyptian poet Taher Abo Fasha and is currently working as an actress.
And this is what she looks like. Curly medium length hair, round eyes, slim face, minimal makeup and an Egyptian nose. Just seeing Sarah was great – I think it’s very revolutionary to choose someone who looks like this.
She looks like me, my friends and my relatives. A refreshing change from the typical “7lwa” look in Egypt – the long, straight, black, processed hair and the sultry makeup.
Whenever you look at beauty queens you find them looking pretty standard. The risky countries this year were mostly African or Latin. Miss America did offer a change with Nina Davuluri, who has Indian roots, and previously Rima Fakih.
The typical image of a beauty queen is changing all over the world, and Egypt is following.
Sarah being a beauty queen is a step forward in challenging the Egyptian obsession with European or Khaliji beauty standards. She’s not blonde, she doesn’t have blue eyes and she’s a beautiful young lady.
The new look of Miss Egypt should also be a confidence booster for all Egyptian girls, especially those who feel the need to bleach their hair, add extensions, use fake nails, have a fake tan and wear colored lenses just to feel beautiful.
I am in no way dissing any of the previous Miss Egypt winners – I am a firm believer that everybody has the right to look the way they like. The issue is fair representation of all kinds of beauty, because believe it or not these girls end up representing what beautiful means, normalizing certain standards that leave most of us out.
It used to be the same story over and over again. Every beauty queen and every girl, tanned with strong brows and luscious straight hair, copies everywhere.
I remember my first day of school at GUC back in 2008. I saw all of the girls looking and dressing the same, while 16-year old me was a little scared and looked so different.
I’m eager to see more representation of all kinds of Egyptian beauty in the coming years so that young girls can feel confident in their own skin.
*UPDATE: Face to face modeling agency has released this statement.
As the official organizers of the Miss Egypt pageant since 1998, we deny all of these allegations. The Miss Egypt title has not been granted to any official winner since 2011.
The girl in question is Ms. Sarah Fasha an Egyptian/American actress/entertainer who lives in the United States and competed in Queen of The Universe 2013 beauty pageant last January which took place in Los Angeles. She was granted the Miss Egypt sash based on her origin for holding an Egyptian passport.
She is not the official Miss Egypt by any means.
Face To Face by Youssef Spahi is the sole license holder of all international beauty pageants in Egypt and the official organizer of the Miss Egypt pageant.
There was no Miss Egypt pageant in 2013, but the organization is preparing for a big come back in 2014
After initial publication of this article, people on the Internet have remarked on how “ugly” Sarah is, with comments ranging from criticism to just complete harassment.
While Sarah Fasha isn’t the “official” Miss Egypt this year (apparently, she’s Miss Egypt Queen of the Universe Pageant 2013), she’s still a refreshing change from typical Miss Egypt contestants. And the negative backlash is proof of how this society’s narrow definition of beauty badly needs to be challenged.
WE SAID THIS: Check out Questioning The Plus Size.