• Fri, Jun 29 2012

There Is A Holocaust Beauty Pageant

Want to hear my favorite joke?

Q: What’s worse than a worm in your apple?

A: Half a worm in your apple.

Q: What’s worse than half a worm in your apple?

A: The holocaust. Have some goddamn perspective.

I think this is funny (I’m sorry I’m explaining why I think a joke is funny) because it’s about our frequent inability to see the big picture, especially when we’re considering specific events, however, people periodically find that joke wildly insensitive because it contains the word “holocaust” and might, to some extent, trivialize it.

There’s a holocaust beauty pageant. In Israel. I never thought I’d be someone to bring this up – but does using the greatest tragedy of the 20th century for entertainment purposes not seem somewhat inappropriate? Or is this actually a great statement about the potential of beauty to enduring in the wake of tragedy?

The director of the pageant says, ““we have to remember history but also have to let these survivors think about the present. When people take an interest and pamper their outside or external beauty, this makes them feel better physically and then has a positive effect on their soul.”

As a fashion and beauty website, we’re obviously in favor of that, but it still seems tricky to figure out how to keep the memory of the holocaust alive in a way that doesn’t negate its significance.

So. Holocaust beauty pageant. Good idea or bad? – NYT

Pic via New York Times

 

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  • Lisa

    As long as you don’t take the name the wrong way, the Holocaust beauty pageant for survivors sounds like a great idea. Is it a fundraiser for something cool?

  • endn

    yeah as long as the survivors themselves are into it, could be done in a respectful but fun way

  • JaneDoe

    Ugh. How can you judge someone’s survival of something so unspeakable as “better” than someone else’s survival?

    Does that mean that not surviving is not admirable? It was completely random, as noted in Art Spiegelman’s Maus II.

  • porkchop

    I remember, after Schindler’s List came out, they gave an Oscar to a Holocaust survivor, for a legitimate and topical reason that escapes me right now, but all I could think about was how impossible it was to believe that an academy award and a concentration camp could actually be part of the same lifetime. I feel like this beauty pageant is just one way of drawing out that undercurrent of “I can’t believe this is happening” that runs underneath every day of your life after you live through a catastrophe of that magnitude.

  • Fabel

    It’s for the survivors, right? I think that’s fine, & could definitely be done in a nice way. I was picturing something much more tasteless & horrifying, like a regular paegant with young women that had a holocaust theme (which would be mind-blowingly NOT COOL)