I think we all can agree at the end of the day beauty pageants are silly (and between you and me, we already know that disabled women can be just as hot as able-bodied women), but here’s the deal – most of the world doesn’t realize this. A pageant like this, loaded with persuasive imagery, showing gorgeous women rolling around sashaying and posing as fiercely as any catwalk model, can be an incredibly powerful eraser of stereotypes.
And the internet has been buzzing over the crowning of Katalin Eszter Varga, the winner of Miss Colours Hungary. At 26, and a perfume saleswoman, Varga, who has long brunette hair and the cutest bubble cheeks ever (and has been using a chair for 4 years), is drop-dead gorgeous. News outlets all across the world, especially here in the US, are loving this story. Pretty girls in wheelchair stories always get headlines. Check out the craziness. Is a Miss Colours USA in the works? If not, it should be.
But the pageant also has a bigger purpose – to elect an accessibility spokeswoman if you will. As the winner of Miss Colours Hungary, Varga will be an advocate for improving accessibility in her country (as an Eastern European country this country could use a lot of work in that department). Hopefully she can make a big enough impact during her reign to make accessibility and universal design a trend in her country that lasts.
– Check out the pageant’s official site (translated into English for your convenience): Miss Colours Hungary
The problem is that it excludes almost any disability except paraplegia and perhaps low-level quadriplegia (less likely as Colours don’t do titanium frames), because most other disabilities do not afford the use of a self-propelling wheelchair (so, nobody with muscular dystrophy) *and* leave someone’s looks uncompromised (which excludes a lot of people with cerebral palsy — oh, and they might talk funny as well). Also, no powerchairs (Colours don’t do them), and no ventilators (unlike one of the current Ms Wheelchairs in the USA and, indeed, the current Ms Wheelchair Minnesota). Just pretty women who don’t look disabled, only like normal pretty women sitting down.