Sukaina al-Zayer is an unlikely beauty queen hopeful. She covers her face and body in black robes and an Islamic veil, so no one can tell what she looks like. She also admits she's a little on the plump side. But at Saudi Arabia's only beauty pageant, the judges don't care about a perfect figure or face. What they're looking for in the quest for Miss Beautiful Morals is the contestant who shows the most devotion and respect for her parents. "The idea of the pageant is to measure the contestants' commitment to Islamic morals... It's an alternative to the calls for decadence in the other beauty contests that only take into account a woman's body and looks," said pageant founder Khadra al-Mubarak. "The winner won't necessarily be pretty," she added. "We care about the beauty of the soul and the morals."
So after the pageant opens Saturday, the nearly 200 contestants will spend the next 10 weeks attending classes and being quizzed on themes including "Discovering your inner strength," "The making of leaders and Mom," "paradise is at your feet" - a saying attributed to Islam's Prophet Muhammad to underline that respect for parents is among the faith's most important tenets.
"Pageant hopefuls will also spend a day at a country house with their mothers, where they will be observed by female judges and graded on how they interact with their mothers," al-Mubarak said. Since the pageant is not televised and no men are involved, contestants can take off the veils and black figure-hiding abayas they always wear in public.
Quite interesting, what? I am sure most of the other winners in other contests will lose this one, eh? and what’s with the mother’s bit, eh? lol, how interesting :)