In 2018, a 24-year-old model, Veronika Didusenko won the title of Miss Ukraine but as soon as the organizing committee found out that she was a mother, they took away her crown.
Veronika was hoping to compete for Miss World Beauty Pageant, and this came as a shock to her. The rules stated that anyone who parented a child was barred from participating in beauty competitions. She took her concerns to Instagram and challenged the decision.
Source: The Mirror
Previously, in 2014, Angie Beasley who directs the Miss England competition stated that it is not practical for mothers to take part in beauty pageants because “it is both unfair on the child and her family.” She believes that acquiring help for your child because a mother has to travel around the world compromises with the upbringing.
However, Veronika has deemed the arguments “nonsense” and is now pursuing the matter legally. She has challenged the decision of disqualification in court, with human rights lawyer, Ravi Naik as her representative.
Veronika stated that her 5-year-old son is a “nicely-developed child” who has already traveled with her around the world, so he understands the dynamics of his mum’s profession.
In an interview with Radio 1 Newsbeat, she said, “It was humiliating and insulting for me. I felt so bad because it is the story of thousands of women around the world who maybe want to take part but don’t have the possibility to enter because they are mothers”.
Upon question, she acknowledged that she saw the rules but considered them irrelevant because being a mother does not have any effect on “my ability to be professional”.
She also pointed out that modeling competitions are becoming more and more inclusive with time. “Fashion houses regularly include pregnant women, plus size women and models of all ages for their catwalks and runways”, she said.
Therefore, she believes that beauty pageants should also follow their lead and destroy the stereotypes. The discrimination that bans mothers from entering should be eliminated to “celebrate all of the women equally”, she stated.
Last year, when Veronika was “discrowned” just four days after the pageant, the chairperson and CEO of the Miss World organization, Julia Morley, emphasized that “when you’re trying to get a worldwide organization to agree, you have to look to everyone and they vote as to what is acceptable.”
Julia Morley via Facebook
But Veronika is hopeful that Miss World committee will alter their rules and believes that pageants need to adopt a more progressive policy and she wants to “make sure the rules of Miss World move with the times”.
The case is still in court, and the disqualification is being questioned under the Equality Act 2010, alleging that the competitions are discriminatory. Miss World competition is all set to take place on the 14th of December and Veronika is sure that she would be able to make the conditions better so that they “reflect women’s reality today”.
The committee of Miss World has not broken their silence over the legal action, and therefore the matter remains unresolved.