Wednesday 21 November 2012

Russia is a Beggar

The Beggar Queen
I’m sure it will be no great revelation if I tell you I take no interest at all in beauty pageants.  You know the sort of thing; a succession of women whose breast size is in inverse proportion to that of their brains, telling some slavering old Jimmy Savile-type host that they want to help old people when they grow up, with hints, perhaps, of oral pleasures to come. 

I was amused to discover, though, that one of these contests is called Miss Earth.  What, Miss Earth?  Does the competition come from Miss Mars, Miss Venus and the rest, from the ultra hot Miss Mercury to the cold and distant Miss Pluto?  Now that might be something worth watching!

Earth girls come from all over the Earth.  It wasn’t really the name of the competition that caught my attention; it was the comments of one of the competitors.  She is Natalia Pereverzeva from Russia, different from the usual run of beauties in that she had some unusual things to say about her country. 

Asked what makes her proud of her country, she started off in a glowing if slightly eccentric fashion.  Russia, she said, “is bright, warm, patched, but it is pleasant to slumber under it on a winter evening when the storm rages outside.”  I get it: Russia is really just a giant duvet.  Wait; it’s more than that, it’s “a kind of cow with very big eyes, funny horns and always chewing its mouth oh, what sweet milk she gives!  Oh, how it smells – meadows, herbs and sun.”  A comfort blanket, kindly cows and fragrant herbs, my, my, Russia is obviously the lost Eden.

But it’s not.  In an instant bedding, cows and herbs disappeared, revealing something nasty in the woodshed.  Russia started to smell not of fragrant meadows but of corruption.  “But my Russia – it is also my poor long-suffering country, mercilessly torn to pieces by greedy, dishonest and unbelieving people.  My Russia is a great artery, from which the chosen few people drain away its wealth.  My Russia is a beggar.” 

The beggar cannot help its orphans and its elderly.  Engineers, doctors and teachers are fleeing, as from a sinking ship, because they can’t make enough to live on.  This is her country, she concluded, her dear, poor Russia.

Not the sort of thing one expects in this kind of bash, I feel sure you will agree.  It’s caused quite a stir in RussiaKomsomolskaya Pravda, one of the main tabloids, headlined the story on its front page.  Did our Miss Earth 2012 contestant slam Russia or tell the truth?, it asked.  No, she did not tell the truth, one of its commentators proceeded; her tirade was just a rehash of Western clichés about Russia.  That would not include the bit about duvets, meadows, herbs and cows, I suppose

Dmitry Steshin went on to accuse her of “trading her body in photographs to arouse the sexual instincts of the end consumer, thereby ruining her credibility.”  You can make of that what you will but I rather thought trading one’s body in photographs to arose the sexual instincts “of the end consumer” was what beauty pageants were all about.  Perhaps Dmitry is of a more innocent cast of mind, giving no thought at all to the girl’s future intentions towards old men. 

Alas, he seems rather out of touch with the rest of Russia, or at least the more than 90% of the thousands who responded in her favour in the paper’s online poll.  Clearly the end consumers’ sexual instincts have been aroused by the former Miss Russia’s body of photographs.  Either that or she speaks a deeper truth, one that explodes the self-serving illusions and forms of political deception that Putin’s gangster-state specialises in.  That is no beauty contest.  


  1. Russia is all messed up; they do have some fine women though.

    1. True, and with some interesting ways of expressing themselves.

  2. Beauty contests in Russia is like a feast during the plague. And Natalie is absolutely right. Russia is rich in natural resources, territories, and opportunities. With wonderful people and stunning nature. But the profit from that receives only a small percentage of the population. And not because they deserve it. It is unfair, dishonest and often produces people with revolutionary moods