The Miss Brighton Beauty Pageant is Back!

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Once upon a time Brighton used to host one of the most prestigious beauty pageants in the country, now, organisers of the Miss Brighton beauty pageant want to return the event to its heyday. The team behind the pageant want to breathe new life into the contest and this week are scouting for contestants at local nightclubs. The grand final will be held in June at a seafront hotel where a winner will be chosen to represent the city in Miss Great Britain. The final will consist of a number of rounds including swimwear, black dress and jeans and t-shirt round before an interview to test their personality.

Julie Bitout, former pageant contestant told The Argus “it is great fun and it is a great day for the girls. It is really good for their confidence and we raise lots for charity. It was huge back in the 1980s and the winner was a real representative of the city. It would be great for it to be like that again.” Ms Bitout also told The Argus that the pageant will have less emphasis on looks and more about the contestants’ charity work…which is why they are scouting for contestants at nightclubs. Obviously. She said “obviously looks still come into it but it is also about personality and charity work.” Which naturally explains the outrageously archaic swimwear round. Criticism aside, the chosen charity this year is Amanda’s Angels which raises funds in the fight against ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, which is a really great charity.

there has been arguments against beauty pageants for a while, this is a protest outside the Miss World competition in 1970 image: W Breeze/Getty Images

Naturally, there has been some opposition to the revival of Miss Brighton and Jessica Woodfall, the founder of the Cut it Out campaign against sexism in the media and a member of the No More Page 2 group has said “beauty pageants are based on a women’s attractiveness and offer an outdated conept of beauty, body shape and gender stereotypes. We continue to have problems with fair representation of women in all walks of life so such concepts can ultimately do nothing but continue to propagate the idea that women are valued for their appearance only and that is our biggest contribution to society.”. Of course, there are many, like Ms Bitout, who will see the pageant as good natured fun and as a way of raising money for charity. However, Brighton is a forward-thinking city, and we pride ourselves on that fact, so is there any room for a competition in which women are judged by how good they look in their bikinis? We’ll leave that up to you to discuss in the comments below. If you want to find out more about the event email


Holly Martin


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