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Fourth echelon

step inside the world of a muslim beauty pagent

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Miss Muslimah' Photos Show Just How Outdated Western Views Of The Muslim World Really Are


Yes, there are a lot of differences separating Miss Muslimah, a Muslim beauty pageant in Yogakarta, Indonesia, from those broadcast across the Western world. Instead of bathing suits there are headscarfs, competitors pray five times a day, and the winner is chosen by a jury of orphaned children. However, after attending and documenting the competition in 2014, photojournalist Monique Jaques realized that the young women weren't that different from their Western counterparts.

"I believe that this idea that the West has that the lives Muslim women lead are so different from ours is outdated and naive," Jaques explained to The Huffington Post. "The girls had as much in common with any other young girl in America. They talked about makeup, television shows and friends just like [many] young women do."

Jaques discovered the competition online and was intrigued to see what shape the competition would take. "I thought the contradiction of a Muslim beauty pageant was so interesting and unique," she said. "In my work I'm always looking for ways to communicate the experience of young Muslim women to Western audiences. Much of the competition is similar to a pageant in America or anywhere in the West, just with headscarves."



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