Male beauty pageants haven’t exactly been glorified in society like female beauty competitions.
A beauty pageant is a ritual full of feminine significance, where no man can be placed. Men are supposed to be strong, smart and hard working. In regards to beauty, they have nothing to worry about.
According to Dr. Jean Pierre Higiro, organiser of the beauty contests in Rwanda, when it comes to male pageants, sponsors are seriously lacking.
“Without sponsors it is virtually impossible to work for a year for one cause or the other without any financial support,” he said.
He stated that if sponsors do not turn their eye on male pageants, they will never operate on the same level as female beauty pageants.
Barbara Murungi, a Model and Fashion designer at Tina School of Beauty- Kampala, Uganda says that trying to make people interested in male beauty pageants is like making females get interested in soccer though these days they are more into soccer as opposed to before.
“The only thing that can be done is to put the hottest guys possible in a beauty contest but even then, it will only attract a female audience,” she asserted.
“Male pageants should be just as relevant as female ones; people should introduce male contests that go as far as international pageants like Mr. World and Mr. Universe.”
Although beauty Kings are not common in society, they contribute to the growth of the entertainment industry, and contestants can find a career out of them, like modeling.
Didier Baguma, a hair stylist at Top salon in Remera says that he is not a fan of beauty kings because they are a bore. He enjoys watching female beauty contestants doing the catwalk on stage.
“I don’t have any ideas, but for me, female beauty pageants are more interesting to watch than the male ones,” he adds.
Beauty pageants are still considered as something “girly”, made for girls and women only. Guys who join beauty pageants are most of the time assumed gay.
“I don’t watch male beauty pageants because I do not see their relevance. They only expose their bodies, and muscles. They should be in athletics, sports and fashion competitions and magazines,” says Sayid Manzi, an International relations student at Kigali Independent University (ULK).
He adds that they don’t appeal to a large audience because they have less impact on social expectations at large.
Both male and female beauty contests are relevant to society because they reinforce the idea that one should be beautiful and fit, hence, it becomes the platform for young men and women to showcase their physical appearance, intelligence and personality.
It has also become a home for fashion, cosmetics, hairstyling and even cosmetic surgery.
However, these pageants are frowned upon by some sectors insisting the pageants are prostitution venues.