Cambodia Bans 'Miss Landmine' Beauty Pageant

Government sees insult; organizers aimed to promote awareness
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2009 5:50 PM CDT
So Yeu, a would-be candidate in the "Miss Landmine" beauty pageant pauses in Cambodia.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Cambodian government said today it will not allow a "Miss Landmine" beauty pageant to take place later this week, calling it an insult to the disabled. "The land mine beauty contest would make a mockery of Cambodia's land mine victims," a government spokesman said. "The government does not support this contest."

The Miss Landmine site says the goal of the pageant, which had been scheduled for Friday, is to empower its participants and other disabled people and raise awareness about the dangers of land mines. The site shows photos of the 20 Cambodian contestants, all in crowns and dresses, with missing limbs. They range in age from 18 to 48. Organizer Morten Traavik—who held a similar pageant in Angola—said he was "disappointed" with the government's decision but would still hold the contest over the Internet.