The Embassy of Israel prides itself in commemorating IWD every year showcasing different themes, all with the universal goal of inspiring women, celebrating achievements and addressing pertinent issues relating to women in modern times. This year, for IWD 2012, we held a documentary film screening + panel discussion entitled Beauty: Dreams and Reality.
Beauty contests, pageants specifically, are popular in many parts of the world. The biggest, the Miss World competition, has been running annually since as early as 1951. The debate on beauty contests is a controversial one and has been argued over for years. And in line with International Women’s Day this year, we aimed to address issues on beauty contests culture as well as beauty and fashion industry and as a whole. We focussed on a question that hits a little closer to our hearts: Community and Societal Pressures versus Personal Choices.
We had the honor of having 4 very special guests on our panel: Dr Mabel Wong, a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the University Scholars Programme at NUS, Ms Sharon Lim, Editor-in-Chief of ELLE Singapore, Ms Vanessa Tan, Mrs Singapore World 2011, Ms Tan Yong Ying, Winner of Miss Singapore International 2012.
The documentary film we screened was titled Lady Kul el-Arab, a multi award-winning documentary that follows the life of Angelina, the first Druze (A member of a political and religious sect of Islamic origin, living chiefly in Israel, Lebanon and Syria) woman to attempt significant steps in the Israeli fashion world, finds herself in the middle of a complicated conflict in which the tradition and values of her society clash with her brave efforts to choose her own way in life.
The panel discussion that follows the film will address the various controversial/ debatable issues surrounding beauty, with special focus on:
- Community and societal pressures versus personal choices
- The positive and negative effects of beauty contests
- Is Singapore becoming a beauty-obsessed nation?
Needless to say, the intimate event at Sinema Old School was fullhouse and packed with film-lovers, human-rights activists, diplomats and men and women alike.
Our panelists with the ambassador to Israel and the deputy chief of mission. We look forward to seeing you at our next cultural event!