There She Is, Miss Plastic Hungary

The Miss Plastic Hungary pageant was designed to celebrate plastic surgery and the women who have chosen to receive it, with all contestants openly admitting—and celebrating—the fact that they've undergone some type of surgical procedure.

This year's winner is 22-year-old Rika Urban, who, according to TechBanyan.com, "won an apartment in Budapest," for taking the crown. You have to be at least 18 to enter the competition, though Katie Drummond at True/Slant also points out that there was a "a 'special' category for women over 30 (because, you know, the old broads probably needed a few more tweaks than us hot young things)."

I'm a bit torn on this, to be honest. As far as pageants go, it seems to me to be the equivalent of the Miss USA pageant, with perhaps a little more honesty going on. There's no scholarship at stake here, as is the case with the Miss America program—this is a night for women to compete based on their looks for a fabulous apartment or a car or some cash, which is essentially the same path contestants take in Donald Trump's Miss USA program.

However, there is something disconcerting about a pageant blatantly being used to promote cosmetic surgery. It's a bit like a very glamorous episode of that horrific reality show, The Swan, with every contestant beaming on the runway after successfully undergoing plastic surgery. This is not to say that all plastic surgery is terrible for all women, as many women, I'm sure, have had positive experiences with it, but the idea of parading women around as if surgery is just as easy as putting on some mascara or tying one's hair into an up-do instead of, well, you know, a serious medical procedure, is a bit scary. It's bad enough women have to be faced with stupid pageants where the definition of "beauty" is about as narrow as it gets, and adding surgery to the mix and celebrating that increasingly narrow vision of beauty is only going to make things worse. Such as.

Rika Urban Wins Miss Plastic Hungary 2009 [Tech Banyan]
Horror In Hungary: A Beauty Pageant For Plastic Princesses [True/Slant]
Hungary Pageant For Surgically Enhanced Beauties [AP]