Foreign Affairs

The Miss Nyampinga beauty contest, in which students from Rwandan universities and colleges compete, presents a unique challenge in a country ripped apart by genocide. There is tension over defining beauty in Rwanda, reports The Christian Science Monitor. During the 1994 genocide, "the first fact was to see the nose to tell if this is a Tutsi or this is a Hutu," says Cyrille Nshimiyimana, a second-year medical student. Can a beauty pageant help in a country where previously, you could be killed if your nose was too wide? Mr. Nshimiyimana says of the winner: "She must be pretty, in her face and body… She must have small eyes. But we don't look at the nose. Here in Rwanda, we have a problem [with] the nose." The contestants are also all "Milan-model thin," which some students think is not an accurate representation of Rwandan women. We understand their frustration! [Christian Science Monitor]


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