Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beauty and Brains

The third genders of Nepal, also known as the Meti community, have not had a good fit with the mainstream society. From discrimination, stigmatization and bullying to downright physical brutality, they have endured atrocities beyond belief. Practically written off by the political system, they had no constitutional recognition, little citizenship provision and no likelihood of a respectable employment opportunity. After the establishment of Blue Diamond Society, their days of anonymity were over, at least on paper.
They have been collectivised and have a steady platform to put their cases forward. Hence, they successfully organized a series of beauty and brain contests in order to campaign for their basic human rights using HIV and AIDS awareness. By combining entertainment of beauty contests with a powerful social message of equality and acceptance, they have attempted to reach out to the third gender individuals and educate the general public. The documentary Beauty and Brain has captured these third gender participants as they embark upon a journey of self-discovery and a celebration of their being. In a way, the contestants taking the stage to showcase their beauty and talent already symbolize an act of defiance against social convention. Many of them went through incredible transformations within the period of few months. This will certainly encourage those who haven’t been able to demonstrate their true self and will provide them with positive role models. It will bring this community in better light as fellow human beings, not complete outcasts.

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