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Pageant Outdated , A Laughingstock

A group of Dunedin women who protested at last year's Miss Otago pageant are today delighted to hear the Miss New Zealand contest is on its last legs.

Last November four members of the group carried large beef carcasses onto the stage of the Miss Otago pageant, chaining one to the podium. At the same time two women hung a banner saying "Women are not meat" from a balcony.

"We're really chuffed," said spokesperson Rachel Carrell. "Youth radio station Radio One did an informal on-air survey of student attitudes to Miss New Zealand and most of them said they thought the pageant was outdated and pathetic.

"Society has moved on from the sexist pageants of the sixties and seventies but franchises like Miss Otago and Miss New Zealand limp on.

"Miss New Zealand even still has a compulsory swimsuit section. It's pretty revolting."

The group is calling for all similar pageants to end. "Pageants which focus on beauty - and most do - are part of a damaging societal focus on thinness and manufactured beauty, " Ms Carrell said.

ENDS

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