Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service organized a beauty contest ‘Miss Penal System Contest 2021’ to crown the most beautiful Russian prison warden. As the voting began on Wednesday to choose from the ‘most attractive’ female prison guards that professionally lock the jail inmates, the contest attracted controversy as female activists and several on Twitter denounced Russia’s objectification of women. As many as 12 women finalists were shortlisted to be crowned as a lock-up lady of the year from over 100 contestants who had each won the competitions in the separate districts, according to Russia Today.
The women were asked to submit short video clip dancing, glamourizing their profession as well their beauty, in both prison uniform and stylish dresses. “My name is Anastasia. They say that my name comes from the male name Anastas. This is probably why I was always drawn to the “non-female” profession,” read the introduction of the Anastasia Okolelova, a Senior Lieutenant of the Internal Service of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for the Samara Region.
A women’s rights campaigner, Nastya Krasilnikova, reportedly condemned the contest calling it ‘sad’ as she said that the ideas behind the event were controversial as it heavily objectified women and reduced them to appearance. Russia opened the voting from June 7 to June 11, 2021, and the final winner will be announced on June 11. One of the women contestants described that professionally she felt distinguished by her purposefulness and ambition, as she had dreamed of wearing shoulder straps and serving the Motherland. However, the contest was debated to be reducing the women prison warden’s myriad of qualities to just their physical aspects and visual appeal.
[Credits for All: Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service]
Female cop winner fired for clicking photograph
Despite the controversies, this wouldn’t be the first time a Russian agency organized women’s beauty contest. In 2019, the National Guard had organized a ‘Beauty of Rosgvardia’ event wherein the police officer Anna Khramtsova won. It however did not go down well with Khramtsova’s career as she was fired from the job after posting a photograph taken inside a facility in a breach of law.