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Men in pageantry is not a gay thing says male designers and models

L -R – Sharaz Aswin, Randy Madray, Courtlee Rodrigues and Parmanand Ramcharran

In our modern global culture people generally don’t smile too broadly to men taking part in pageants, but males taking part in pageants bring with it, a fascinating slice of life.

These events are the equivalent of women’s beauty shows and are an increasing business with more and more such endeavours taking place around the world.

BIG Smith News Watch reached out to a few men who have been in the fashion industry to get their perspective on this issue as the Mr. India Guyana pageant is on.

21-year-old Sharaz Aswin told us he hopes to break the stereotypes of men in pageantry.

“I wanted to break this sigma to showcase that this platform can be utilized as a channel for growth and to raise awareness,” Aswin said.

He feels there are lots to be gained from the upcoming pageant.

“I would definitely like to take away the many experiences that would be created. I would utilize these experiences as I continue to shape and build on my future endeavours and goals,” he pointed out.

For Courtlee Rodrigues, an International Relations Student at the University of Guyana and model, he believes a combination of issues are related for the stigma attached to male pageantry.

“It’s fair game for men or women, both are stigmatised, I think it’s because of a combination of ignorance and fear. Ignorance; because most people are unaware that people like me, who are not gay, bi, queer or effeminate (men), actually pursue these ventures because they (we) genuinely wish to inspire,” Rodrigues noted.

He pointed to the actor Arnold Schwarzenegger whose family members assumed he was gay because of the many posters of muscular men in his room, “We usually fear what we don’t understand, and most people wouldn’t understand men/women who brave the sneers and ridicule to do their thing. For me, I just ignore the noise and forge ahead,” Rodrigues posited.

Also speaking with BIG Smith News Watch was young designer Randy Madray feels participating in pageantry is all about leading change and he believes that gender should not be aligned with such.

“One of the roles of pageantry is to empower contestants who enter there and empower them to a point where they become empowered, and they become inspirational, and they become role models,” Madray said.

According to him, it is his view that persons can become confident to a point where they see the beauty in inflicting change as it is.

“I feel that taking up such a role in society and being empowered shouldn’t have gender. Being able to be a role model shouldn’t have a gender attached to it, and I think we need to understand that. I believe every human being needs support, emotionally and mentally, and that is most important – our mental freedom and well-being,” Madray pointed out.

Parmanand Ramcharran is one of the top models from the ancient county of Berbice who also added his voice to the conversation.

“As a male model, people tend to think of us as walking on stage in underwear, at least that’s what I’ve been asked before, but that’s just a tiny bit of what male models do. Some people think highly of us, and some say it’s not something that a macho man should do.” Parmalat told BIG Smith News Watch.