Reigning Miss South Pacific defends contest

The reigning Miss South Pacific, who will hand over her crown on Saturday, says the annual contest is just as much about intelligence and celebrating culture, rather than simply focussing on physical beauty.

Contestants from around the region arrived in American Samoa over the weekend to participate in the Miss South Pacific Pageant, which is still going strong after 25 years.

A women's rights advocate says the pageant is outdated and promotes a concept of beauty which Pacific women often don't fit into.

But Alisi Rabukawaqa from Fiji says confidence and intelligence are important ingredients to winning the title.

"In the Pacific I have found that that's not what the pageants are for, it's more a celebration of our culture and our traditions, than the celebration of the physical beauty of a woman. The feminists who like to spout their mouths without even actually experiencing it for themselves you know, just try it for yourself."

Alisi Rabukawaqa.

The contestants will compete in a pre-pageant interview, traditional wear, sarong, talent, and interview questions.

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