Why is Pakistan's first Miss Universe contestant facing backlash in her own country?
Erica Robin, the first-ever Miss Universe Pakistan contestant, has encountered significant backlash in her home country as she prepares to represent Pakistan in the Global Miss Universe Pageant in El Salvador next month.
Erica, a Christian from Karachi, secured her name for the 'Miss Universe Pakistan' title last month, amongst five finalists at the inaugural competition held in the Maldives. However, her participation has sparked controversy, with critics claiming it was unauthorised and an affront to Pakistani values.
Conservative voices have denounced her participation, asserting that it was done without the nation's consent and branded it as an "insult" to Pakistan.
Notably, Pakistan has never nominated a representative for the Miss Universe pageant in its 72-year history, and people argue that this move contradicts the country's values, particularly regarding beauty pageants and swimsuit segments.
Prominent figures, including Senator Mushtaq Ahmed and caretaker Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar, openly criticised her selection. They have called for investigations into figuring out how the pageant was organised without official government approval.
Despite the opposition, Erica Robin remains steadfast in her commitment to changing perceptions in and about Pakistan. She aspires to represent Pakistan positively on the global stage.
The 72nd Miss Universe Pageant is scheduled for November 18, 2023, in San Salvador, El Salvador, with Erica Robin poised to make history as Pakistan's first-ever Miss Universe contestant.