There she is, Miss Landmine Survivor

Women who survived landmines in Angola will soon be taking part in a new beauty contestLandmine, Miss Landmine Survivor, not to be confused with the contest in Zimbabwe: Land-is-mine Survivor. The Angolan contest already has a major edge over Miss Universe: Donald Trump won’t be present. 

The pageant has been organised by Angola’s de-mining commission, and
aims to restore the confidence of victims and raise awareness of their

Millions of mines were planted in Angola during a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.

The "Miss Landmine Survivor" contest will be held on 2 April in a luxury hotel in the Angolan capital, Luanda.

Eighteen women will take part, one from every province in the country.

All of the contestants have been maimed by landmines. [Link]

A contest in which you’re expected to be missing a limb? Sure beats a contest in which you’re expected to be missing a brain.

Actually, you can compete for Miss Landmine Survivor without missing an entire limb. And you can compete for Miss Universe without missing an entire brain.

It’s really a myth that beauty contestants are dumb. Many of them are quite intelligent. And I say that not because I’ve studied their IQs or something, but because I don’t want to get an ass-kicking from my cousin Rani Jeyaraj, a former Miss India. My very very smart cousin (who was born in Zambia).

The co-ordinator of Angola’s de-mining commission, Madalena
Neto, says the aim of the competition is to restore self-esteem in
women injured in mine explosions, and to show that there is beauty in
all people. [Link]

Yes, there’s beauty in all people — and it’s not always on the outside. Sometimes you have to search a little deeper. And if you’re wise enough to do the searching, you’ll be rewarded far greater than those who don’t.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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