Ericica Robin’s participation in the Miss Universe Pakistan beauty pageant has sparked considerable controversy, particularly among conservative factions within the country who are displeased with the organizers for including her without clear national consent.
This choice by Pakistan to select a woman as its representative in the pageant is significant, given that beauty pageants are relatively uncommon in this predominantly Muslim nation.
Hailing from Karachi, the 25-year-old Christian, Erica Robin, clinched the title of Miss Universe Pakistan after competing against four other finalists in a contest held in the Maldives. Her fellow competitors included Hira Inam (24), Jessica Wilson (28), Malika Alvi (19), and Sabrina Wasim (26), and she emerged as the victor.
She is now poised to represent Pakistan in the forthcoming Miss Universe pageant, marking the first instance in the competition’s 72-year history where Pakistan has designated a representative.
The Miss Universe 2023 event is slated to occur in El Salvador in November, where the reigning 2022 winner, R’Bonney Gabriel, will pass her crown to the successor.
During the selection process, Erica Robin was asked about her aspirations for her country, and she expressed her desire to alter the perception that Pakistan is a backward nation. Paradoxically, her nomination has triggered a backlash that conforms to the very stereotype she seeks to challenge.
Controversy ensued after Erica Robin’s victory in the Miss Universe Pakistan pageant. Pakistani Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, affiliated with the Jamaat-e-Islami party, raised questions about the organizers of the beauty pageant in Pakistan and decried it as a “shameful act.”
Furthermore, the interim Prime Minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, has called for the country’s intelligence agency to investigate the event’s organizers, aiming to ascertain how they managed to conduct the pageant without Pakistan’s apparent endorsement. Kakar characterized the entire event as a “shameful act” and an “affront and exploitation of women in Pakistan.”
In response to the controversy, Erica Robin expressed her enthusiasm for representing Pakistan but also conveyed her bewilderment regarding the backlash. She remarked, “It’s an honor to represent Pakistan, but I’m perplexed by the source of the criticism. I believe it’s rooted in the notion that I might be parading in a swimsuit before an audience of men.”