On June 16th, 2017, Ravishing Women hosted their Ravishing INSPI Talk in Redmond where a panel of highly distinguished and inspiring women discussed an extremely important and critical issue surrounding women in our society. The issue discussed with them was, “How does marital status dictate the way women are treated in our society and how does Miss/Mrs classification affect the opportunities that are presented to them?” The goal was to discuss both explicit and implicit issues women face due to their designated Miss and Mrs statuses. Towards a long-term goal of bringing a revolution worldwide, various measures were discussed to liberate women from the obligation to adhere to these traditionally defined statuses.

(Photo Credit: Bulbuli Mukherjee)

Ravishing Women  is a non-profit organization with the mission to inspire, appreciate and empower women to realize their potential and transform their dreams into reality. Aside from a plethora of women-oriented activities they do in the area, Ravishing Women is also the organizer for Miss India WA beauty pageant and plans to launch the first-ever Miss Asia WA this year.

(Photo Credit: Bulbuli Mukherjee)

A beauty pageant isn’t merely a competition but a journey that has created several transformational and enriching stories in the lives of those involved. Whether it is a 13 year old teenager or a 50 year old woman, Ravishing Women promises to deliver a life-changing experience to be cherished, celebrating a woman’s accomplishments, intellect, grit as well as talent as part of her beauty. In 2016, Ravishing Women proud introduced Ms. Classic India WA as part of the pageant to open the doors to women above 40 years of age.

(Photo Credit: Bulbuli Mukherjee)

Based on first hand experiences shared during the pageant, Ravishing Inspi Talk in June 2017 was focused on status classification that surrounds women. Miss, Mrs or the new world Ms – women have been historically associated with the identity of their father or their husband, and defined by their marital status. Today, the new world is opting for a more status-neutral designation, and a beauty pageant is no different. Because a woman’s beauty, intellect, talent and identity can never be defined by her gender-specific title.

Ravishing Women would like to use their pageant as a platform and go one step further this year, doing away from titles and classifications that bound women. To discuss this concept further, they had a set of strong women panelists already making a difference in the society based on the remarkable strength and success they have show-cased in both personal and professional life.

(Photo Credit: Bulbuli Mukherjee)

Facilitated by Founder and President of Ravishing Women, Menka Soni, the panel included Yuliya Suleymonavo, Molly George, Tana Anderson, Priyanka Yadav, Chaitra Vedulapalli, Kiran Qureshi, Vidhya Shekhar. Meenal Darak, Miss India Seattle 2016 and Ajeta Singhal, Miss India WA 2015 shared their stories as part of this discussion where they had to face setbacks due to age restrictions and marital status change during their journey of the pageant.

(Photo Credit: Bulbuli Mukherjee)

The panel discussion revealed a very clear vision that not only inspired people in the room but might initiate a wave inspiring millions of people across the globe in coming future. Ravishing Women is determined to be pioneer for this idea and lead this pageant-reform movement where women no longer need to compete in categories that are based off of their marital status. Their upcoming annual pageant as part of the Ravishing Women Festival on September 17, 2017 will be walking this talk by removing the world-accepted elimination criteria of “Never Married and Never Had a Child.” Every contestant will be evaluated based on their skills, talent and capabilities rather than marital status. The Ravishing Asia WA 2017 pageant is determined to create history!

By Menka Soni

About Lesley Michelle

Lesley is the founder and editor of What's Up NW. Lesley does love her beer and writes about that A LOT, but she also loves to shine the light on local events, people and businesses that call the Pacific Northwest home!

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