AFP via Yahoo News. Even The Onion didn’t think of this:
ROME (AFP) – The first beauty pageant for nuns debuts next month with the advent of “Miss Sister Italy,” aimed at erasing a stereotype of nuns as being old and sad, a newspaper reported Sunday.
“Nuns are above all women and beauty is a gift from God,” priest Antonio Rungi of the southern Italian diocese of Modragone told the daily Corriere della Sera.
“This contest will be a way to show there isn’t just the beauty we see on television but also a more discrete charm,” he added.
Nuns wishing to participate in the contest should send their picture to Rungi, who will publish it on his blog. Internet surfers can then vote for their favorite nun online.
“You really think all nuns are old, stunted and sad? This isn’t the case any more, thanks to the arrival in our country of young and vital nuns,” notably from Africa and Latin America, Father Rungi added.
The idea of organising a beauty pageant had been pushed by the nuns themselves, he said, adding he expected roughly 1,000 candidates.
“I hope the next (pageant) won’t just take place online but that we can organise a real show that can take place during the Miss Italy contest,” Rungi said.