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World Mythology

A Beauty Pageant that nearly destroyed the World

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It is said that god sculpted women in leisure. They are certainly blessed with outward beauty that is hard to miss. The fight for the most desiring and beautiful women has been rooted in the core of civilization for ages. Women are judged on basis of physical beauty in form of beauty pageants such as Miss India and then at the world stage as Miss World. The grandest stage of all Beauty Pageants. The first beauty contest was held in 1880 in America. Believe it or not, Thomas Edison was one of the first judges. Since this time the trail of beauty pageants has grown exponentially. Young women ranging from 18 to 25 compete to be crowned as the most beautiful woman on earth each year. With time and evolvement, they have expanded to include married women and older and otherwise single women. Divisions include Mrs. and Miss. Judges assess multiple topics, one being a stage performance. Always captivating the audience with various styles of visual art. The older division competition, however, does not include stage talent.

The beauty pageants are always alluring and exciting to watch. However, one such beauty pageant nearly destroyed the world.

In ancient Greece Paris, a mortal was asked to judge the most beautiful woman. The judgment of Paris led to one of the largest wars in History, the Trojan war.

The story began when Zeus decided to organize the wedding of Peleus and Thetis which all the gods had been invited to attend except for Eris, the goddess of discord. When Eris learned of this she was enraged. She decided to avenge her insult and spoil the wedding banquet.  Enraged Eris threw a golden apple amongst the assembled goddesses. The apple had words engraved “To the most beautiful woman”. Seeing the golden apple Aphrodite, Hera and Athena laid their claim to be the most beautiful. After a quarrel, the goddess needed an impartial judge. Zeus was in no mood to side in between his wife Hear and daughters Athena and Aphrodite. He had known of a Mortal named Paris who was a very fair judge. In a contest regarding the beauty and quality of bulls, the young shepherd admitted that the god Ares’ entry was far better than his own without hesitation.

Hence, Zeus proposed that they consult with the mortal to determine which goddess was the fairest. The three goddesses, accompanied by Hermes, made their way to Mount Ida, where they bathed in a river before meeting with Paris. As Paris began to judge the three beautiful goddesses, they each tried to win his favor by offering him bribes. Hera offered to give Paris incredible power by making him the king of Asia and Europe, Athena proposed to give him wisdom, and Aphrodite offered him the most beautiful woman in the world.

Faced with such tempting bribes, Paris eventually chose Aphrodite and awarded her with the golden apple. In doing so, he inspired both Hera’s and Athena’s wrath. Keeping her end of the bargain, Aphrodite told Paris that the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen, was now his. There was only one problem, however. Helen was already married to Menelaus, king of Sparta. In order to retrieve his “prize,” Paris traveled to Sparta. Depending on sources Paris either kidnapped or seduced the Spartan queen and whisked her back with him to Troy.

After discovering that his wife had been taken by the Trojans, Menelaus assembled his troops and attacked the city of Troy to retrieve his wife. Leading to a decade-long Trojan war.  During the war, Menelaus nearly killed Paris in single combat, but the Trojan youth, a favorite of Aphrodite, was rescued at the last minute by the goddess.

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