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This Niger Tribe Holds An Annual Male Beauty Pageant For Women To Judge Men And Find A Husband

A tribe in Niger holds an annual beauty pageant that tears down conventionally women-centered ceremonies and instead puts men in the spotlight.

The Gerewol festival is an annual courtship competition held among the Wodaabe people at the end of the rainy season.

Wodaabe women seek a husband among the dancing men covered in red face-paint and beautiful ornaments.

Physical characteristics such as being tall, having a narrow face, wide eyes and white teeth are considered as ideal traits men should have.

In order to emphasize these characteristics, Wodaabe men tend to coat themselves with a deep red face-paint, which symbolizes violence and blood, and wear black lipstick, which is associate with a man’s “expressivity” and help emphasize the teeth whiteness, Danish anthropologist Mette Bovin said, according to the BBC.

During the competition, dancing is another important quality men are judged on.

Men perform the Yakee dance, a traditional dance where they mimic the cattle egret bird to showcase their beauty and endurance to the judges.

Even married women can have another chance of finding a new husband. In Wodaabe culture, women and men are not judge for setting their previous marriages aside and coupling with another person.

In fact, couples who had an arranged marriage when they were young have a chance of finding true love through the Gerewol festival, according to the BBC.

Women who do not want to leave their marriages can also opt to have a sexual experience with their designated winner.

The festival is one of the few allowing women to decide their husbands in Africa.

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