According to The Times of London, yes, indeed, an Italian priest (where else?) is holding an online beauty contest to find the best-looking nun.
Father Antonio Rungi, of Mondragone, near Naples, said he expected at least 1,000 nuns to enter the Sister Italia contest. It would run online at first, but he hoped that it would become a “real pageant” along the lines of the annual Miss Italy contest.
Father Rungi, a moral theologian with his own blog, said that the nuns would not wear swimsuits or revealing outfits. What he valued most in a woman was “inner beauty”. Asked for his feminine ideal, he replied: “Well, I would say Sophia Loren.”
La Ciociara doesn’t do too badly on the outer beauty, either. In any case…
The contestants must be aged between 18 and 40, and can be either full members of an order or novices. Father Rungi said that he expected many who applied to be young, attractive — and non-Italian. He said: “Do you really think nuns are all wizened, funereal old ladies? Today it’s not like that any more, thanks to an injection of youth and vitality brought to our country by foreign girls.” He said there were nuns from Africa and Latin America who were “really very, very pretty. The Brazilian girls above all.”
Okay, all in good fun, I suppose. Still…At best, beauty contests are one of the more absurd competitions–leaving aside a few of the recent Olympic events. And while nuns need not be someone’s stereotype of an old crone, how would Mother Teresa fare? On the other hand, no reason nuns shouldn’t be babes–be a fine example to the word. Check out Sophia herself in “White Sister” and of course Audrey Hepburn in “A Nun’s Story.”
Then again, you know what happened at the end of that film…Calling poor Saint Clare–legendary for her beauty–help me!