Russian beauties to power atomic pageant

Russian beauty contestants are strutting their stuff in the hope of becoming Miss Atom 2009.

The 200 female participants of the on-line beauty competition all have one thing in common: they are connected in some way to the nuclear power industry in Russia and other CIS countries.

Organizers of the event said they wanted to promote the idea that the industry is no different from others. There were also allusions to March 8, which is celebrated as Woman Day in Russia.

“We want to show the public that people like any other work in atomic sphere,” said one of the organizers Ilia Platonov. “And its female professionals are not only intelligent but also beautiful.”'

The competition did not escape attention in the Western media.

“Imagine, if you will, a bikini clad beauty queen strutting near a lake, with giant cooling towers from a nuclear power facility dominating the background,” wrote Der Spiegel, the German weekly. “Odd perhaps? Apparently not in Russia.”

“It seems that this bold strategy of fusing atomic energy and Russian bombshells is just another part of life – or at least a marvelous ploy,”the magazine said.

The event, sponsored by Russia’s nuclear enterprises, has been held annually for the last 6 years.

Сreator of the web project, Ivan Zasursky, explains why such events are so popular.

“It is an online competition, there’s no jury. People decide who the best lady is. Then, tastes differ – some people like curvy ladies and others like thin ones. And some people just want to make a mess out of the whole competition – and when all these people collide, it becomes really interesting and exciting,” Ivan says.

Last year, the winner of the pageant was awarded a trip to Italy for two, while the runner-up received a fur coat.