Chicken Beauty Pageants

Malaysian chicken

Malaysian chicken

NBC’s article about chicken beauty pageants features Ernest Goh, a photographer and visual artist from Singapore. He believes Malaysia’s Ayam Serama chickens are “supermodels of the chicken world”. He recently published a book dedicated to the beauty of the chickens. They apparently love to strut their stuff on the runway, and have a very prideful and distinctive walk. In Malaysia, chicken beauty pageants are very popular. Goh discovered the amazing, if not somewhat unusual, practice while travelling through Malaysia and was interested in how animals seem to act like humans. This stemmed into a photography project of the chickens modelling. The chickens are extensively groomed the day before the competition. The day of, they stand on a table and experts judge them based on their feathers, their walks, and other qualifications. Goh said it was fascinating that “the Serama’s natural behavior is like a human fashion model when it ‘performs’ on stage”. 

Goh is a strong believer that humans tend to care for animals they find beautiful. So he thinks that if humans can learn to see more animals as beautiful, more species will be cared for and our natural resources will be protected. I agree with his philosophy. Although he was mainly talking about chickens, I think this can also apply to other animals. The chickens are just one of many species that humans respect and take pride in, even if it is through something as weird as a fashion show. 

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