Seventeen men showed some leg and strutted their stuff at the biennial Mz Judged pageant, raising thousands of dollars for the Northern Society for Domestic Peace on Saturday.
The men dressed up as women and performed a variety of talents ranging from interpretive dance and singing to specially-written poems and belly dancing in front of a sold-out crowd at Hudson Bay Lodge.
There was also a swimsuit and formal wear portion of the night — and it was all done in heels.
“It’s really a parody on beauty contests and it’s certainly trying to challenge gender stereotypes. But I think it takes a lot for people to do that and be proud,” said Carol Seychuk, executive director with the society. “Everybody is kind of part of it, and that’s what it feels like for us.”
Final totals were unavailable before press time, but Seychuck estimated contestants raised $48,000 alone.
All the proceeds go towards the society to help provide support programs and services that address violence in relationships and to raise public awareness.
“As a Wet’suweten First Nations person, I felt it was very important to be involved in any initiative that tackles violence against women,” said Trevor Jang or Mz. Beeni Wello. “Violence against women is something that should not exist in 2014.”
In the end, it was Mz. Matriarch or Travis Hebert who was crowned this year’s winner, while Mz. Amira, Jayson Chaplin was the runner-up.
“I would say that at least 30 per cent of the people here have taken part in the services that are offered by the Northern Society for Domestic Peace and I think they can appreciate where the money goes,” said Boom Boom Raven, the outgoing 2012 Mz Judged ambassador and one of this year’s judges.
“All fun aside, it’s just such a great cause.”