The beauty pageant contestant strides coolly down the runway in the tiniest of red swimsuits, taut abs, toned biceps, trim legs . . . and, ahem, hairy. This is the Omega Man, a beauty pageant organized in the University of New Mexico campus. It is a fund-raiser sponsored by UNM’s Alpha Chi Omega sorority to benefit the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The contestants are guys, in fierce competition to be crowned for the best looking, nattiest, smartest, funniest and most talented dude of the campus.

This contest started four years ago with only participation from six brave, wild and crazy guys from several fraternities. The audience loved it and as word of the contest got around, the prospect of being crowned Omega Man became, to many, irresistible.

There were 13 contestants representing six fraternities this year. On the day, the guys first hit the runway dressed to represent their organizations, in uniforms or frat letters. They then donned formal wear, strutted their stuff and answered a tough – and revealing – question. The contestants were asked to cry, to show their emotional side, to describe their perfect date or girl friend, and asked why they should be Omega man. Subsequently there was a highly anticipated swimsuit competition, followed by a talent show. The participants danced, sang, acted… they did everything as funnily as possible.

The contestants were judged by a panel of sorority presidents who pick a winner and two runners-up. There’s an audience participation award for the contestant with the most, and loudest, fans. And one is named Best Chest in the West by popular vote based on blown-up photos of chests only.