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Beauty pageants always seemed like such a southern United States, Bible Belt sort of thing, but it turns out they happen all over the world. Most recently, Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Defence is holding a beauty pageant for its female soldiers.  It’s called the ‘Batyr Arular’ competition, and 123 candidates have been nominated from various sectors of the military. The reason for this competition is two-fold: the Ministry wants to, essentially, make joining the army sexy because its numbers are low, and it wants the Internet to do its marketing for them. So, here we are, and we’ve hand-picked 17 of our favourites that we think are totally vote-worthy.