All around the world beauty pageants of all calibers are held for women, and sometimes men, to compete in looks, clothing, and talent competitions. It is an entire industry in itself, and ever since the 19th century it has been booming. The contestants of these pageants are judged on the way they look, the amount of technique that they have in delivering their performances, and many other things. These pageants are not only limited to adults either, children beauty pageants have been taking the world by storm in the last couple of decades. While they typically support good causes, and the participants are passionate about what they do, one cannot help but to raise an eyebrow at an entire world of young girls being put on stage and judged for the way that they look. What benefits do these competitions offer to the girls that participate in them, and what negative effects could they possibly have?
The Pros of Beauty Pageants
1. Helps To Build Confidence
Girls that are in beauty pageants have to have a high amount of confidence and be able to portray it in front of the judges. These girls work on this from a very young age, and this same confidence will stick with them through most of, if not all, of their life.
2. Teaches Discipline
Practicing, staying in shape, and doing all the immense things that are required to prepare for a competition helps to teach these young women a great amount of discipline and pride in their personal appearance and the way that they carry themselves. A certain level of fitness is required to do well in beauty pageants, so this also helps with the health of the girls.
3. Offers Scholarships and Other Prizes
Most high end beauty pageants have either a cash prize or a scholarship that is given to the over all winner. This is great for the girls that have high ambitions because it helps them to pay for and get through a higher education to better their lives.
4. Tough Competition Builds Character
Just like competing with a sports team, beauty pageants have fierce competition. In order to do well in these pageants the girls have to know their competition, and respect them. Whether they win or lose they have to show poise and grace because they will likely see the same contestants at their next pageant. This helps to develop a good and humble character.
The Cons of Beauty Pageants
1. Damages Self Image
For young girls, being accepted and attractive is important to them. No girl wants to parade herself in front of a crowd of people and judges, only to be told that she isn’t the prettiest, or the second, or third, or so on. This can deeply wound the self image that these young girls and women have for their entire life.
2. They Are Getting More And More Extreme
The extent that people are going to to be the best is getting extremely out of hand. Young girls, even children, are spending thousands upon thousands of dollars spray tans, hair extensions, top of the line makeup, over the top outfits, and even fake teeth, just to up their chances of winning their next pageant. Along with all of this, the training for these girls can interfere with their academics and social lives.
3. Exploitation Of Children
Among all beauty pageants, children pageants are the most talked about. This is because often, these very young kids would rather be playing with their friends than being shuffled onto stage with a face full of makeup. The children in these pageants lost their sense of innocence quickly because of the inappropriate outfits that they are put in, and the feeling that they are “older” because the way that the excessive makeup and other visual altering things make them look.
4. Extremely Expensive
Every where you turn at a beauty pageant it is obvious just how much money has been invested. You have to pay to register and enter each pageant, which is typically hundred of dollars, you also have to travel to these pageants all over the country. Aside from the initial and required costs to compete in a pageant, you also have to purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth of outfits, makeup, and other things just to have a chance to win. Many times pageants have caused families to go bankrupt.
5. Promotes Unhealthy Ideals
Women, especially young women, are always striving to be the next hottest thing. Being thin is a must for beauty pageants, which is why such a high percentage of contestants suffer from eating disorders. Along with the body image problems, these girls also typically suffer from depression. The pressure and stress of constantly being judged for you appearance takes a large psychological toll.
Important Facts About Beauty Pageants
Beauty pageants have been held for decades and are still popular in many countries all over the world. Girls, at an early age, are groomed to become future beauty queens by joining beauty competitions at schools or in their communities. It might seem simple, glamorous and fun but it is actually in the middle of contentious issues between proponents and opponents.
To shed light on this matter, here are 10 advantages and disadvantages expressed by people on beauty competitions:
List of Pros of Beauty Pageants
1. It promotes tourism.
Whether it is a nationwide or international competition, contests like these are held in a host city or community. Supporters of beauty pageants claim that these events are great venues to showcase the attractions of the place where the coronation is held.
Consequently, people who are watching from their homes will be interested in discovering what the place has to offer to them as visitors. Moreover, families and friends of contestants will be giving them support by being present. With the number of participants multiplied by the number of guests flying in from other cities and even countries, there will clearly have a boost in tourism.
2. It enriches international relations.Popular international competitions are participated in by different countries. Proponents see this as a good sign of healthy camaraderie among nations. Despite differences in culture and religion, people come together to witness a glamorous event.
3. It motivates the youth.
Sports teach athletes certain values like goal-setting and sportsmanship. Since not everyone can be athletic, others can choose other interests. Beauty pageants teach the same values to girls who want to become beauty queens. They encourage young women and girls to have an ambition to dream of something and be good at it. Joining beauty competitions prepares young individuals the importance of preparedness and hard work in order to win.
4. It builds discipline and self-confidence.
One of the benefits of joining beauty competitions is learning about self-worth. It encourages young women to look into their inner self and explore their skills and talents like public speaking, singing and dancing. Conquering stage fright is also one of the good aspects of beauty pageants. As these girls stand in front of a big audience and answer questions thrown by the judges, they learn to muster their courage and express themselves with conviction. This also prepares them to conquer other challenges they might face in life.
5. It becomes a channel to reach and help despondent communities around the world.
During the pageant phase, contestants are encouraged to do volunteer work and raise funds. They are also exposed to different communities, some of which are hit by calamities or economically challenged. With these, they become ambassadors of goodwill and are given the chance not only to help but also inspire other people. Many organizations that sponsor beauty pageants support charities and create projects for the environment. Contestants are taught volunteerism and empathy by simply being a part of the competition.
6. It teaches competitiveness.
Since these girls are still in a competition, they have to work hard and learn to be assertive. In order to make it to the cut, pageant hopefuls are driven to go an extra mile in order to win but in a positive way. On the other hand, it also teaches them that one will not always be a winner but there are still other competitions they can try. This can make them learn to accept certain defeats in life and at the same time practice about sportsmanship.
7. It opens opportunities to young people.
Apart from monetary rewards that come with winning, a plethora of opportunities also await the contestants. Several winners and contenders have built successful careers after joining beauty pageants. Some of these fields are in the entertainment, modeling and even politics. There are also scholarship grants given as prizes in some competitions. Supporters claim that competitions like these are not all about beauty but also about opening doors to opportunities for young women.
List of Cons of Beauty Pageants
1. It is an added expense for the contestants.
Critics of beauty pageants say that joining these competitions entails having to spend for modeling courses, clothes and other costs to prepare for pageants. Although there can be sponsors who are willing to support, contestants still have to shell out money from their own pockets, at times, spending funds that could have been used to other priorities.
2. It is all glamour.
People who have a negative view of beauty pageants contend that it is all about the physical aspects and outer beauty. They refute what proponents say that it is more of seeing the inner beauty of a person. For them, these girls are primarily chosen with reference to their physical beauty and body curvature which begin during screening. They also add that intelligence, if judged, is only measured at the pageant night itself.
3. It gives emotional and psychological toll to participants especially to children.
Opponents are also adamant in expressing their thoughts about the physical and emotional toll these young girls are subjected to in beauty competitions, adding that some of these young girls are often pushed by their own mothers to join. There are reports that girls, as young as eight years, are taught to wear make-up, skimpy swimwear and even undergo Botox treatments to achieve certain looks. Critics are concerned about the emotional and physical trauma these little girls go through at an early age. They lash out on the scrutiny young girls go through in the eyes of judges and the audience, which they say can have a negative effect on these girls, like being victims of bullying and even sexual abuse.
Beauty pageants will always be seen from two different perspective and contentions will always exist between supporters and critics. Although there is no doubt it offers many benefits and teaches values on young girls, beauty competitions can also have negative aspects on these young individuals and pushes them to be focused on superficial beauty. In the end, it is the responsibility of the family and the organizers to give moral support and be aware of the impact beauty pageants have on the future of these potential beauty queens.