Beauty Contests Are Harmful

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The old saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In other words, someone or something that is considered attractive to one person may not necessarily appeal to another. If we lived in a perfect world, maybe everyone would follow the wise words of this old saying and admit that evaluating beauty is a subjective practice. However society that does exist feels some strong compulsion to turn every aspect of people’s lives into a competition. In my opinion, the prize of Beauty Queen in one competition society could live without. Beauty contests are an unnecessary element in society simply because they set unrealistic beauty standards for an audience of easily influenced young girls, they encourage judging on appearance, rather than on a person's character, and mainly because they objectify women.

Beauty contests are well promoted by the media, with television and images, which influence young women’s opinions on appearance. The participants of these contests are poor role models for these girls as they set impractical body weight, breast size and clear skin standards. This sets an ideal female body, which only a minority of women can realistically aspire. This adds pressure on all women to conform which can then become incredibly harmful to young women by encouraging dieting, eating disorders and cosmetic surgery, or simply making them feel inadequate and ugly.

An article, titled “Thoughts about Miss Teen USA,” out of a local American magazine was written by a young teen in 2005, who had just watched ‘Miss Teen’ on NBC. Her recap of the contest was; “White teeth. White teeth. Prom-style dress. Blonde. White teeth. Blonde. Chandelier earings. Tan. Blonde. Tan. Strapless gown.” Followed by “That’s all you need to know”

This certainly does not promote the contest in fact quite the contrary. The statement made by this young teen is not one that is from a minority. She is one of thousands that view this as the “norm” for a woman of beauty. It is not...
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