Beauty Pageants: Creating a Woman of Success or Failure

Topics: Beauty contest, Miss Universe, Beauty Pages: 9 (3695 words) Published: January 13, 2013
Beauty Pageants: Creating a woman of success or failure
Typically when beauty pageants come to mind we think of beautiful women in beautiful gowns who win scholarship money for school, participate in community service, achieve the goals that are related to their platform and role models that we hope the young women of our society aspire to be. In reality, behind the scenes there is much more than what appears to the eye. Many can argue that they play a major part in women’s self esteem issues and the exploitation of them. Despite how obnoxious they are, the world is made up of people who truly enjoy this form of entertainment. However, they could also play a major part in creating a goal oriented woman, and a person who doesn’t buckle under pressure. For years people have argued whether beauty pageants played a major part in the success or downfall in societies and what the effect they have on women who participate in them. Through the study of beauty pageants, they prove how effective beauty pageants are and describe how the unfortunate ones who lose cope with the disappointment. Although financially beauty pageants may be worthwhile, beauty pageants should be done away with or have a change of criteria because they are superficial, cause women to have low self-esteem, and are more beneficial for the countries the women represent rather than the contestants. Big lights, big hair, extreme make-up, tiaras and sashes have not always been the look of beauty pageants. Pageants made their initial appearance in the 1920’s in United States. After the major success and popularity, other countries began to participate. After 90 years, beauty pageants have become the largest scholarship assistance program for women in America. . “Beauty pageants” can be dated back further than you think. Arguably scholars can date them back to the Greek mythological times, where Eris began the Trojan War with a prize, it was called “For the Fairest.” (Cohe, Wilk, and Stoeltje 3) However pageants as we know them today with segments showcasing a different talent or skill, all derive from an era that some may know as the Roaring Twenties. This was a time that allowed women in America to vote, work industrial jobs, and wear make-up without being negatively labeled. It all began on September 6, 1921; with the very first beauty pageant entitled Miss Beautiful Bathing Girl. It only started with seven girls and by the next year consisted of fifty-seven contestants. From this small competition blossomed the well known Miss America pageants and it has existed from that September until now (Merino 7). “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” is a well known American proverb; in other words saying that you can’t really know a person simply by their appearance but by looking deeper. The Oxford Dictionary defines beauty contest; as a competition for a prize given to the woman judged the most beautiful. How can a competition based majority on your outer appearance have any good benefits unless you win the crown? As we examine beauty pageants across the world, it is obvious that women still don’t have equal rights. In the book, “At issue social issues: Beauty Pageants,” Jill Filipovic, a writer and lawyer in New York City, claims that women’s bodies are not their own but seen as objects of beauty for others. (Merino 28) Most women want to be perceived as attractive, which has ended with the result of them being the primary suppliers in the diet industry, responsible for the majority people with eating disorders, and consist of most of the plastic surgeries performed each year. In the book, “At issue social issues: Beauty Pageants,” Jean Trounstine; a professor of humanities at Middlesex Community College in Massachusetts. In the chapter titled, “Beauty Pageants in prison can have positive effects,” she believes that Beauty contest in prison can provide educational opportunities, boost self-confidence, and offer a break from the challenge of prison life. (45)...
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