Beauty Pageants Research Paper

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Leah Erickson
Mr. Graham
AP Language and Composition
22 December, 2011
In The Eyes of its Beholder
Little Eden Wood is a name that may vaguely pop out of the back of your mind. She has been internationally recognized for her beauty, song-writing, and fashion modeling, and she is not even seven years old. So who is this Eden Wood? Born February eighteenth, 2005, Eden Wood is well known throughout the pageant world as the unstoppable toddler in creatively bedazzled dresses (Lexton). She started on the pageant stage at the age of one, and “retired” from the industry at the age of six (Canning). Over her run she has received between Forty-Thousand and Fifty-Thousand dollars in winnings. But how, would one suppose, will all of this early influence of beauty and victory affect Eden Wood’s life? The first modern American pageant was held in 1854 by P. T. Barnum. It was shut down due to social protests, but was later replicated in an 1880 “Bathing Beauty Pageant”. They were generally held in the summer, for the sole purpose of them was to show off women in bathing suits. Beauty pageants today are supposed to boost self-confidence and encourage good morals for the participants, however many concerns have been raised about the strong focus being on the preliminary “beauty” aspect. The Contestant Introductions are the basis of the preliminary round in the famed “Miss USA” pageant held in Las Vegas annually. The judging of this round is based solely on beauty and composure of the woman (Miss). Pageant officials undermine the situation when they say that the Miss USA competitions is a scholarship program. The entire focus of this pageant is on the beauty of the women involved. According to Wang Dong, the audience for beauty pageants has a male-female ratio of fifty-four to fourty-six (qtd. in Zhou) which means that males account for over fifty percent of the viewing audience. In this last year of the Miss USA contest, the judging panel consisted of four...
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