Beauty Pageants: From Prim to Poisoned
Her eyes glimmer with the latest layer of eyeliner. Her cheeks, a wind-bitten pink, ache from constant smiles. She combs her hair, unaware of the damage she is inflicting on herself. She looks around. Some wear false hair, others false teeth. Every participant there is driven by the same potential outcome of beauty: meticulous hair, white smile, bright eyes, and a thin figure. Everybody strives for that same superficial facade – not the average values for a 5-year-old-girl. Since 1921 beauty pageants have been the roots of society's delusive portrayal of beauty and until they are stopped, they will continue to cause detrimental impacts on a female's perception of her self worth.
Pageants began as a marketing tool for an Atlantic City hotel in 1921. They decided to hold a fall festival to tempt Summer tourists to stay past labor day. Every year, this pageant, Miss America, grew as America's only pageant. However, in 1950, controversy arose: a contestant, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose in a swimsuit. When the officials honored her preference, Catalina Swimwear discontinued their sponsorship and established the sexier, “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants. Since then, more major pageants have been established throughout the world. These include “America's Junior Miss”, “Little Miss America”, “Miss Teen All America”, “Mrs. America”, “Miss T.E.E.N.”, “Miss. Teenage America”, “Mrs. World”, “Miss Black USA”, “Miss International”, “Miss Teen of America”, and “Miss Black USA Talented Teen”. However, these have not been supported by all. In 1968, The Women's Liberation Front protested the Miss America pageant, infiltrating the main hall. Even while the pageants were launched purely as a marketing tool, they have taken a turn against natural beauty.
Beauty is defined as something that brings pleasure to the senses (Define). This does not imply a symmetrical face, a curvy figure, or a ski-slope nose. Pageant judging is greatly impacted by these traits. However, nobody has the power to control what physical traits they have. Physically attractive people are the children of genetics, not personal drive, determination, or hard-work that is detrimental in life situations; but Sabra Johnson, a ten-year-old, veteran child contestant, doesn't think so. A common aspiration of contestants is landing a major modeling career, and until then, modeling at the pageants. While interviewed by A&E Network, she constantly looked over at her mom for reassurance of her thoughts. She never mentioned her future education; she relied solely on her appearance for her future (Children). She is missing out on many important opportunities. Intelligence for example, a person can work hard and do well on an exam, but while in beauty pageants, only the winners of the “social lottery” emerge victorious. Ones appearance has no correlation to ambition, drive, or personal discipline. Although these traits sculpt a beautiful person, most contestants are under the impression that beauty is achievable. They are under the impression that anorexia, bulimia, spray tans, fake hair, fake nails, removable eyelashes, plastic surgery, layers of make-up, or any combination will make them appealing. This idea starts at an early age. The television show, Toddlers & Tiaras, follows several young contestants begin their pageant career. The overzealous mothers carve their daughters into miniature pageant stars. Overall, their mothers will deflect any interference to guarantee their daughters consummation. When young children have lost or crooked teeth, their mothers are notorious for attaining a “flipper”, a set of false teeth to go over their child's' natural set. If they have teeth, parents purchase whitening treatments. These ideals have a large impact on their present as well. A study conducted four years ago by NPD Group showed that women started using cosmetics at an average age of 17. Now this age has moved to an average of...
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