Have you ever noticed that in glamorous pageants such as Miss America, a contestant that you may find most beautiful and standing out end up losing? And as soon as they finally crown the winner, you take one quick glance and you start to question why this person instead of the other? The answer to this simply is is that we all identify beauty differently. In reality, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And so, who is to say that one person is more beautiful than the other? Who has this great authority over all of us to say that this person is the most gorgeous women in all of the country? The answer is no one. No one should have the right to say that you’re not as attractive as Miss Florida or Miss Hawaii and the only way for you to be considered attractive is if you fulfill my standard of beauty. And yet, even so, why do we allow for ourselves to participate in this? Why are we flaunting ourselves on this bright stage for a title that does nothing but undermine the true definition of beauty–Beauty that is not found on the outer shell of all that caked makeup and glitzy dresses, but beauty in our intelligence, personalities, and positive actions. That is why beauty pageants should not be banned, but should more so be scored based off of a woman’s intellect, kindness, and skill and less of her appearance and “swimwear physique.” That way, pageants can be seen as inspirational and relatable to viewers of all ages and less egotistical and fake.
There comes a lot of stress for everyone who participates in beauty pageants, especially on the contestants’ part. For most of these women in high-ranked competitions like Miss America, they’ve dedicated their entire lives towards finally achieving this “grand” title. Their hopes and dreams rely on their appearance and they’ve had to go through rough dieting and exercising in order to fit with this ideal figure that pageants have bestowed upon them. The thought and pressure of those 19 million viewers watching their every move right as they walk on stage can lead to many serious consequences. For instance, 2008 winner of Miss America, Kirsten Haglund, suffered from anorexia and “lost 30 pounds as a pre-teen by subsisting on a diet of less than 900 calories per day” just to fit this “perfect” frame of a pageant contestant. These contests can affect a woman’s health and not to mention the millions of young girls that are lured in by this world of sparkle and attention. As soon as we continue to judge women by their “24’” size waist and reward them for whatever costly and threatening beauty treatments they undergo, we’re basically encouraging kids that it’s perfectly fine to change and objectify ourselves in whatever way possible in order to officially be beautiful.
With all the cons that come with beauty pageants, there are positive things that may result from them. For example, the few young women that are fortunate enough to win are given the opportunity to travel the world, approximately 20,000 miles per month, experience different cultures, meet people of all nations, and earn scholarships that would allow them to complete their education and not to mention open possible doors to the modeling and acting world.
But ultimately, pageants should not judge a woman solely based on her looks as great as its rewards may be for it can lead to many negative outcomes on not only a grown woman’s self-esteem, but also girls of all ages watching them. Events like this should look beyond what’s skin-deep and should work together to encompass the true meaning of beauty. Because beauty is in all shapes and sizes. Not only that, but real beauty is one’s mind and wit. It’s one’s positive attribute to the world. And as long as we strive to have contestants that fit these qualities, these “vile,” “unhealthy,” and “repulsive” competitions can one day be known as inspirational and truly beautiful.