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Are beauty contests harmful to women? Essay

Beauty pageants degrade women to mere objects. Such a competition is the exploitation of women by men and other women. If the beauty competition was based on skill or ability, that would be fine. But nowadays people judge them for their outer appearance. For example, if five people were running in a race, only one will win. There is no doubt as to who ran faster. There is also no need for anyone to judge such competitions. These competitions also affect the self-esteem of some women who feel that a size ten isn’t good enough for the competitions. In every pageant or competition, you always see every contestant at a size zero to five. This brings a lot of high self-esteems down because they feel that the world revolves around skinny models.

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 is another way of saying you have to be perfect in order to even compete in these competitions. This sets the idea for an ideal female body, which only a minority of women can then become incredibly harmful to young women by encouraging dieting, eating disorders, and cosmetic surgery, or simply making them feel inadequate and ugly. The moment women flaunt themselves, as in beauty pageants, they become an object to be degraded and exploited sex object for a year.

Not only is low self-esteem a major negative effect that grows from beauty pageants, but also so are eating disorders. In our society, fifteen percent of women have eating disorders. Miss America from 2008 is a recovering anorexic. It has been tested that one out of every one hundred women between the ages of ten and twenty are starving themselves to death. Striving to be a beauty queen is a danger to the physical and mental health of our girls today. In addition to eating disorders, beauty pageants cause many contestants to suffer from depression later in life. Nine out of ten girls ranging from the ages of fourteen to fifteen claims to have suffered depression and six percent say that life is not worth living anymore according to Tammy McDaniel.

It is recorded that seventy five percent of woman engage in harmful activities towards their bodies. These thoughts tend to lead to drugs and potentially harming themselves. Margaret Wolfe Hungerford stated that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” in 1878. Teens behold what they think is beauty and many get this idea from seeing winners at beauty pageants. What others think is beautiful is not necessarily what everyone thinks is beautiful. These competitions deprive women of truly believing in themselves and alter their thinking process on what is truly beautiful.

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