Beauty Pageants: Positive or Poisonous
Beauty Pageants: Positive or Poisonous
There is no doubt that beauty pageants have a negative connotation in today’s society. Who hasn’t seen the hit television show “Toddlers & Tiaras”? Those television producers only want the viewers to see the worst moments, though, so they can get the highest ratings possible. They care only about their income, not the reputation of pageants. Most of the people who believe the pageant world is one of disgust have no clue about what really goes on outside the illusion of television.
There are many opposing arguments against pageants and pageant contestants. Feminists believe that they are degrading and sexist towards the female gender, because they should not be judged on their “womanly” attributes and rewarded for their looks. Parents, on the other hand, argue that allowing daughters to participate in a beauty pageant is a horrible parenting mistake, claiming that it teaches them to only rely on their outside appearance because that is all that matters if they want to succeed in life. All of those beliefs are completely incorrect.
Beauty pageants are beneficial to those competing because they provide them with a safe extracurricular activity, help prepare them for the future, and affect them in a positive way. First off, even with the aid of modern technology, most parents do not know where their child is at all times, and that can be scary. Anything can happen. Any parent could be oblivious that his/her child is out doing illegal and/or dangerous activities, including underage alcohol consumption, drug use, or simply hanging out with the wrong crowd.
Pageants provide many children with a fun, safe, extracurricular activity. Since most participants have a mother or guardian accompanying them while preparing and competing, there is ample time for bonding. Going shopping, choreographing routines, practicing poise, doing hair and makeup, and going through the anxiousness of pageant day together can significantly strengthen their relationship. In pageants, contestants are categorized by age. This means that they not only have quality time with their mother or guardian, but they also have time ell spent with their peers.
Backstage is a great place for girls to laugh together, share stories with each other, and have those well known “girl talks. ” Also, pageants give girls a chance to form new relationships. They obviously have at least one thing in common, and that gives them the icebreaker that keeps most strangers from being outgoing and helpful towards each other. The more they get to know each other, the more their friendship can grow, hopefully both inside and outside of pageantry.
According to her article, Lalan Maliakal agrees, stating “So many contestants end up becoming close friends, and even though they may not win a significant place in the pageant, they take home the everlasting gift of friendship and wonderful memories” (Maliakal) (“Child Beauty Pageants – Pros and Cons”). Furthermore, all pageant systems have zero tolerance of illegal drug use and alcohol consumption. If a contestant was found to be guilty of either crime or any other illegal activity, she would be indefinitely banned from the system.
This helps to keep the pageant loving girls of all ages off the path of destruction that leads to a life of trouble and crime, and keep them on the right path that will benefit them for the continuation of their lives. Pageants also help prepare contestants for their future. Many of the larger pageant systems offer cash prizes or even scholarships to those who place, which can help a great deal in paying for the never-ending college expenses. Scholarship organizations require winners to be poised, talented, elegant, and well-spoken (Nooruddin) (“Not Irony: Beauty Pageants Make Strong Women”).
So even though a girl may not be the smartest girl in school, she still has a way to help pay for the college of her dreams. Sometimes, job opportunities are also up for grabs in competitions, which can aid in starting a resume for contestants striving for bigger dreams. Pageants also teach numerous life skills that are very beneficial. Many judges look for a titleholder who has great communication skills, good character, performs well under pressure, and will be the best public relations person/representative for the pageant system, city, state, or country (Shappert) (“What Are Pageant Judges Looking For In A Winner? ).
Contestants also learn to handle the guaranteed disappointment life will bring, and have a support team and guidance to encourage them to keep competing, which will give them the motivation to keep on working towards their future (Seal) (“Advantages of Beauty Contests”). Goal-setting is another skill that is enforced in pageants, not just winning (Noodruddin) (“Not Irony: Beauty Pageants Make Strong Women”). Plus, those contestants who develop the skills above show the success and achievement that employers look for in an employee (Seal) (“Advantages of Beauty Contests”).
All of the aforementioned skills will stay with the girls throughout their lives and help them be successful in their future, beyond pageantry. Beauty pageants have countless positive effects on contestants. They encourage girls to have self-confidence on stage and off stage. First, they need confidence to even compete in the pageants. It is not always easy presenting yourself in front of a group of people, especially if you know they are judging you.
Former Miss USA Petite and former Miss India Georgia, Sabrina Nooruddin shares her knowledge, “I have personally seen the difference pageants can make in a young woman’s self confidence and her ability to present herself in interviews and in front of large audiences” (Noodruddin) (“Not Irony: Beauty Pageants Make Strong Women”). The more pageants girls are in, the better their confidence gets, no matter if they place in each one or not. Pageants also help girls develop their personal style and look, giving them more confidence while still being true to themselves instead of trying to transform into someone they are not.
Recognition as a winner gives them more confidence, as well (Seal) (“Advantages of Beauty Contests”). That confidence follows them into the remaining parts of their lives, outside of pageants. There are going to be times when these girls get rejected or are told that they are unqualified for a certain position or organization, so they need to have the confidence to never give up and to strive to be always be the best they can be. Without it, they will never be productive in life. Contestants also have the opportunity for their voice to be heard when they participate in pageantry.
These days, the opinions of many young girls are overlooked and seen as unimportant. That is not true. They should be treated as any other’s in society. Thousands of girls use their place in pageantry as a chance to speak their mind and support causes that help others, such as bullying and body image.
Sabrina Nooruddin promotes her organization of choice, “Beauty Without Barriers”: Even with my seven inch crown, I still bear no resemblance to Barbie, but I do have the platform and the opportunity to speak to young women about what it really means to be “beautiful” and comfortable in your own skin. Beauty Without Barriers” is a program I have successfully begun to develop with the help of other successful young women. The peer mentoring group pairs local, state, and national beauty queens with middle school girls to talk about important issues like body image, bullying, and cyber safety. My goal is to promote female empowerment at the young age and help young girls feel comfortable and “beautiful” no matter what shape, size, or color they are (Noodruddin) (“Not Irony: Beauty Pageants Make Strong Women”).
It is imperative that these causes and charities are brought to attention, and who better to bring them into the light than girls who can possibly relate? This also promotes female empowerment, since it gives all females the assurance that their opinion matters and encourages girls to speak out at a young age. With more girls striving to make a difference, like Sabrina, the world will only become a better place. Though they are called beauty pageants, these contests are not all about the outside appearance. There is no stereotypical beauty queen.
Though a portion of scoring is based on dress, makeup, and hair, judges are looking for a girl who is unique, articulate, diplomatic, polite, respectful, friendly, intelligent, talented, and well-rounded (Shappert) (“What Are Pageant Judges Looking For In A Winner? ”). No girl has to worry that another girl is more attractive than her. Character is everything. Proverbs 11:22 says, “As a jewel of gold in a swine’s snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion,” which means that beauty without character is like fancy jewelry on a pig – tangible items do not cover up an ugly personality (KJV).
Everyone should support beauty pageants, whether you’re a competitor, parent, coach, or anyone who believes in doing the right thing. The results of a survey asking whether pageants are beneficial to the contestants or are degrading and sexist to women showed that on average 11 out of 12 people say they are beneficial. Several justified their answers: “They teach girls poise and confidence, and give them the chance to be a princess for a day. ”; “It can be a great way to teach how to lose and win. ”; “Pageants are no different than cheerleading or any other female sport. ; “Beauty pageants are these girls’ platforms to get their voices heard on certain topics” (Payne). These men and women know what they are talking about and obviously support all of the details and reasons already given. The mission is to educate more people about the goodness and benefits of pageants and get that number up to 12 out of 12. No law banning beauty pageants should be passed. Galatians 5: 22-23 contains a perfect statement for this matter, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such things there is no law” (NIV).
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 29 September 2016
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