The Essence of The Beauty Pageants

Categories: Beauty

Beauty can mean many things, beauty is a combination of good qualities such as shapes, color or form that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight according to Wikipedia. But beauty can mean different in different parts of the world. In Myanmar and Thailand women who wear heavy, brass rings around the neck make their woman more attractive. Women in Iran show off their nose jobs, big boobs and big butts is a beauty in the States, White and clear skin is the beauty in Asia, lip stretching in Africa is considered attractive, women in New Zealand having sport tattoo, body scarification in Africa and in other parts of the world is a sign of beauty, but did you know that beauty can also take in competitions, it is called Beauty Pageant.

Beauty Pageants are something a woman would join to show off many things like their culture, pride, courageousness, strong will, etc. But it wasn’t the case back then in the early days, at least prior to 1921, & specifically 1921.

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Women back then were treated like objects, for many or even a few lustful and unequal reasons, in the eyes of men. Because of this, the women developed the first ever beauty pageant in 1921 Atlantic City, USA which was named the “Miss America Beauty Contest”. Still to this day, there are beauty pageants being hosted across the world, including this country, the Philippines, where it is a very common & prominent event for all Filipinas to showcase the culture, pride &, of course, the bravery of the country possesses.

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Beauty pageants has been a great and big event that is happening in the different parts of the world. There are four major beauty pageants for women. Miss Continental who is expected to serve as the “Ambassador of Peace and Beauty, Miss Earth channeling effective tool to promote environmental protection program, Miss World the oldest running international beauty pageant, and Miss Universe that empowers women to realize their goals through experiences and act as catalyst for future success. From locally to internationally, from world to the universe. Beauty pageants emphasis the word “beauty” where women get dressed up in gowns, bikinis showcasing their modelling skills, talent and personality.

A competition where physical beauty of a women is a must. A competition where various women tries to win the crown. Beauty pageants takes a lot of forms, it is not just for women, there is also a beauty pageants for kids, men, and for gays. Beauty pageants is not just the physical beauty of a person, it also involves the brains of the contestants, the communication skills, on how they can confidently represent themselves and to answer the questions that was given to them, but what really is the essence of beauty pageants and what are the benefits of it to our society?

To win one, one must be well-groomed & acquainted with the principles of winning one, which the winning principles are strictly demanded by the judges & the audiences because they all would expect a winner that’s really beautiful, talented, down-to-earth, & important of all, inspirational. The word “inspirational” is something in the world of beauty pageants that gets all those watching or even those aspiring people to push & pursue this kind of thing, so much that there are those aspiring models out there in the world surpassing the well-known ones in many, many factors. There have been many winners of countless pageants, whether it be the male or female ones, but there’s a reason why they win countless of them, because these kinds of competitions also give them voice of their respected genders or community.

What is the essence of beauty pageants across the globe? Well, to be honest, it exists to showcase the aforementioned things to the world, which is: culture, pride, bravery of oneself, courageousness, & will. Many have entered to show the community, the crowd, or even the world what their country has in store for them & what the pageants are capable of, riddled with natural talents, honed skills, untapped potential, etc. Beauty pageants aren’t limited to just women, but originally, they were limited to women as a form to showcase the power of women. Nowadays, there are now beauty pageants for everyone, including men, & especially the LGBTQ’s.

But for me Beauty Pageant isn’t only about entertainment but it also showcases beauty across places, and it also helps women empowerment. And I see that as to what Laura Lehman said during the question and answer portion of the Ms. World Philippines 2017, “beauty with a purpose”. Beauty pageants have leveled up to just showcasing beauty but also showing substance. Beauty pageants now have participants like lawyers, teachers, women that poses good values. The range of beauty pageants has widen and started showing us the full arsenal of how beauty really looks like.

The essence of beauty means being yourself under any circumstances, maintaining your values about life. As a woman each one of us has a unique purpose in life and it is up to us to discover our purpose and to fulfil it. A women entering a competition will have a platform and a genuine desire to make a difference. Beauty pageants aim to inspire and empower people, especially women, and show beauty that goes beyond a pretty face. Through their advocacies, communicated through beauty pageants, they are in high hopes to make a change in the society to create vision of making women stronger and to be able to do better things for the society. To inspire others to achieve something you once thought was not possible. The benefits of beauty pageants to women is it boost their confidence to increasing their stage presence, experiencing new things and taking on a large role in the community to make an impact to other people and other women’s life.

The essence of beauty pageant is not just to celebrate the totality of the beauty of a woman but also just like what miss universe 2016 said (Pia Wurtzbach) You have to be confidently beautiful with the heart. Heart to help yourself to achieve your dream in winning the crown, give honor to your country, school or whatsoever and most of all the heart who willingly help the society through your advocacy. Every woman who joined beauty pageant have the advocacy, every beauty pageant has a theme.

About the essence of a beauty pageant, once again, they first existed to give voice to women in the form of something they were known for only back then, which was the fact they were always being the first thing in mind for beauty & fashion in men’s mind. It has been that way for years until we got men’s contest & others. Side note, these pageants aren’t meant to see which model is better or who’s the best out of all of the participating models, it is there to give them a voice to speak for all, & that’s why it’s the most feel-good things to exist today.  

Works cited

  1. Solomon-Godeau, A. (1981). Beauty and the Beast of Advertising. In Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values. Aperture.
  2. Banet-Weiser, S. (2016). Beyond the Beauty Pageant: Reexamining American Beauty and Femininity. New York University Press.
  3. Bissell, L. (2003). Bra-burning, Feminism, and Women’s Activism. Feminist Studies, 29(1), 107-131.
  4. Craig, S. (1990). The Miss America Pageant: Pluralism, Femininity, and Cinderella All in One. Journal of Popular Culture, 24(2), 19-35.
  5. King, S. (2019). Beauty and the Business of Empire: Marketing Commodities in Miss World and Miss Universe. Journal of British Studies, 58(3), 442-468.
  6. LeBesco, K. (2002). Challenging Normative Femininity: Fat, Oppression, and the Politics of Appearance. Journal of Gender, Race, and Justice, 6(1), 79-107.
Updated: Feb 02, 2024
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The Essence of The Beauty Pageants. (2024, Feb 02). Retrieved from

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