All around the world beauty pageants of all calibers are held for women, and sometimes men, to compete in looks, clothing, and talent competitions. It is an entire industry in itself, and ever since the 19th century it has been booming. The contestants of these pageants are judged on the way they look, the amount of technique that they have in delivering their performances, and many other things. These pageants are not only limited to adults either, children beauty pageants have been taking the world by storm in the last couple of decades. While they typically support good causes, and the participants are passionate about what they do, one cannot help but to raise an eyebrow at an entire world of young girls being put on stage and judged for the way that they look. What benefits do these competitions offer to the girls that participate in them, and what negative effects could they possibly have?
The Pros of Beauty Pageants
1. Helps To Build Confidence
Girls that are in beauty pageants have to have a high amount of confidence and be able to portray it in front of the judges. These girls work on this from a very young age, and this same confidence will stick with them through most of, if not all, of their life.
2. Teaches Discipline
Practicing, staying in shape, and doing all the immense things that are required to prepare for a competition helps to teach these young women a great amount of discipline and pride in their personal appearance and the way that they carry themselves. A certain level of fitness is required to do well in beauty pageants, so this also helps with the health of the girls.
3. Offers Scholarships and Other Prizes
Most high end beauty pageants have either a cash prize or a scholarship that is given to the over all winner. This is great for the girls that have high ambitions because it helps them to pay for and get through a higher education to better their lives.
4. Tough Competition Builds Character
Just like competing with a sports team, beauty pageants have fierce competition. In order to do well in these pageants the girls have to know their competition, and respect them. Whether they win or lose they have to show poise and grace because they will likely see the same contestants at their next pageant. This helps to develop a good and humble character.
The Cons of Beauty Pageants
1. Damages Self Image
For young girls, being accepted and attractive is important to them. No girl wants to parade herself in front of a crowd of people and judges, only to be told that she isn’t the prettiest, or the second, or third, or so on. This can deeply wound the self image that these young girls and women have for their entire life.
2. They Are Getting More And More Extreme
The extent that people are going to to be the best is getting extremely out of hand. Young girls, even children, are spending thousands upon thousands of dollars spray tans, hair extensions, top of the line makeup, over the top outfits, and even fake teeth, just to up their chances of winning their next pageant. Along with all of this, the training for these girls can interfere with their academics and social lives.
3. Exploitation Of Children
Among all beauty pageants, children pageants are the most talked about. This is because often, these very young kids would rather be playing with their friends than being shuffled onto stage with a face full of makeup. The children in these pageants lost their sense of innocence quickly because of the inappropriate outfits that they are put in, and the feeling that they are “older” because the way that the excessive makeup and other visual altering things make them look.
4. Extremely Expensive
Every where you turn at a beauty pageant it is obvious just how much money has been invested. You have to pay to register and enter each pageant, which is typically hundred of dollars, you also have to travel to these pageants all over the country. Aside from the initial and required costs to compete in a pageant, you also have to purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth of outfits, makeup, and other things just to have a chance to win. Many times pageants have caused families to go bankrupt.
5. Promotes Unhealthy Ideals
Women, especially young women, are always striving to be the next hottest thing. Being thin is a must for beauty pageants, which is why such a high percentage of contestants suffer from eating disorders. Along with the body image problems, these girls also typically suffer from depression. The pressure and stress of constantly being judged for you appearance takes a large psychological toll.