Beauty pageants have been held around the world since the 19th century. In 1920, it was started to boost the tourism sector. In the 1960s, the first child beauty pageant was held in the United States.
These pageants are designed to highlight the looks and talents of the contestants. More than the crowd that the contests attract, however, are negative and positive factors. There are reports of exploitation among female contestants. For a long time, contestants have been viewed as dumb, where the contest’s question and answer portion has become some sort of a comedy.
Opponents of beauty pageants also strongly advise against entering young girls into the competition. They claim that they become image obsessed at a very young age. The extensive training that these girls go through is believed to take away their opportunity to just be kids and enjoy their childhood. On one end of the spectrum, beauty pageants can boost a woman’s confidence and self-esteem. Pageants also promote a good cause, given that contestant become advocates of certain programs. So is it good or bad? To understand both sides, it is best to learn about the different pros and cons of beauty pageants.
List of Pros of Beauty Pageants
1. Contestants’ qualities and skills are put to the test.
It is wrong to think that contestants are dumb, because most of them are trained to be good at public speaking and performing in front of large groups. With constant practice, these women will learn to express themselves freely and stay cool while doing it. This training can be valuable in their choice of future career, especially when it relates to broadcasting, music and other jobs that require interacting with other people with great confidence. This also helps contestants to grow as a person and be comfortable in dealing with people from all walks of life.
2. Promotes fitness and discipline.
With the vital statistics that participants of beauty pageants have to meet, they must work and train hard to look their best. This requires getting in shape and eating a balanced and nutritious diet. The amount of time they invest to get into peak physical condition will not only shape their body but also help them learn about being patient and appreciating more the long-term results of hard work and lots of efforts exerted.
3. Foster life goals and ambitions.
The experience of participating in beauty pageants will give contestants a perspective about other things in life that they can pursue and push forward. With the confidence and self-esteem that they developed, they will have trust in their abilities to follow their dreams. Showing talent in front of a huge crowd will also require courage. This will teach contestants to focus not only in their beauty, but also to get involved and prove that beauty and brains can go together. Answering tough questions is also no joke. And the training that goes with it will improve their ability to think on their feet and with precision.
4. Come with prices and awards.
Winning is practically every pageant’s primary goal. Top beauty pageants not only award cash prizes, but also life-changing opportunities, such as college scholarship, a chance to travel around the world, to be the face or representative of an organization, and do volunteer or charity work. For some pageant contestants, getting involved and gaining exposure are more valuable than the prize money.
List of Cons of Beauty Pageants
1. Risk of becoming shallow and overconfident.
Remember being image-obsessed? A lot of contestants run the risk of being hung up on the beauty part of the pageant. They become shallow, conceited, and may even resort to putting down other female contestants just to feel good. People also tend to shower winners with so much attention and positive praise that they become overconfident. This leads to them failing to develop good qualities.
2. There is a risk of depression.
Some beauty pageant contestants who lost is at risk of developing depression, especially when they can’t accept the fact that they lost the contest. This can lead to loss of self-confidence and self-esteem. In worst case scenarios, they even become angry and vindictive. This is one part of the pageant that is unhealthy and counterproductive.
3. Takes a toll on health and finances.
Joining beauty pageants is no joke. Before a contestant gets the prize money they have to spend a lot of money for training and to outfit themselves. The clothes they wear to auditions are rarely cheap and they have to wear plenty of them too. For some contestants, the cash price they get when they do win may be less than what they have already invested.
When it comes to health, some contestants is at risk of developing eating disorder, and training very hard won’t help either. The pressure that the pageant itself and the people around them imposes will also contribute to deterioration in physical, mental and emotional health. Instead of enjoying the experience, they feel extra stressful and anxious. If they fail to find balance between their goal and their well-being, they could very well be giving away a perfectly good life. If only they didn’t join the pageant.
4. Have an adverse effect on children.
Young girls who joined beauty pageants are more at risk of the contest’s negative effects. This is because they are not yet mature enough to handle things the way that adults can. If some grown-ups fail to deal with life’s challenges, it could be worse on young children. If they lose, they might take defeat really hard and lose their self-confidence. Also, developing an obsession on beauty and image at a young age is anything but healthy. They could also develop the habit of judging other people based on looks alone, which is often harmful. If a child really wants to join beauty pageants, they should be taught with the right lessons and to have fun during the entire process.
Beauty pageants have their share of pros and cons. For participants to get the most out of them, whether they win or lose, they must look on the positive factors than the negatives. This way, they will be able to bounce back from whatever happens during the pageant.
Crystal Lombardo is a contributing editor for Vision Launch. Crystal is a seasoned writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience. She has been an editor of three popular blogs that each have had over 500,000 monthly readers.