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Beauty Contest Setting up Non Achievable Beauty Standards In The Society

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Beauty contests are the competitions that focus on the physical beauty of its contestants and are watched all over the world. It sets up the benchmark for beauty in the society. The most often watched contest is Miss World Competition. These contests have been accepted in most of the societies which lead to the emergence of many local, national and global contests. These contest do give self-belief to some and on the same time their self-esteem is being reduced by the stress to look and act perfect. In some views today, “Body image is the number 1 problem of young girls” (Overington).

Critics of beauty pageants argue that such contests reinforce the idea that girls and women need to be valued primarily for their physical appearance, and that this puts incredible stress on female to conform to conventional beauty standards by spending time and money on fashion, cosmetics, hair styling, and even cosmetic surgery. They say that this pursuit of physical beauty even encourages some girls to go on a weight loss program to the point of harming themselves. The London Feminist Network argues that rather than being empowering, beauty pageants do exactly the contrary because they deny the full humanity of women by setting them as the subject of objectification they reinforce the concept that a woman’s only reason is to appear attractive.

On the other side some say that it offers increased exposure for private and professional endeavors, gain personal development skills through coaching and preparation, collect opportunities to communicate your vision and dreams effectively and concisely, and have the capability to inspire others to believe in themselves with your confidence and dedication to be successful. Pageantry also teaches you how to cope with stress by mastering to deal with pressure and disappointments. The confidence and outgoing personalities they get from pageants help them on stage and additionally in their everyday lives. One can genuinely turn out to be good at public speaking and performing in the front of others. With practice, you’ll be capable to keep your cool and express yourself freely.

Most beauty pageants offer scholarships as an award for doing well in the competition. Large pageants might also provide sponsorship opportunities, an annual salary, or extra career-building options that allow participants to carve out their own path in life. When growing up in an underprivileged socioeconomic household, academics or athletics are the two avenues where a child can “change their stars.” Beauty pageants provide a third opportunity to find success.

Previous research has found that beauty pageants are an unnecessary leisure of society because they set unrealistic beauty standards for a target audience of easily influenced young women, they inspire judging a person’s worth primarily based on appearance only, rather than on a person’s character, and they objectify young women. In the world of beauty pageants, there is solely one type of beauty. This one form of beauty is “Barbie”: tall, long-legged, tiny waist, straight white teeth, long thick hair. Beauty pageants promote the thought that looks are superior to a person’s abilities, emotions and heart. These younger women are judged only on the groundwork of physical appearance. Judging young women primarily on their appears takes important character developments out of focus because other qualities, such as intelligence, are not seen as section of ideal femininity and therefore no longer as things to which girls aspire.

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An eating disorder is described as “a serious sickness that can be life-threatening, arising from a variety of biological, psychological and social factors” (NEDA Feeding Hope). There have been countless scenarios in which beauty pageants have both triggered and terminated contestant’s eating disorders. One critic, Martina Cartwright, a psychologist and registered dietician, believes that “Emphasis on physical beauty causes many child pageant participants to go through from the ‘Princess Syndrome’, an unhealthy force to achieve physical perfection that can lead to dissatisfaction with one’s physique and eating disorders later in life” (Wolfe, 2012). The ‘Princess Syndrome’ has proven authentic in many instances, as seen in a study carried out by Dr. Thompson S.H. Teo, an associate professor in the branch of decision sciences. In his experiment, self-esteem, dieting, and body image of one hundred thirty-one female beauty pageant contestants from forty-three states were examined by means of an anonymous survey. Most (89.6 %) reported being a competition finalist or winner and 55.2 % had competed at the national/ global level. Of those one hundred thirty-one females, “Over one fourth (26%) of the female had been told or perceived they had an eating disorder which reportedly started at 16.25 years. Almost half (48.5 %) reported wanting to be thinner and 57% have been trying to lose weight” (Thompson, 2008). Beauty festival contenders tend to be more inclined to self-shame upon their bodies due to the harsh judgment that they are confronted with in each competition. In Nepal, a series of focus groups and semi-structured interviews had been performed exploring the beliefs of urban Nepali female about the introduction of beauty pageants to Nepal. This qualitative study examined how the competing pressures of modernization and traditionality impinge on Nepali girls who are trying to both withstand patriarchal restrictions and maintain long-established cultural values.

The massive majority of participants expressed ambivalence towards beauty contests in Nepal. They expressed the belief that beauty pageants can assist to empower Nepali women, facilitate progress in Nepal, and present Nepal positively on an international stage. Moreover, individuals called for the perceived benefits of competition participation to be extended to rural, impoverished, and lower caste Nepali women. At the same time, individuals expressed reservations about Nepali girls being objectified through their participation in these contests, deplored their commercial aspects, and felt that beauty pageants could contribute to the development of body image disturbance. Their ambivalence might also reflect their conflicting positioning as middle-class residents and as women in a developing consumer economy that retains strong patriarchal norms. Their complex and conflicting responses assist to elucidate the process of gendered social change in a growing country at some stage in a time of speedy societal transition. Despite all the disadvantages, there are also numerous reasons why women would like to take part in a beauty pageant. Of course, the prizes play an exceptional role. But there is additionally the fact that the pageants are widely publicized in mass media, they are considered very prestigious, offer a chance of making new friends and boosts confidence.

The records for this research topic has been gathered by means of One-on-One Interviews and the outcomes prove that the most important source to watch these beauty pageants is the internet. And these pageants do create mental stress on not just the contestants but also influences the viewers and the society in general. They even affect the self-esteem of an individual.

The interviews proved that these contests do create some mental stress and promote the concept that looks are superior to a person’s abilities, feelings and heart. Beauty pageants are misleading to younger women. Very few girls are born with a body that fits the current standard of beauty. A majority of young women don’t have a body which adheres to the current social standard of the time. Beauty pageants strongly promote the negative aspect that younger women are seen as objects of sexual interest. These contests fail to challenge harmful political attitudes to young women. By promoting looks as the most important female quality, they harm young women’s liberation in general. These competitions have a harmful toll on female worldwide. These pageants do extra harm than good. Beauty pageants cause woman to second guess their look and the type of individual that they aspire to be in the future. Beauty pageants have a hazardous impact on female and cause many to lead lives with depression, eating disorders, and or want for cosmetic surgery.

According to the researcher beauty pageants must be banned due to the fact they spread an incorrect message to the youth. Young human beings become extremely conscious about outer beauty, when in fact there have to be platforms that celebrate inner beauty. In today’s world, there is so much hype about outer beauty, whereas there are different contests like quiz competitions and intelligence shows that enable contestants to compete on skill and talent. But no media coverage or hype is created around them, which is a lot more necessary because such contests can help create a better world. According to the researcher being presentable is important but such pageants discourage humans who might be born with disabilities or might seem to be different. Even the definition of beauty appears to be very confined and you cannot decide beauty on such constrained factors. Instead, they must open the contest to women of all body types. As for whether or not such pageants encourage children’s beauty contests, Researcher feels that at that age, you embrace the whole lot in life; don’t focus on ‘beauty’ that much. You must let them embrace different parts of their personality, let them discover themselves as they are nevertheless figuring themselves out. The researcher also does not assume that such contests help create a focus on fitness. People who are considered plus-sized by the fashion industry are actually healthy. If that sort of a body image is promoted, human beings might have a better thinking of what is healthy. Because if you are really skinny you might not be unhealthy necessarily, however it cannot be considered healthy either. According to the researcher its negatives are much more than its positives. Firstly, because it stresses on the fact that the character who is distinguished and unique is the one who has desirable physical features. So, it distracts ladies from focusing on enhancing their education, culture, skills, career and competencies.

Secondly, beauty is very relative and personal. The researcher believes that each lady has her personal beauty and you can by no means compare the beauty of one female to the other. You also can’t set universal criteria for it — it differs from country to country, culture to culture, and region to region. So, the researcher believes that there should be contests where the best thinkers, artists, entrepreneurs are introduced together, so it is more comprehensive and where they not only focus on the differences but also embrace them. You can never be the best at everything and you have no hand in how stunning you are. You also can’t enhance your physical appearance, but you can improve your brain and skills. As for health and fitness — you can be curvy and nevertheless be healthy and you could be stick-thin but no longer healthy. If you have healthy habits, you stay healthy. There is no real connection between your look and your health, especially since hormones play such a huge role.

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Beauty Contest Setting up Non Achievable Beauty Standards In The Society. (2022, November 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
“Beauty Contest Setting up Non Achievable Beauty Standards In The Society.” Edubirdie, 25 Nov. 2022,
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