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What Do You Think About Beauty Pageants?

Not only does the United States have a new president this week, it will also have a new Miss America. If that tidbit doesn't excite you, you're not the only one. Back in the '60s, the pageant was repeatedly a top-rated program, but the women's movement (and feminist protests) made many viewers lose interest. By 2004, a mere 9.8 million people watched the show; last year, only 3.63 million did. Perhaps people got tired of seeing women judged by how they look in swimsuits?

Then again, there are pageant fans such as Miss Rhode Island, Francesca Simone, who talks about how important Miss America is to her in this video. And speaking from experience, a lot of women break the pageant stereotype. (My regional pageant queen went on to join the Army.) Still, I've never been a fan of beauty pageants, and I'm curious to hear your opinion of them. Do you think they help young women build character, or are they sexist relics of the past?

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cavegirl68 cavegirl68 8 years
I haven’t and I have no desire to see one, my belief is that there shouldn’t be any beauty pageants anymore because I feel they are sexist, demeaning and under value women. They also give unrealistic views of women. Women are just as equal to men. We shouldn’t have to prove ourselves to them and give them what they want and I’m going to show that to you. Men and women have such unrealistic views on what women should look like today because of beauty pageants. If a beautiful, skinny complete air head went on stage everyone would be so impressed by her physical features, but if pretty, a heavy-set, very intelligent woman comes on, the audience would erupt into talk. Nobody would no that that skinny, beautiful girl was a complete air head they just judge her on her looks and nobody would know that that heavy- set women is smart because they only ask questions that involve commonsense and are only skin deep. The worst part is that the winners of the contests believe they don’t need anything else but their beauty, so they drop out of school. Women turn some fun entertainment into something so competitive. Many people have been murdered there was six in the last decade one of which was just terrible a nine year old girl named Jon Benet Ramsey was murdered in her own basement. This one in particular is the most well known. So as you can see what people wouldn’t do to win a competition, what have beauty pageants come to, to have to see which girl is the prettiest. There is even a priest that wants to have a beauty pageant for nuns I wonder how that will turn out? Beauty pageants are sexist and demeaning to women. Every girl thinks they have to be beautiful and skinny so they can fit in, that’s beauty pageants at work and sexist men who watch beauty pageants. It brings girls that aren’t super skinny down because they feel they will never get a guy and I’m speaking from personal experience when I say that, I’ve had my share of name calling because of my size. If men and women are truly equal then we should make a contest for which man is the prettiest and see how they feel about being judged by their appearance. . Every girl is beautiful in their own way whether it’s on the outside or on the inside.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
No harm in that :)
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Had to try :)
g1995xoxo g1995xoxo 8 years
in my hometown,the teen pageants don't reflect on beauty. they reflect on personality. they don't do swimsuit, they only do evening gown. and its really a great experience. you meet new people, and gain confidence. it takes a lot to get up on that stage and speak. plus its really fun. also, they show your hometown personality. idk why everyone is stereotyping these pageants, they teach you alot. the winners have several opportunites to volunteer and help the people of the town and make the town a better place. it is just another way to help people.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Ha, ha. In actual fact, all I said about beauty pageants was "I don't think they're particularly bad (except child beauty pageants--ick), but I don't find them entertaining, and I very rarely think the girls are all that beautiful anyway. These pageants always seem to draw the blandest-looking pretty girls"--not vilifying any mothers or children, just expressing my own lack of interest in the institution of beauty pageants, and agreed with hithatsmybike about pageant girl specifically. So...no.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
HI and Jude- you are making a blanket generalization about something you have taken no part in. :) And probably know little about. Other than vilifying these mothers and their children, you should focus on your own families instead of judging others. (devils advocate)
BabycakesGirl BabycakesGirl 8 years
As a former participant in the Miss America program I think it is a shame that the organization doesn't do a better job of explaining its purpose or getting Miss America in the spotlight more to help alleviate some of the unfortunate misconceptions expressed even here in this thread. The Miss America program differentiates itself from other programs with three major things: 1) scholarships, 2) platforms/a service cause, and 3) talent. The Miss America Organization is the largest source of scholarships for women in the world. Having only competed at my local and state level, I won $20,000 in scholarships - and that's never having made it to the Miss America stage and the additional scholarships to be won there. Believe it or not, the young women competing in this program are incredibly devoted to their platforms and community service, and holding a title - in many parts of our country - allow the young women an even larger voice to make an impact on their communities. The talent portion, for me, was another huge incentive for participation. I had trained in my particular talent for 15 years - what better way to put that training to use to win scholarship money? If given the chance to meet and learn more about these ladies you'd see they are some of the most accomplished, intelligent and down-to-earth young women that you'll ever meet. Granted, I'm sure there are always a few "bad apples" in the bunch, but that is the minority. Do I agree with the way this is all portrayed on TV - the swimsuits, sexy struts, etc? Not necessarily, but hey, the network wants ratings, right? But the glitz, glamour and bikinis you see on TV are backed up by hard work. Ask any "pageant person" and they'll tell you that swimsuit is not won on-stage, but that if judges liked you in your interview you are more likely to be scored higher on-stage. And these interviews are not easy! Think press conference, rapid fire questions on anything and everything from politics and international affairs to your platform and personal interests. I am not about to criticize other pageant systems, but I would never have participated in them as, yes, I do feel they are absolutely based more on a woman's appearance and do not offer scholarships; they are more suited for women looking to break into modeling or acting. Likewise, I am not a supporter of child pageants. Sorry to get on my soapbox, I just felt the need to defend the Miss America program and its participants. So is the Miss America pageant outdated and irrelevant? Guess it depends who you are asking, but I personally think young women with character wanting to serve their communities and earn scholarship money never goes out of style. It really is a great program if you take the time to see what it really stands for!
nguidjol nguidjol 8 years
I enjoyed being made up to look to like a young woman when I was 3. Make up on a 3 year old, really? Pageant girl, i think girls who enter those beauty pageants (or force by their parents) at such a young age are the ones who will more likely end up with nose jobs, boob jobs and all the rest.
nguidjol nguidjol 8 years
Can someone please tell me the difference between miss America and miss USA? Oh yeah and what's the difference between miss Universe and miss World again?
cupcake_ cupcake_ 8 years
I don't watch them. Sure the women are beautiful but I think pageants demeaning..just my opinion :|
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
:ROTFL: hithatsmybike--took the words right out of my mouth!
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
Pageant girl, thanks for the lovely example of just how damaging child beauty pageants are; repercussions of your "glory days" chase you even into adulthood. Very sad. On another note, it's hypocrites. Hippocrates was a person that lived in ancient Greece, and while he was a physician, they didn't do nose jobs or fake boobs back then, so I'm doubtful he thought he had all the answers.
pageant-girl pageant-girl 8 years
I was a pageant girl for as long as I can remember. The smile I put on then, is no different than the smile I see on the faces of phony people, I see today. I learned a lot more during my young tender years about the masks people wear, more than anyone could imagine. The lessons learned are carried with me through to adulthood. I love to see the fake, phony, plastic woman today who are so concerned about their image, criticize pageants as they were never given the opportunity to enter thanks to the woman's movement. I enjoyed being made up to look to like a young woman when I was 3. I enjoy being made up today to look the best I can and I will enjoy making myself up when I am older to look younger. Pageants at an early age, helped me to prepare for the challenges put forth in life. I learned when it comes to woman; trust no one! They will lie, cheat and mask their thoughts. I learned to see past the masks, refuse their gossip and lies and never let them borrow clothes. Some girls finest hour is when they are young. They may never get the chance to compete as they get older. Faces change, bodies fill, etc. I have never seen an ugly little girl. I have seen a lot of ugly mothers. Both physically and spiritually. Look in the mirror before you criticize an entire program designed toward self esteem, trashed by those that have not experienced it. Hippocrates who think they have all the answers are the first to put braces on their kids, get nose jobs, fake boobs and buy wrinkle cream or want tucks. Let the girls learn how to be good at applying make up, walking and standing upright. Let them overcome stage fright and public speaking by age 4. Statistics prove pedophiles are more likely to be in your own family. They don't need pageants. They prey on the less savvy. My mom was very careful guarding me against any predator and my dad would have killed any one that tried. I am confident in who I am today thanks to where I came from and the experiences that brought me here. I may not have won a lot of the pageants but I sure did enjoy them. My heart goes out to all of you who were raised by mothers who never allowed you to experience life to the fullest. I did not set out to change anyone's opinion, I simply wanted to sound off. When there are too many generations under the same roof, there is no room for creativity. Let your children explore.
joannn joannn 8 years
I dont think anyone watches them to see empowered women or whatever. It's just a form of show meant to entertain, and that's the attitude I take to when I watch them
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
Boring and the women are (or at least act/look) extremely fake.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
I don't think they're particularly bad (except child beauty pageants--ick), but I don't find them entertaining, and I very rarely think the girls are all that beautiful anyway. These pageants always seem to draw the blandest-looking pretty girls.
juliarose23 juliarose23 8 years
I always thought that they were fun to watch, but they aren't on very often, so I haven't really seen very many.
EVEngland EVEngland 8 years
So there are a few things I feel about beauty pageants...because I used to do them in high school! I was a part of several different pageant circuits including Miss Vermont Teen USA. Here's the thing. The Miss America pageant has a much more realistic portrayal of young women in society today, it's largely based on community service, public speaking, how well you do in school...and then the beauty part comes second. There is never a Miss America winner that isn't perfectly informed in current events! The Miss USA pageant however (this is the one owned by Donald Trump and has that ridiculous pageant show with Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe) is almost entirely based on looks. I mean, whether you watched the Miss Teen USA pageant last year or not, I'm sure you all caught Miss South Carolina Teen USA in her horrifying live interview....point made. There are definitely some worthwhile scholarships to try for if you have really high self esteem!
hithatsmybike hithatsmybike 8 years
I like watching them when I catch them on TV, but that rarely happens so I think I've only seen half a dozen in my lifetime. All the girls entered in them are there by their own choice (this is speaking for ADULT beauty pageants, not the freakshow that is toddler & child beauty pageant brigade) and I think whining about what an atrocity it is that these girls are judged on their looks is unfair. If you don't want to be judged on your looks, don't enter, but don't worry about what anyone else does. As you can see by this girl's vid, some women truly enjoy pageants. If they're happy, let them be happy.
penguins268 penguins268 8 years
I agree with the whole "they look so fake and creepy" bit. I hate how they think someone is beautiful because they have 20 pounds of makeup on there face just fit some stupid beauty ideal.
austerity austerity 8 years
I think they're fun to watch, and it's not always fair to say they judge people by beauty only and that it's only shallow. I mean of course it's shallow, but most people like to look at beautiful people, and pageants are just a way of drawing attention to a quality that women have (beauty) to get them scholarships, opportunities etc. But of course, the bottom line is they're more for entertainment than anything else. I also think the girls on pageants are often not the most beautiful girls I've seen! Sometimes they're just super average looking. But I guess that's the point since personality and talent also count.
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