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Dark Side of Beauty Pageants



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    The Dark Side of Beauty Pageants With their glamour, expensive dresses, jewels and, big fake smiles, beauty pageant contestants are just hiding their true personalities under materialistic things. People may say that beauty pageants aren’t always about looks. The contestants are scored on beauty, personality, evening wear, athletic wear and over all perception of the contestant. Beauty contestant ages range from 2 years old to 60+ years old.

    The fact that contestants lie about their beliefs in order to get a good score for their personality and, present stereotypes to the world that young women to develop eating disorders shows that beauty pageants are bad for our society. Beauty pageants have been a cause of eating disorders in many young females for several years. Young females watching these beauty pageants have developed eating disorders to look like the contestants, and compete in pageants with them. Most women who enter into these beauty pageants are slim and in shape.

    People may say that there are beauty pageants such as Ms. Classic Beauty for plus sized women to participate in, but this just emphasizes the point that they are over weight. Why can’t plus sized women compete with the petite women? Beauty pageant contestants are scored on their beauty, personality, evening wear, and athletic wear. Many women do not want to be seen out of shape for the athletic wear and evening wear, so for a quick diet they will not eat and soon develop some kind of eating disorder. Women do this to slim down quickly or to look like the people in the pageants.

    People think that to be beautiful they have to weigh 95 lbs, when beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Even though they are scored on their personality, they are also scored on the evening wear, athletic wear and overall beauty which adds up over the contestant’s personality. About 15% of young women have developed eating disorders in which beauty pageants should be blamed. Also the same study shows that from the years 1921-1970 the Miss America pageant winners have shown that the waist and hip to waist ratio has decreased dramatically over these 50 years (Freese & Meland).

    This shows that beauty pageants do have a large impact on the way people view themselves, causing eating disorders. Over all beauty pageants have brought eating disorders, low self esteem and depression to many women in our society. Many beauty contestants lie about their true feelings about certain topics just so they will receive a good score in the questioning/ personality aspect of the contest. People may say that contestants describe their true beliefs. An example of this is when Miss California described her anti-gay marriage beliefs to pro-gay marriage judges.

    Miss California (Carrie Prejean) may have discussed her true feelings about her political views on gay marriage, but she was then negatively judged on her beliefs about gay-marriage. “Wow. We’re stunned on many levels. First, that a judge would actually suggest a contestant say what the judges want to hear, not what she really believes” (Augusta Chronicle). This refers to judges that want to hear the things they believe in. If the contestant has the same beliefs and view as the judge they will be scored higher.

    Also Perez Hilton stated on the Today show that Carrie Prejean should have “left her politics and religion out because Miss USA represents all Americans”(Boston. com). If Miss California left her politics and religion out of this how else would she have stated her point without people knowing where she was coming from? Hilton says that “Miss USA represents all Americans,” so that means that a Miss USA who lies about her beliefs just to get top scores represents all Americans. The musical “Smile” shows the “dark side” of beauty pageants. It relates to contestants having big fake smiles while on the stage performing.

    In the article about the reason why the musical “Smile” failed explains the truths about pageants. Alvin Klein concludes “I guess it must be about hollow values”(1). This shows that the people who are running aren’t being true to themselves, explaining their true values. As Klein said some of the contestants have “hollow values. ” As far as pageants go, the one to represent “all Americans” is the woman that lies about her true beliefs and values to match those of the judges. Beauty pageants also create negative stereotypes in the world. Many people might say that they aren’t any different than the jocks and nerds.

    That makes my point; no one likes stereotypes, or classifying people without getting a chance to know them.. Sarah Delia stated “the girls who participate in pageants are the perfect cheerleader types from high school — the ones who never had a misplaced strand of hair or blemish on their face”(Lessons from Miss America). They create the stereotype that women should have curves and be skinny, and if one doesn’t live up to these then they are an outcast. From the article “Stereotyping is Leading to Terror, says first Muslim Miss England” the first Muslim Miss England warns people about terrorism and stereotypes. Even moderate Muslims are turning to terrorism to prove themselves. They think they might as well support it because they are stereotyped anyway. It will take a long time for communities to start mixing in more”(1). The quote is stating that Muslims are using violence to break the stereotypes in their community. This presents a negative impact in our society, as stated before can cause eating disorders, depression, and low self esteem. Beauty pageants create stereotypes to where they make it seem that not everyone can do what they do. When anyone can achieve something if they put their mind to it.

    Child beauty pageants send out a negative message to people, mothers and children. Mothers are dressing their children up in tight clothes trying to make them look like they are 20 instead of 2. Mothers aren’t aware of the fact they are dressing their children up like they would to a grown up. With the tight clothes and bikinis on toddlers, mothers are exploiting their children. “My daughter looks like Barbie,”(1) a mother told the Harvard Gazette. They are obviously unaware that Barbie’s send out the same message but they are not human.

    This is because strict mothers are yelling at their children to learn a dance or to sing better just to receive money, trophy or a sash. Pageant mothers may say that the money that is won in the pageants go to a savings account for college or that they participate in them to bond with their child. Many mothers sign their children up for beauty pageants. This would make it harder to win the money from the contest. If you invest money into a low interest savings account this would simply add up more money than spending it on everything for your child and the contest.

    Over all beauty pageants are bad for our society with people wanting to fit in with people they don’t really hang out with. From people developing eating disorders, lying about their true beliefs and creating unnecessary stereotypes beauty pageants are bad for our society. People should not participate in beauty pageants because they say they want world peace, but by participating in these beauty contests, it is destroying our society. Works Cited Cromie, Willian J. , “The Whys and Woes of Beauty Pageants. ” Harvard University Gazette 8 June 2000. 12 June 2009 http://www. news. ardvard. edu/gazette/2000/06. 08/beauty. html>. “Editorial: punished for her beliefs. (Editorial). ” Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, GA) (April 23, 2009): NA. General OneFile. Gale. Dover Sherborn High School. 13 May 2009. http://find. galegroup. com/ips/start. do? prodId=IPS. “Hilton, Miss California takes sides on ‘Today. ’” Boston. com. Dated 23 April 2009. Viewed 22 May 2009 http://www. boston. com/ae/celebrity/articles/2009/04/21/hilton_miss_california_take_sides_on_today Klein, Alvin. “THEATER; A Song-and-Dance Sendup of Beauty Pageants. ” The New York Times (May 3, 1998): NA.

    General OneFile. Gale. Dover Sherborn High School. 18 May 2009. Delia,Sarah. Lessons From Miss America. Dated 2 March 2009. Viewed 23 May 2009. Freese J, Meland S. “Seven tenths incorrect: heterogeneity and change in the waist-to-hip ratios of Playboy centerfold models and Miss America pageant winners”. J Sex Res. Dated May 2002. Viewed 25 May 2009. “Stereotyping is leading to terror, says first Muslim Miss England”. Dated 31 August 2006. Viewed 25 May 2009. http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-403010/Stereotyping-leading-terror-says-Muslim-Miss-England. html

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