The Concept of Beauty Pageant is fast catching up with the imagination of citizens all across the Globe. Women Beauty Pageant are the ones which are more popular among the masses. Some see it as an excellent opportunity for young ladies to showcase and display their talent and looks to the outside world on a grand platform whereas there is another orthodox section of the society that views it with varied perspective, primarily as the commodification of Women’s Beauty.
The Early instances of organizing of Beauty pageants can be traced back to medieval history. The selection of May Queen held during the European celebrations which used to be held in the month of May is one such instance. In the United States of America, the first formal Miss America contest was organized in the year 1921. Margaret Gorman was the first American lady to be crowned Miss America at the age of 16 which made her rich by a fat 100 US$ at that time.
Advantages of Beauty Pageants
Beauty pageants are a stage for Women Empowerment as they provide a perfect platform for women to be heard on different levels. It also increases the confidence of women and their public speaking skills.
Beauty Pageants promotes healthy competition amongst the participants- The Pageants which are conducted now are fiercely competitive where the contestants are evaluated on various important and critical parameters such as good looks, fitness, intellectual capacity, public speaking skills, stage presence, and many more. The Contestants also get to stay together for a fairly decent period of time whereby they develop the spirit of healthy competition.
Beauty Pageants provide opportunities for Career growth: Success in Beauty pageants opens a whole new set of career avenues for the contestants. In India winners of the Miss India contest took up Bollywood i.e the Indian film industry as a career opportunity and there are many like Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Dia Mirza who had a glorious career in the Indian Cinema.
Disadvantages of Beauty Pageants
There is a lot of money which the contestant spends on preparation and contesting in the Beauty pageants. It is awkward to see contestants spending lavishly when all that they get is only selective seconds of airtime.
Commodification and objectifying Women
The organizing of Beauty women has often been equated to the objectification of women’s beauty. There are certain rounds in these Beauty pageants which are seen by many as pure commodification of Women’s Beauty
Failure to do well at the Beauty pageants may adversely affect the psyche of the contestant. They can develop a lower sense of self-esteem and there have been many cases where unsuccessful contestants have gone into depression after their failures at such shows.
With the Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss Asia Pacific events which are organized each year becoming a high profile world event not only for the contestant but also for the public of various countries it is highly likely that these Pageants have become the norm and a part of the life of the modern television viewer and will continue to be so for a long period.