by Akane Yoshimura
Some beauty contests are divided by the race of the contestants. The Miss Bronze beauty contest acted to empower the blacks and show that “Black is Beautiful”. The Asian American Beauty Contest tries to encourage Asian American women to be proud of their culture. Each contests estimates contestants with different criterions, and the definition of beauty is different. This allows various contestants to discover a place to be confident of themselves. However, are the definitions of beauty truly different?
In our discussion, we saw a popular “standard” of beauty, and a tendency of fitting all the contestants into this standard. Does it make sense to divide the beauty contests if there are no differences in the definitions of beauty they make? I think that if the contests are divided, each contest should look into the particular beauty of each group and celebrate those characteristics, and not try to push them in to the only standard.
So, how can these contests be better? Carolyn Fitzpatrick, author of an article “What to judge on in a beauty pageant,” insists that contestants should be estimated based on well set standards. First, the contestant should be naturally beautiful and contests should not be a place to show what surgeries can do. Second, contestants should be valued by natural smiles and movements, not trained uneasy ones. Third, contestants should have the ability to speak up their opinions. With these three standards, beauty contests will become inspiring events, Fitzpatrick says.
However, it might be difficult to achieve these ideals, because the contests are connected with money. When the ideal of beautiful women are made in contests, female viewers of the contest will feel that they need to be closer to the appearance of the contestants on stage. This makes them buy products to change and “improve” their appearance. Though, it is hard to look like a model, and that will cause the dissatisfaction of women’s own appearance. This leads to consumers spending more money on products which will help them change their appearance, and make a large economic effect in the society. As a result, some contests will keep crowning contestants with made-up beauty.
An egoistic facet seems to be hidden in the beauty contests. The beauty contests would not represent the people of the group, and may not give people confidence of themselves and might keep women dissatisfied of themselves. It seems that beauty contests have changed and are not fully acting to celebrate the different beauties of women but to fit them into a standard.
How contestants are judged in the Miss America pageant. (2010). Helium.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012 from http://www.helium.com/items/1790757-miss-america-judging
What to Judge on in a beauty pageant. (2007). Helium.com. Retrieved May 31, 2012 from http://www.helium.com/items/758416-what-to-judge-on-in-a-beauty-pageant